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See It Here First: CalArts Expo Presents the Latest Developments in Arts-Fueled Technology

See It Here First: CalArts Expo Presents the Latest Developments in Arts-Fueled Technology

The CalArts Expo returns with recent projects by students and faculty forecasting future directions in digital performance, animation, augmented and virtual reality; gaming, robotics and machine learning.

On May 3, 2018 the CalArts Expo invites visitors to take part in demonstrations and interactive audio-visual experiences running from early afternoon until late evening.

New additions to the Expo include the “Santa Clarita Technology Awards” and the “Pitch Globally Media” Shark Tank-style competition.

April 4, Valencia, CA — An essential source for future trends in entertainment and digital culture, The CalArts Expo returns to showcase radical new directions in digital arts and technology.  Taking place throughout the California Institute of the Arts campus in Valencia, the Expo offers more than 400 future-forward entries. This year’s highlights offer new directions in technology-fueled dance and performance, participatory environments and the latest additions to CalArts’s legendary robotic orchestra. This all day event on Thursday, May 3 is free and open to the public. 

New works by faculty and students across disciplines pave the way for possibilities in art, design and tech media. The work is insane,” comments Associate Dean for Research and Development in Digital Arts, Ajay Kapur. “You can see how boundaries between artists and engineers are breaking down—with students originating new approaches to human-computer interaction, wearable technology, augmented reality and virtual reality, robotics, gaming, machine learning and more.”

Events new to the expo include the Santa Clarita Valley Technology Awards at 6:00 pm. After the awards presentation, Pitch Globally Media, one of the largest networks of investors and entrepreneurs in the country, will host a live, Shark Tank-style pitch event beginning at 6:30 pm. Topping off the evening is the Expo Keynote Speech at 8:30 pm, featuring Keynote Speakers Jorge R. Gutierrez (Film/Video '97, '00), Shannon Tindle (Film/Video '99), and Theresa Latzko (Film/Video '14). The Keynote Speech will focus on immersive storytelling for mobile 360 technology, mobile VR, and room-scale VR headsets. Find more information about the Keynote Speakers below. 

Visitors to the Expo are welcomed to explore “Islands/Seom,” an AR role-playing experience catalyzing collaboration against the odds of distance, personality, and culture. “Vibrating Electric” sets original video and life effects by Mallory Fabian's dance company "Fabe” to music by Dylan Alexander Freeman and Henry Webster; attraction between lovers becomes obstructed by the impositions of gender identity in “Lavender,” a video made in collaboration with director Matthew Kaundart and creative producers Daniel Crook and Luka Fisher.

From the 1970s, CalArts has been renowned for its prescient experiments with digital arts, and electronic and computer-generated music. Currently, CalArts’s Digital Arts Minor teaches students to build, engineer and design innovative custom systems and broaden their understanding of how technology can be used in the arts and beyond. The Music Technology curriculum is unique in the world, engaging students in custom software design, circuit design for human-computer interfacing, and the use of robotic mechanical systems and artificial intelligence in musical and artistic practice. CalArts houses the one-of-a-kind N2N (many-to-many) digital classroom and offers a groundbreaking arts-based curriculum for computer science novices. The Institute’s School of Film/Video, with its renowned animation programs, is a global leader in computer graphics and advanced digital media technologies. The School of Theater’s Experience Design specialization leads the way in Themed Entertainment. And for fans of vintage technology, students, and visiting artists have recently composed new work on the Institute’s 1970s Serge analog modular synthesizers.

Event sponsors include:

Google Magenta

Google ATP

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital


Visit Santa Clarita




Tech MD





Touch Designer


Calendar Editors Please Note:

What: The CalArts Expo

When: Thursday, May 3, 2 pm-midnight

Where: California Institute of the Arts

24700 McBean Parkway

Valencia, California 91355

Admission: Free

CalArts Expo 2018 Keynote Speakers

Hear from the artists and technologists at the forefront of making immersive stories for mobile 360, mobile VR and room-scale VR headsets, and building the innovative tech that makes it possible.

Jorge R. Gutiérrez ’97, ’00 is an award-winning animator, painter, writer and director born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana. A CalArts BFA & MFA grad, he is the creator and director of films, cartoons, and paintings inspired by his deep love for Mexican pop and folk culture. He and his wife, Sandra Equihua, created the multiple Emmy award-winning animated television series, El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon. In 2014, Gutiérrez co-wrote and directed the animated film The Book of Life for 20th Century Fox. Most recently, he directed the Emmy-nominated VR short, Son of Jaguar, for Google Spotlight Stories and was attached to the upcoming Billion Brick Race Lego Movie film from Warner Bros.

Shannon Tindle ’99 began working in the film industry in 2000 after attending CalArts. An Emmy award-winning artist and seven-time Annie Award nominee, Tindle has served as a designer, story artist, writer and director for both television and feature films, collaborating with Dreamworks, Disney, Cartoon Network, and Universal Studios on a wide range of projects including Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, The Croods and Coraline. His most recent film, Kubo and the Two Strings, was nominated for two Oscars and won the BAFTA for Best Animated Feature. He is currently writing and directing a new film for Sony Pictures Animation.

Theresa Latzko ’14 is an animator and self-taught tech artist originally from Germany. She has worked for Disney Animation as a Character TD and currently works on VR projects at Chromosphere. In her spare time, she likes to make more movies, develop videogames, and write lists of three.

Moderator: David Eisenmann is Technical Project Lead and a Producer at Google Spotlight Stories. He was previously CG Supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios on Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Toy Story 2 & 3, A Bug’s Life, Monsters University, and Piper. Eisenmann received an Emmy for producing Pearl, which garnered a Peabody Futures of Media Award along with an Academy Award nomination. He produced Son of Jaguar along with the current Google Spotlight Stories production directed by John Kahrs.


About CalArts

Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic communitywith global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.