ISEA2012: 18th International Symposium on Electronic Art

ISEA2012:  [Overview] [Venues] [Presentations] [Workshops] [Art Events] [Gallery]

18th International Symposium on Electronic Art


Albuquerque, New Mexico United States


19 September - 24 September, 2012

Organised by:

516 ARTS

In Cooperation With:

University of New Mexico and Albuquerque Museum of Art and History


The conference and a partly curated Art Exhibition were held at the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History. Other conference sessions took place at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the New Mexico Museum for Natural History and Science, Explora and other venues. The juried exhibition was staged at the 516 ARTS Gallery in down town Albuquerque, also the location of the ISEA2012 Block Party. Many other ISEA2012 exhibits were held all over town. Concerts, Performances and Screenings were organised at different locations, like the historic KiMo Theater, the UNM Campus, the International Balloon Museum, the Box Performance Space and other venues. An educational project involved local schools and a ‘Dessert Initiative’ involved the surrounding desert as a exhibition and workshop space. After the main part of ISEA2012 had taken place in Albuquerque, additional programs were organised in Santa Fe and Taos. The Santa Fe events included a session at the Institute of American Indian Art and at the Santa Fe University of Art & Design, presented by SARC. All through the Fall of 2012 there was an exceptionally extensive program of associated events all over Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos, and Southern New Mexico.

ISEA2012 is organized and led by 516 ARTS, an independent, nonprofit community organization, in partnership with The University of New Mexico and The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History. The mission of 516 ARTS is to forge connections between art and audiences, and our vision is to be an active partner in developing the cultural landscape of Albuquerque and New Mexico. Our values are inquiry, diversity, collaboration and accessibility. 516 ARTS offers programs that inspire curiosity, dialogue, risk-taking and creative experimentation, showcasing a mix of established, emerging, local, national and international artists from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Programs include exhibitions, gallery talks, panel discussions, the 516 WORDS readings series, workshops, special events, performances and leadership of collaborations such as LAND/ART in 2009, STREET ARTS in 2010 and ISEA2012 in 2012. Education programs include exhibition tours for schools and community groups with educational materials for teachers, youth activities and more.

The opening day of the ISEA2012 symposium was celebrated with welcoming comments from organizers and dignitaries, introductions from ISEA2012 theme and focus area leaders, poetry by Hakim Bellamy, Albuquerque’s Poet Laureate and Latin American music by Chuy Martínez and Oti Ruiz. Emcee’d by Arturo Sandoval. A short reception in the lobby followed, generously catered by Slate Street Café, cash bar.

Organising Committee:

Click to Collapse the Organising Committee
  • Andrea Polli, Artistic Director
  • Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Producer
  • Jenny McMath, Conference Co-ordinator

Informal Get-together:


Click to Collapse the Symposium Theme

The title for the overall ISEA2012 project is Machine Wilderness. As part of a region of rapid growth alongside wide expanses of open land, New Mexico presents a microcosm of this theme. ISEA2012: Machine Wilderness presents artists’ and technologists’ ideas for a more humane interaction between technology and environment, in which “machines” can take many forms to support and sustain life on Earth. The project focuses on creative solutions for how technology and the natural world can coexist. The term “Machine Wilderness” was originally coined by cultural geographer Ronald Horvath in the 1960s to describe the transformation of the landscape of the American Southwest caused by the automobile. For ISEA2012, the term “Machine Wilderness” is being reclaimed to represent the potential for humans, animals and machines to coexist in a positive, sustainable future. ISEA2012 featured artists, presenters and organizations seek to define wilderness and our place in it in the 21st century.


Click to Collapse the Subthemes

Power: Gridlocked

Flip a switch and the lights come on. Flush a toilet and waste disappears. Swipe a card and money is transferred. Sophisticated yet often invisible grids of power sustain contemporary life throughout the farthest reaches of our world, providing electricity, gas, water, sewage, finances, materials, transportation, communication and more. Rolling blackouts, economic fallout, climate change and natural disasters test the viability of this interconnected system of dependence. The Gridlocked theme aims to provide a multi-layered exposé of the structures and infrastructures of power, and make visible their origins, mechanisms, consequences and alternatives. Featured programs explore power in its simplest manifestations as well as its complex hold on global society.

