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Anna Friz, John Jota Leaños, and Irene Lusztig

Leonardo Art & Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) is an international program bringing together artists, scientists, and scholars for presentations and conversations.

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Event Series Event Series: Laser Talks

November 2, 2021 @ 2:00 pm 3:00 pm

UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences and the Arts Research Institutes (ARI) invites you to join us November 2, 2021 for a special online LASER Talk ​featuring this year’s cohort of ARI research fellows: Anna Friz, John Jota Leaños, and Irene Lusztig. ARI Research Fellowships are awarded to support the research and creative practices of faculty in the Arts Division. 

About the speakers

Anna Friz

Anna Friz is a sound and radio artist, and media studies scholar. Since 1998, she has created and presented new audio art and radiophonic works internationally in which radio is often the source, subject, and medium of the work. She also composes sound works and sonic installations for theater, dance, film, and solo performance that reflect upon media ecologies, land use and infrastructures, time perception, the intimacies of signal space, and critical fictions. Current projects include We Build Ruins, a suite of sound-focused media artworks expressively considering the industrialized high altitude desert in northern Chile, and ongoing projects concerning radio beacons, air traffic control, and military monitoring vs. citizen listening. Presentations of her work in the recent years include Ars Electronica Big Concert Night (Linz, Austria), the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), SITE Gallery (Houston), the New York Times Magazine, Tsonami Festival de Arte Sonoro (Valparaíso and Santiago, Chile), ReWire Festival (The Hague, Netherlands), Radiophrenia (Glasgow, Scotland), Soundhouse at the Barbican (London UK), Espace Multimedia Gantner (Belfort France), and Kunstradio on the cultural channel of Austria’s national radio. Her radio art/works have been heard on the airwaves of more than 25 countries, and commissioned by national public radio in Austria, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, and Mexico. 

John Jota Leaños

John Jota Leaños is a Mestizo (Xicano/Chumash) interdisciplinary artist and documentary animator concerned with the embattled terrains of history and memory as they relate to nation, power and decolonization. A Guggenheim Fellow of Film and Media, Creative Capital Artist and United States Artist (USArtist) Fellow, Leaños’s practice includes a range of media arts, documentary animation, video, public art, installation and performance introducing alternative perspectives into the public imagination through strategic revealing, social documentation, and symbolic intervention. Leaños’ animation work has been shown internationally film festivals and museums including the Sundance Film Festival; Cannes Film Festival, France;; Manifesta 13: La Biennale Européenne de Création Contemporaine, aluCine Toronto Latin@ Media Festival, Ars Electronica 2020, Tehran International Animation Festival, Iran, and the Morelia International Film Festival, México. His installation and performance work has been shown at the Whitney Biennial, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others. Leaños’ animated films have won Best Animation at the 2014 39th Annual American Indian Film Festival, 2014 XicanIndie Film Festival, Denver, Best Animation, Arizona International Film Festival and VideoFest, San Francisco. He is currently a Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Department of Film and Digital Media.

Irene Lusztig

Irene Lusztig is a feminist filmmaker, archival researcher, educator, and amateur seamstress. Her film and video work mines old images for new meanings in order to reframe, recuperate, and reanimate forgotten and neglected histories. Beginning with rigorous research in archives, her work brings historical materials into conversation with the present day, inviting viewers to contemplate questions of politics, ideology, and the production of personal, collective, and national memories. She is invested in expanding the form of artful nonfiction through her lyrical use of archival images, her commitment to listening-centered and collaborative cinematic approaches, patient durational shooting, and open-ended, associative editing where the viewer is encouraged to make connections between past and present. She is the solo director, producer, DP, and editor of three acclaimed feature length documentaries that have screened widely in festivals and are distributed by Women Make Movies: her debut film Reconstruction (2001), the feature length archival film essay The Motherhood Archives (2013), and the performative documentary Yours in Sisterhood (2018). Irene’s work has been screened around the world, including at the Berlinale, MoMA, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, Flaherty NYC, IDFA Amsterdam, Hot Docs, AFI Docs, BFI London Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, DocLisboa, and RIDM Montréal. Irene is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and Professor of Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz.


November 2, 2021
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
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