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Nina Waisman Guest Lecture


Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 5-6:30 p.m.
Visual Arts Presentation Lab, SME 149, Structure & Materials Engineering Building, UC San Diego


Nina Waisman, an installation and performance artist/director who uses new technologies to produce her art, will present some of her works ranging from interactive sound installations focused on the US-Mexican Border, to dance performances speculating on microbial intelligence.

Waisman’s presentation will touch on contemporary research in both human and non-human intelligences; her year in SETI Institute’s Artist in Residence Program, searching for extraterrestrial intelligence along with the experts; a 2-week thinktank on non-human intelligences that she organized combining NASA experts and artists of all kinds; her co-creation, with artists/choreographer Flora Wiegmann, of a dance language based on microbial behaviors and perceptions; and her suspicion that microbes may be way smarter than we are.

Nina Waisman is an UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts MFA alumna, a former dancer and a science-geek. She also learned a lot from a few years bartending, and highly recommends it.

Come and learn how you might already be ruled by ET’s!!!


As a former dancer turned installation artist, choreographer and director, Nina Waisman is fascinated by the critical roles that movement and sensation play in forming thought. Her interactive sound installations, sculptures, videos and collaborative performances highlight the subliminal training and possible hacking of such embodied thinking. These works focus on related issues including surveillance, invisible labor, border control, machine-human feedback loops, nanotechnology. Venues include 18th Street Arts Center, Hammer Museum, MOLAA, LAXART; CECUT Tijuana; OCMA/California Biennial; Beall Center; FILE Sao Paolo, The Museum of Image and Sound, Sao Paolo, MOLAA, Zero1, ISEA, House of World Cultures, Berlin. Waisman’s current series of collaborative artworks explore the role of embodiment in forming non-human intelligences, including microbial and extraterrestrial intelligences. With support to date from 18th Street Arts, Lucas Artists’ Residency, Hammer Museum, SETI Institute Artist in Residence program and others, this project has produced performances in urban space, public movement workshops for all ages, art-science think tanks and panels. Next up will be interactive installations, videos and performances at the Music Center in Los Angeles. Waisman is the founder and lead artist for the Laboratory for Embodied Intelligences, a multi-year project exploring embodied thinking and non-human intelligence, which she directs. With degrees from Harvard, Art Center College of Design and UCSD, she has taught at institutions including Cal Arts, SFAI, UCSD, Casa Vecina of Mexico City.