Creative Economies: Econotopias

From the local to the global, the Econotopias theme engages a critical dialogue around the challenges and excessive demands of the global marketplace and its impact on everyday life. It explores the future of creative economies as drivers of possibility in diverse communities and environments and through new technologies. By bringing local and international artists, engineers, economists, labor specialists and community organizers together, Econotopias focuses on the need for more sustainable social and production practices through programs on topics such as open-source ideologies, the gift economy, micro-credit, the culture industry and global outsourcing.

Transportation: Dynamobilities

The once-simple task of moving from point A to point B has become a minefield of choices and consequences. The Dynamobilities theme features artworks and presentations that ask questions about and offer possible solutions to the issue of 21st century mobility. Featured projects include new devices for moving through space, mobile media that depend on the user’s movement through space, projects examining the power needed for mobility and question the need for speed, as well as theoretical presentations addressing the mobility of people, goods and ideas.

Wildlife: Trans-Species Habitats

Coyotes, bears, peregrine falcons, many charismatic mega-species are making cities their homes. Bees, bats and other smaller animals are suffering disease and perhaps species collapse. Plant and animal communities are failing due to the control of natural cycles such as flood or fire to accommodate settled human development. However, humans are copying animal adaptations and replicating complex natural systems in sustainable design from Velcro to storm water infiltration. The Trans-Species Habitats theme showcases work that re-imagines the city as a viable space for the integration of overlapping species flowing in patterns and spatial organizations.

The Cosmos: Radical Cosmologies

The Radical Cosmologies theme gazes at the universe and questions our place in it. It explores a wide range of creative perspectives and practices around the cultural, scientific and philosophical possibilities of contemporary astronomy. This theme incorporates various forms of media, written word, performance and installation, as well as workshops, community-based actions, lectures and online projects to offer viewers fresh interpretations and experiences of cultural myths, indigenous histories and contemporary science.

Other Committees:

Click to Collapse the Other Committees

ISEA2012 Steering Committee

  • Sherri Brueggemann, Manager, City of Albuquerque Public Art & Urban Enhancement Program
  • Regina Chavez, Executive Director, Creative Albuquerque
  • Andrew Connors, Curator of Art, The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History
  • Andrea Polli, Associate Professor, UNM College of Fine Arts & School of Engineering
  • Shelle Sanchez, Director of Education, National Hispanic Cultural Center
  • Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Director, 516 ARTS

ISEA2012 Theme & Focus Day Leaders

  • Andres Burbano, Focus Day Leader, Latin American Forum
  • Agnes Chavez & Anita McKeown, Focus Day Leaders, Education Program
  • Catherine P. Harris, Theme Leader, Wildlife: Trans-Species Habitats
  • Lea Rekow & Tom Leeser, Theme Leaders, The Cosmos: Radical Cosmologies
  • Stephanie Rothenberg, Theme Leader, Creative Economies: Econotopias
  • Sherri Bruegemann & Regina Chavez, Theme Liaisons, Creative Economies: Econotopias
  • Erin Elder, Nina Elder & Nancy Zastudil, Theme Leaders, Power: Gridlocked

ISEA2012 Consultants & Lead Volunteers

  • Andrea Polli, Artistic Director, The University of New Mexico
  • Agnes Chavez, Education Program Director, Sube, Inc.
  • Nicholas Chiarella, Education Program Coordinator, 516 ARTS & NHCC, AmeriCorps & Santa Fe Coordinator, Santa Fe University of Art & Design
  • David Chickey, Masumi Shibata & Tim Edeker, Book Designers, Radius Books
  • Susan Crow, Development Associate, 516 ARTS
  • Richard Lowenberg, Co-Director, Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations (SARC) & Santa Fe Liaison
  • Andrew McConville, Chris Butzen, Bryan Cera, Nathaniel Stern & Lisa Moline, Website Team, The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Julia Mandeville, Downtown Block Party Coordinator, Creative Albuquerque
  • Jenny McMath, Conference Coordinator/Project Manager, Kesselman-Jones Inc.
  • Jack Ox, Co-Director, Scientists/Artists Research Collaborations (SARC)
  • Stacy Romero, AmeriCorps Intern, CorpusElectric project
  • Marta S. Weber, ISEA2012 Fundraising Chair, 516 ARTS Board of Directors
  • Nancy Zastudil, Taos Coordinator, PLAND

