SciComm Studio 011: The Future of Experience

Discover how interactive technologies open new opportunities for immersive exhibitions.

Photo from Kung Fu Motion courtesy of EPFL ArtLab & International Guoshu Association, animation by Tobias Gremmler

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


October 26, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


Free; This event is currently sold out but we will be releasing more tickets the week of the event

New media technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, data science, 3D visualization, and interactive storytelling will radically transform the our experience of cultures, past and present. Meet practitioners who are exploring the transition as cultural institutions move away from screens toward an embodied experience.

We welcome Sarah Kenderdine of the EPFL Artlab, whose work blends the preservation of cultural heritage with new media art practices to cultivate new insights into intangible culture, from dance to Kung Fu. It is an innovative approach to preserving facets of human history that could be lost to time or a changing planet.  

Bay Area artist Rhonda Holberton also explores the interaction of augmented and virtual reality and the material world, through speculative investigations that make use of the same technology she examines: “If VR can create a situation in which the user’s entire environment is determined by the creators of the virtual world, then it is imperative that the creators of virtual worlds take into account the collective needs of the physical one.”


6:30 pm — doors open
7:00 pm — talks
8:00 pm — networking
9:00 pm — doors close


Sarah Kenderdine
Sarah Kenderdine

Professor Sarah Kenderdine researches at the forefront of interactive and immersive experiences for galleries, libraries, archives and museums. In widely exhibited installation works, she has amalgamated cultural heritage with new media art practice, especially in the realms of interactive cinema, augmented reality and embodied narrative. She is considered a pioneer in the field of digital heritage, digital museology, digital humanities and data visualization and is a regular keynote speaker at related forums internationally. In addition to her exhibition work she conceives and designs large-scale immersive visualization systems for public audiences, industry and researchers. Since 1991 Sarah had authored numerous scholarly articles and six books. She has produced 80 exhibitions and installations for museums worldwide including a museum complex in India and received a number of major international awards for this work. In 2017, Sarah was appointed Professor of Digital Museology at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland where she has built a new laboratory for experimental museology (eM+), exploring the convergence of aesthetic practice, visual analytics and cultural data. She is also Director and lead curator of EPFL’s new art/science initiative, inaugurated in 2016 as ArtLab.
Rhonda Holberton

Rhonda Holberton’s multimedia installations make use of digital and interactive technologies integrated into traditional methods of art production. Holberton received her MFA from Stanford University and her BFA from the California College of the Arts. She was a lecturer at Stanford University and is currently a professor of Digital Media Art at San Jose State University. Holberton was a CAMAC Artist in Residence at Marnay-sur-Seine, France and awarded a Fondation Ténot Fellowship, Paris, France. Her recent solo exhibitions include Transfer Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions (San Francisco, CA), City Limits Gallery and Royal Nonesuch (Oakland, CA), and the Berkeley Art Center (Berkeley, CA). Holberton’s 3D Animation, Best of Both Worlds, was recently acquired by SFMOMA and her work is included many notable private collections. She was recently nominated for a three person exhibition for the National Museum of Women in the Arts, curated by SFMOMA’s Curator Jenny Gheith. Holberton has been included in exhibitions at the Yerba Center Center for the Arts, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and the San Francisco Arts Commission and was selected for a solo presentation in ZONA MACO SUR 2016 in Mexico City. Her work has been featured in Paper Journal, Terremoto Magazine, PLASMA, SFAQ, Art in America, Art Practical and Daily Serving, among others. Holberton is represented by CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions.

swissnex Salon

The swissnex Salon is a new model for dialogue on how the future of our society is shaped: a platform that includes multiple perspectives and provides a critical lens on possible emergent futures. Taking inspiration from the values articulated within the Preamble of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, we examine the role of technology in shaping, distorting, and expanding societal foundations.

SciComm Studio

The SciComm Studio is swissnex San Francisco’s meetup for lovers of science seeking a community to experiment, explore, and connect around science communication and public engagement. Hosted at swissnex San Francisco at Pier 17, these meetups create a space for our community to cultivate science communication skills. We inspire and challenge participants excited by science to share their knowledge through storytelling and interactivity. It’s a win-win: exchange knowledge while developing your own toolkit for scientific outreach.

The Pier 17 Science Studio has support from the Exploratorium, Bay Area Science Festival, TED speakers, museum professionals and art-technology curators. The Science Studio “SciComm Studio” events take science communication out of the box and into the streets. If you find yourself involved in any area of scicomm, or if you are interested in being a part of the movement, join us for our next event!

Photo from Kung Fu Motion: courtesy of EPFL ArtLab & International Guoshu Association, animation by Tobias Gremmler.