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Sharon Daniel | Film+Digital Media / Social Documentary at UC Santa Cruz

Sharon Daniel

Sharon Daniel

Professor, Film & Digital Media
Participatory Culture, Technology and Social Inclusion, Public Art.
Office: 831-459-3948
Fax: 831-459-3535
Education and Training: 
Master of Fine Arts, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Master of Music, University of Texas, Austin
Bachelor of Music, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Research Interests: 

Sharon Daniel is Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she teaches classes in digital media theory and practice. Her research involves collaborations with local and on-line communities, which exploit information and communications technologies as new sites for "public art."

Daniel’s role as an artist is that of “context provider” -- assisting communities, collecting their stories, soliciting their opinions on politics and social justice, and building the online archives and interfaces that make this data available across social, cultural and economic boundaries. Her goal is to avoid representation – not to attempt to speak for others but to allow them to speak for themselves.

Daniel’s work has been exhibited internationally at museums, festivals including the Corcoran Biennial, the University of Paris, the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Ars Electronica and the Lincoln Center Festival as well as on the Internet. Her essays have been published in books and professional journals such as Leonardo and the Sarai Reader. Daniel has recently presented “” at the Fundacion Telefonica in Buenos Aires and at the conference “contested commons” in New Delhi, India. Her current research is supported by grants from the Daniel Langlois Foundation, the UCIRA, UCSC Arts Research Institute, and the Creative Work Fund.

Daniel's "Subtract the Sky" extends the context of public art by allowing individuals and communities to evolve an aesthetically, intellectually, and politically expressive, collaborative environment on-line. Subtract the Sky was exhibited at DEAF03 (the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival/V2) in Rotterdam, February 03; salle Michel Journiac, Université Paris 1, Unité de Formation et de Recherche des Arts Plastiques et des Sciences de L’Art, Paris, November 2002; and recently published in Leonardo, volume 27 number 4.

Her net-based Collaborative System, NARRATIVE CONTINGENCIES, is an interactive, non-linear narrative, which allows participants to contribute texts and images to a continuously evolving story. An installation or "community site" for Narrative Contingencies was open to the public as part of the CORCORAN 46th BIENNIAL - Media and Metaphor, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Dec. 2000-March 2001. Narrative Contingencies website was exhibited at the Mediateca of the Fundació "la Caixa", Barcelona and was presented in the Korean Biennial exhibition "2000 Kwangju Biennial Media Art Project." The Portugese version has been exhibited in in the South American Biennial 1999 - Bienal de Artes Visuais do Mercosul, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Daniel's current research includes:, an online audio archive of over 150 statements made by ten women incarcerated in the California state prison system, Palabras_, a Web application, used in the context of community-based video workshops, that is designed to facilitate collective self-representation by employing folksonomies (folk + taxonomy) to generate sequences of original video clips based on the semantic associations given to clips by their authors, and "Need_X_Change," a project designed to help the staff and clients of Casa Segura, an HIV prevention and needle exchange clinic in Oakland, California attain social and political "voice", through communication with their local community and participation in the global information culture. Daniel's work is based on the belief that advanced information and communications technologies can be made accessible, useful, and empowering, especially for under-served and marginalized communities, through public art.

Selected Publications: “ An Improbable Monument to Witnessing and the Ethics of Trespass”, Sarai Reader 05 Bare Acts: Tresspassers and Enforcers in Precarious Times published by The Sarai Programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) Delhi, India. “Mapping the Database: Trajectories and Perspectives,” co-authored with Karen O’Rourke, Leonardo 37:4, MIT Press, 2004.

“Need_X_Change,” Anthology of Art: Art and Theory in Dialogue, exhibition catalogue for the Anthology of Art exhibition at the Gropius-Bau in Berlin from April to August 2004. (initiated by Jochen Gerz and organized by the Academy of Visual Arts of Braunschweig (Germany) and the University of Rennes (France), 2004.

Making Art of Databases, catalogue/publication of DEAF03 – The Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, V2 Institute, Rotterdam, Holland, V2 Publishing/NAi. Publishers, 2003.

“Collaborative Systems: evolving databases and the 'conditions of possibility' – artificial life models of agency in on-line interactive art,” AI and Society, vol. “Database Aesthetics: Issues of Organization and Category in Online Art,” Springer-Verlag, 2000.

Teaching Interests: 

Digital Media Theory and Practice, Technology and Social Inclusion, Participatory Culture, Public Art and Information.

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