516 arts donor & patron members

  • Norty & Summers Kalishman
  • Peggy Keilman
  • Richard Levy Gallery
  • John & Jamie Lewinger
  • New Mexico Orthopaedics
  • Rick Rennie & Sandy Hill
  • Nancy Salem
  • Jim Scott & Sara Douglas
  • Dr. Mark Unverzagt & Laura Fashing
  • David Vogel & Marietta Patricia Leis
  • Dr. Marta Weber
  • Clint Wells
  • Arturo Sandoval

516 ARTS Board of Directors

  • Arturo Sandoval, Chair
  • Suzanne Sbarge, President/Founder
  • David Vogel, Vice President
  • Juan Abeyta, Treasurer
  • Perry Bendicksen, Secretary
  • Dr. Marta Weber, Fundraising Chair
  • Clint Wells

516 ARTS Advisory Board

  • Frieda Arth
  • Hakim Bellamy
  • Michael Berman
  • Sherri Brueggemann
  • Christopher Burmeister
  • David Campbell
  • Andrew Connors
  • Debi Dodge
  • Miguel Gandert
  • Lisa Gill
  • Idris Goodwin
  • Tom Guralnick
  • Stephanie Hainsfurther
  • Norty Kalishman
  • Jane Kennedy
  • Arif Khan
  • John Lewinger
  • Wendy Lewis
  • Danny Lopez
  • Christopher Mead
  • Elsa Menéndez
  • Melody Mock
  • Henry Rael
  • Mary Anne Redding
  • Rick Rennie
  • Augustine Romero
  • Nancy Salem
  • Rob Strell

516 ARTS Staff

  • Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Director, ISEA2012 Executive Producer
  • Rhiannon Mercer, Assistant Director, ISEA2012 Exhibition Coordinator
  • Teresa Buscemi, Program Coordinator, ISEA2012 Communications Coordinator
  • Claude Smith, Education Coordinator, ISEA2012 Exhibition Coordinator
  • Celine Gordon, Rodrigo Guzman & Jamie Ho, Interns

516 ARTS Consultants

  • Janice Fowler, Bookkeeper
  • Kathy Garrett, Accountant
  • Lisa Gill, Literary Arts Coordinator
  • Jane Kennedy, Development Associate
  • Kesselman-Jones, Inc., Conference Coordinators
  • Melody Mock, Website Designer
  • Julie Ruth, Loka Creative, Design Support

ISEA International Board

  • Julianne Pierce, Chair
  • Peter Anders, Secretary
  • Wim van der Plas, Treasurer

International Programme Committee:


    Click to Collapse the Details
    • The Albuquerque Museum Foundation
    • The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
    • Bernalillo County
    • The City of Albuquerque
    • The FUNd at Albuquerque Community Foundation
    • The FUNd at the Albuquerque Museum Foundation
    • Intel Corporation  (
    • McCune Charitable Foundation
    • New Mexico Arts, a Division of the Office of Cultural Affairs
    • New Mexico Tourism Department
    • The University of New Mexico: Office of the Provost
    • School of Architecture
    • Anderson School of Management
    • Center for Advanced Research Computing
    • College of Arts & Sciences
    • School of Engineering
    • College of Fine Arts
    • Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media
    • Latin American & Iberian Institute
    • The City of Albuquerque
    • Richard J. Berry, Mayor
    • Rob Perry, Chief Operating Officer
    • Beatriz Rivera, Director, Cultural Services
    • City Councilors: Trudy Jones (President, District 8), Debbie O’Malley (Vice President, District 2), Ken Sanchez (District 1), Isaac Benton (District 3), Brad Winter (District 4),  Dan Lewis (District 5), Rey Garduño (District 6), Michael D. Cook (District 7), Don Harris (District 9),
    • Bernalillo County Commissioners: Michelle Lujan Grisham (District 1), Art De La Cruz (District 2), Maggie Hart Stebbins (District 3), Michael Wiener (District 4), Wayne Johnson (District 5),  Tom Zdunek (County Manager), Vince Murphy (Deputy County Manager)
    • Community Services: Mayling Armijo (Director, Economic Development & Cultural Services
      additional Support)
    • 516 ARTS Board of Directors
    • Albuquerque Academy
    • Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Alvarado Urban Farm
    • Arte.Mov
    • Arts Catalyst
    • AT&T
    • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
    • Clear Channel Outdoor
    • Cisco
    • The City of Albuquerque Public Art Urban
    • Enhancement Program
    • Contemporary Art Society of New Mexico
    • Doctorado en Diseño y Creación
    • Fidelity Investments
    • Fonoteca Nacional de Mexico
    • Harpo Foundation
    • Hotel Andaluz
    • Instituto Cervantes
    • Laboratorio de Arte Alameda
    • LEF Foundation
    • Richard Levy Gallery
    • Los Alamos National Labs, Community Outreach Program
    • Los Alamos National Labs, New Mexico Consortium
    • Mexican Consulate/Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores
    • Mexican Foreign Ministry
    • National Performance Art Network / Visual Arts Network
    • New Mexico Bank & Trust
    • New Mexico Highlands University, Cultural Technology Americorps
    • New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
    • New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
    • Ortiz & Lopez, PLLC
    • Qforma
    • Sandia National Laboratories / Lockheed Martin
    • RhinoCorps
    • Technology Ventures Corporation
    • The University of Texas at El Paso
    • Universidad de Caldas
    • University Nacional Tres de Febrero


Click to Collapse the Acknowledgements
  • The University of New Mexico: Chaouki Abdallah (Provost), Suzanne Ortega (Former Provost), Jim Linnell (Former Dean, College of Fine Arts), Bill Gilbert (Professor Art & Ecology, Dept. of Art & Art History), E. Luanne McKinnon, (Former Director, UNM Art Museum), Sara Otto-Diniz (Acting Director, UNM Art Museum), Michele Penhall (Acting Associate Director, UNM Art Museum), Mary Tsiongas (MFA Program Director, Dept. of Art & Art History),  Catalin Roman (Dean, College of Engineering), Doug Brown (Dean, Anderson School of Management), Geraldine Forbes (Dean, School of Architecture), Katya Crawford (School of Architecture), Mark Peceny (Dean, College of Arts & Sciences), Miguel Gandert (Director, Interdisciplinary Film & Digital Media)
  • The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History: Cathy Wright (Director), Debra Romero (Director, The Albuquerque Museum Foundation), Andrew Connors (Curator of Art),
    Tom Antreasian (Curator of Exhibits), Elizabeth Becker (Curator of Education), Jessica Coyle (Associate Curator of Education) & the entire Staff of The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History
  • abqARTS Magazine
  • Artichoke Café
  • Bella Roma B&B
  • Michael Berman
  • Anthony DellaFlora
  • Mark Donovan
  • Downtown Action Team
  • Hotel Albuquerque
  • Hotel Parq Central
  • Loren Kahn Puppet & Object Theatre
  • Laura Kesselman, Kesselman-Jones, Inc.
  • Blaise Koller & Paul Evans, GOV-TV
  • Don Mickey Designs
  • Dan Monaghan, New Mexico Tourism Department
  • New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Plaza Galeria, Santa Fe’s Premier Marketplace on the Plaza
  • Radius Books
  • Santa Fe Institute
  • Jim Scott & Sara Douglas, Fundraiser hosts
  • Stubblefield Screen Print Company
  • Studio Hill Design, Logo design
  • THE magazine
  • VanGuard Printing
  • Charles Walter, Director, NM Museum of Natural History & Science
    Sponsors shown here are as of June 1, 2012.


Click to Collapse the Video