Art, Technology, and the Environment

With the “trees: Downy Oak” sound installation as a backdrop, discuss how environmental concerns fit into today’s explorations in media art.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


July 28, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)

Related Events

trees: Downy Oak

Opening Reception
July 24, 2012, 6:30 pm

July 25, 2012 – August 17, 2012
Exhibition hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

trees in the Wild: Workshop in Muir Woods
July 26, 2012, 12:45 pm

Art and the environment are forever intertwined. And artists active in media, electronics, and installation have been taking on ecological themes in recent years and embracing concepts such as environmental art, ambient culture, and sustainable art.

Their projects, which often incorporate refined technological tools and data capture techniques, add perspective to ecological issues and shift public perception of nature—and the role of humans in it. Art can therefore reflect nature as well as have a direct impact on it; change how we look at the world around us but also provide a research tool for investigation.

Join contemporary sound artists and researchers at swissnex San Francisco to discuss this intersection of art and science during the run of the sound art installation trees: Downy Oak.


6:00 pm  doors open
6:30 pm  introduction, presentations, and roundtable discussion
8:30 pm  reception & networking
9:30 pm  doors close


Scott Arford

Scott Arford is one of the leading figures of new media arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has produced numerous works for sound and video including multichannel installations, live performances, CD and DVD projects. He was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2005 Prix Ars Electronica.
Arford has shown his in numerous venues including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Dissonanze 7 in Rome, Italy; LUFF Festival in Lausanne, Switzerland; Observatori Festival in Valencia, Spain; the Sounding Festivals in Guangzhou, China and Taipei, Taiwan; the LEM festival in Barcelona, Spain; Liquid Architecture in Melbourne, Australia; the Festival de Video/Arte/Eolectronica in Lima, Peru; Sonic Light in Amsterdam; and the Center for Contemporary Arts in Kitakyushu, Japan. Arford received a Bachelor of Architecture from the College of Architecture and Design at Kansas State University in 1991.


Michael Gendreau

Michael Gendreau has composed and performed solo and in several groups since 1979. Crawling With Tarts (1983 – 1998) took themes from elementalism and pre-language states. He has since elaborated on these ideas while adding concepts based on his studies in physics, his philosophies pertaining to temporal and environmental persistence, and his experiments with small motors and turntable mechanisms.
His performances have involved sounds from one-off transcription discs cast by others in the middle of the last century, and those cut in his studio using a decrepit lathe. More recently, Gendreau has sought to extend these later studies, and to use buildings as speakers. He records the infrasonic vibrations of the performance space and, in concert, uses the structure’s resonances as an additional instrument in his site-specific compositions. These practices are based in part on his current work as an acoustician, working primarily on low-vibration and noise design for buildings.


Marcus Maeder

Marcus Maeder studied art at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Lucerne, in Switzerland, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Hagen, in Germany. Maeder runs the music label domizil, which he co-founded in 1996 with Bernd Schurer. He has worked as an editor and producer for the Swiss radio station DRS and has been working as a curator and research associate at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology since 2005. His artistic work focuses mainly on sound art, and on media art extensions of computer music. Maeder has also written on a number of topics in the fields of sound art and digital media.


Jeremiah Lyman Moore

Sound artist Jeremiah Lyman Moore is known for his sensitive and listening-centered approach to sound production.  His work has appeared in documentary films, permanent museum exhibits, art gallery installations, commercials and interactive productions. His creative interests center on human perceptions of time, the human/nature/technology interface, beauty in the everyday, and transforming commercial culture into meaningless bliss. Jeremiah lives in San Francisco with his family including two boys who get far more sleep than he.
He currently serves as co-chair of Bay Area Sound Ecology (BASE) organizing listening salons, public soundwalks and other social listening projects, such as a premiering a recent outdoor sound-cloud composition in downtown San Francisco.


Shane Myrbeck

Shane Myrbeck is a sound experimentalist, composer and acoustician living in San Francisco. He operates in a variety of sonic contexts, including installation design, composition, architectural acoustics consulting, music performance, and sound recording. Prior to moving to San Francisco, he co-founded the Whitehaus Family performing arts collective in Boston. He spends his professional life as an acoustics consultant at Arup, and is currently in charge of the San Francisco SoundLab, an immersive, full-sphere ambisonic sound studio used for composition and acoustic simulation.


Katharina Vogt

Katharina Vogt studied environmental system sciences. In her Ph.D. she sonified data from computational physics. She worked at the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics in Graz, Austria, on the research projects SonEnvir and QCD-audio, which both focus on introducing and extending sonification methods in various scientific fields. She won the award for best poster at the International Conference on Auditory Display in 2010.


Roman Zweifel

Roman Zweifel studied biology at the University of Zurich and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), where he received a Ph.D. for his ecophysiological work, “The rhythm of trees.” Zweifel’s research has focused on whole tree gas exchange, mechanisms of water flow and water storage in trees, and using wood anatomy to link water with growth and carbon balance. He is significantly involved in how continuously measured stem radius changes are mechanistically coupled to growth and tree water relations, and his current research activities are focused on linking tree physiological processes with the processes on the forest ecosystem level.


Photo: Myleen Hollero

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