The phenomenon of interference in the reception of light and sound brings together astronomer Renate Kupke and media scholar/radio artist Anna Friz. While both encounter interference in their work, they relate quite differently to its presence – one is harvesting, while the other is weeding it out. Kupke uses the adaptive optics technology in large telescopes to tune light received from deep space whereby interference or atmospheric turbulence is filtered out in order to produce high fidelity images. Friz, on the other hand, endeavors to create “detuned” radio landscapes whereby interference from different physical bodies is a critical medium incorporated into the production of a sonic artwork/experience.

Invited guests, sound artist Marijke Jorritsma and synthesizer builder, Yasi Perera navigate the fields of astronomy and radio art. Using data provided by the Adaptive Optics Laboratory at the University of California in Santa Cruz they will create synthesized profiles of “atmospheric distortion” to be performed by the Wandering Seminar participants using short distance radio transmissions.

Anna Friz   Renate Kupke
Sound Studies, Film & Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz   Adaptive Optics Laboratory, UC Santa Cruz

Anna Friz is a sound and transmission artist, and media studies scholar. Since 1998, she has predominantly created self-reflexive radio for broadcast, installation or performance, where radio is the source, subject, and medium of the work. Friz approaches sound and media art from a background in Canadian community radio, with an abiding commitment to micro-radio and other unstable and temporary forms of transmission. Friz writes: "radio as a proposition, as potential, where often medium and content might become one and the same. The space of transmissions is material and imaginary, including but not limited to radio casting, as well as other performative transmissions in performance, action, ritual, and conversation."
Renate Kupke is an instrument scientist with the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics, part of the University of California Observatories. She has been involved in the design, fabrication and commissioning of several astronomical instruments for Lick and Keck Observatories, and is lead optical designer for an international team of scientists and engineers designing an infrared integral field spectrograph, IRIS, for the Thirty Meter Telescope project. Kupke’s research interests are in novel techniques for manipulation of light to facilitate advances in astronomical research.

Diffraction Limit

Renate Kupke

Clues about the structure and origins of our universe have traveled across light years in the form of perfect plane electromagnetic waves, only to be disrupted by the Earth’s atmosphere in their final sprint to the telescope. