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Spring 2022 Speaker Series

Department of Visualization

Talk TitleSpeakerDate & Time
Visual Analysis in the Age of DataChris R. Johnson, Ph.D.
Scientific Computing & Imaging (SCI) Institute
University of Utah
Tuesday, February 22, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Technical Innovation in Invisible Visual Effects: De-Aging in The IrishmanCary Phillips, Ph.D.
R&D Supervisor, Industrial Light & Magic
Tuesday, March 8, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Emergency of Emergencies: The Aesthetics and Politics of Climate JusticeT.J. Demos, Ph.D.
University of California Santa Cruz
Tuesday, March 29, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
​​Waves, Rituals and GodsMemo Akten, Ph.D.
University of California San Diego
Tuesday, April 12, 1:00–2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 22, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Talk delivered over Zoom; Zoom registration required.
VIZ watch party: ARCA 212 (Adam’s Presentation Room)

FOVSp22 Visual Data Analysis 2022 Title

Visual Analysis in the Age of Data

We live in the Age of Data. Ninety percent of all data in the world has been created in the past two years alone, at a rate of exabytes per day. New data of all kinds — structured, unstructured, quantitative, qualitative, spatial, and temporal — is growing exponentially and in every way. Given the vast amount of data being produced, one of our greatest scientific challenges is to effectively understand and make use of it. Because visualization both facilitates the reasoning process by supporting the human capacity to perceive, understand, and reason about complex large-scale data and enables researchers to derive knowledge from data, visual data analysis is one of our most important tools for understanding such large-scale complex data. In this talk, I will present recent visual analysis research and applications in science, engineering, and medicine from the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute and discuss current and future visualization research challenges.

About the Speaker

Christopher R. Johnson Director, Scientific Computing & Imaging Institute (SCI); Co-Director, Center for Integrative Biomedical Computing (NIH NCRR); Distinguished Professor of Computer Science; Research Professor of Bioengineering; Adjunct Professor of Physics; Faculty Member, Computational Engineering & Science (CES); Faculty Member, Brain Institute; Co-Founder, Visual Influence Inc.

Chris R. Johnson is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and founding director of the Scientific Computing & Imaging (SCI) Institute at the University of Utah. He also holds faculty appointments in the Departments of Physics and Bioengineering. His research interests are in the areas of scientific computing and scientific visualization. In 1992, with Professor Rob MacLeod, Professor Johnson founded the SCI research group, now the SCI Institute, which has grown to employ over 150 faculty, staff and students. Professor Johnson serves on a number of international journal editorial and advisory boards to national and international research centers. He is a Fellow of AIMBE (2004), AAAS (2005), SIAM (2009), and IEEE (2014) and was inducted into the IEEE Visualization Academy (2019).  He has received a number of awards including the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow (PFF) award from President Clinton, a DOE Computational Science Award, the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology, the Utah Cyber Pioneer Award, the IEEE Visualization Career Award, IEEE CS Charles Babbage Award, the IEEE Sidney Fernbach Award, Rosenblatt Prize and most recently, the 2020 Leonardo Award.

Tuesday, March 8, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Talk delivered over Zoom; Zoom registration required.
VIZ watch party: ARCA 212 (Adam’s Presentation Room)


Technical Innovation in Invisible Visual Effects: De-Aging in The Irishman

In 2015, Industrial Light & Magic pitched an ambitious proof-of-concept de-aging technique to Martin Scorsese that helped greenlight his production of The Irishman, a story told through flashbacks across several decades. What followed was a four-year effort to turn that initial prototype into production-worthy technology capable of realizing the director’s vision. In this talk, Cary Phillips will tell the story of how that technology came together – the unique constraints, the original inspiration, the initial test, and the evolution of the hardware and software, now known as “Flux”, with which ILM’s artists made a cast of iconic actors appear younger in over 800 shots in the film. It’s a case study in collaboration between artists and engineers, together advancing the state of the art in filmmaking.

About the Speaker

Thumbnail cary wired
Cary Phillips

Cary Phillips has worked at ILM since 1994, as software engineer and R&D supervisor. He has screen credits in over 20 major motion pictures. He holds a PhD in computer graphics, he is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he has received three Scientific and Technical Academy Awards. He is a member of the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee and has served on the Academy’s Science and Technology Council.


Tuesday, March 29, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Talk delivered over Zoom; registration required
VIZ watch party: ARCA 217 (Seminar Room)​​

Industrial expansion

Emergency of Emergencies: The Aesthetics and Politics of Climate Justice

This presentation offers a reading of the convergence of climate justice and contemporary aesthetic practice—specifically the artistic analysis of climate propagandas by Jonas Staal; the forensic racial justice investigations of Imani Jacqueline Brown and Forensic Architecture; and the Indigenous futurism of Thirza Jean Cuthand. Key takeaways from the lecture include: 1) climate emergency is multivalent, historical, and ongoing; 2) climate justice defines a framework that is necessarily comprehensive and intersectionalist, anti-systemic (anti-capitalist) and trans-environmental (linking environmental thinking to socio-political concerns); 3) climate justice solutions entail thinking beyond racial and colonial capitalism; and 4) select ecocritical examples of art join in alliance to Indigenous decolonization and abolition ecology, expanding our horizons of climate justice and emancipatory futurity.

Demos 2021 2
T.J. Demos

About the Speaker

T. J. Demos writes about contemporary art and global politics. He is Professor in the Department of the History of Art and Visual Culture, at University of California, Santa Cruz, and founding Director of its Center for Creative Ecologies. He researches the intersection of visual culture, radical politics, and political ecology, and is the author of numerous books, including Beyond the World’s End: Arts of Living at the Crossing (Duke, 2020); Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and Political Ecology (Sternberg, 2016); and Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today, (Sternberg, 2017). He recently co-edited The Routledge Companion on Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Climate Change (2021), was a Getty Research Institute Fellow (Spring 2020), and directed the Mellon-funded Sawyer Seminar research project Beyond the End of the World (2019-21). Demos is also Chair and Chief Curator of the Climate Collective, providing public programming related to the 2021 Climate Emergency > Emergence program at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Maat) in Lisbon. He is presently working on a new book on radical futurisms.

Tuesday, April 12, 1:00–2:00 p.m.
Talk delivered over Zoom; registration required
VIZ watch party: ARCA 212 (Adam’s Presentation Room)​​

Memo Akten Deep Medidations 2018 Installation view at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art Beijing CN 2020

Waves, Rituals and Gods

In this talk, Memo discusses the conceptual motivations behind some of his recent works and research involving computational technologies, with a focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning, embodied interaction, and mixed reality. From a practical perspective, this includes explorations in real-time, interactive computational systems for artistic, creative expression; and ‘intelligent’ systems for human-machine collaborative creativity. From a more conceptual perspective, this involves investigations into how we make sense of the world and project meaning onto noise; and more broadly speaking, the collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion; particularly in the context of the current social and political polarizations, moral crises and technological submission.

Memo Akten Headshot
Memo Akten

About the Speaker

Memo Akten is an multi-disciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker, musician and computer scientist from Istanbul, Turkey. He works with emerging technologies and computation as a medium, to create images, sounds, films, large-scale responsive installations and performances. Fascinated by trying to understand the nature of nature and the human condition, he draws from fields such as biological and artificial intelligence, computational creativity, consciousness, neuroscience, physics, biology, ecology, philosophy, ritual and religion. He has a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence and expressive human-machine interaction from Goldsmiths University of London, and is Assistant Professor of Computational Arts at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Akten is a frequent keynote speaker on topics involving art, science, technology and culture. As part of his Ph.D., he specializes in expressive human-machine interaction and artistic explorations of Artificial Intelligence, and in this field he is considered one of the world’s leading pioneers.

Akten received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for his work ‘Forms’ in 2013. He has exhibited and performed internationally at venues such as The Grand Palais (Paris FR), The Barbican (London UK), Victoria & Albert Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow RU), Shanghai Ming Contemporary Art Museum (Shanghai CN) and many others. He has also collaborated with celebrities such as Lenny Kravitz, U2, Depeche Mode and Professor Richard Dawkins.


For more info about the Field of Vision series and its lectures, please contact Tianna Uchacz (

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Tianna Helena Uchacz

Assistant Professor

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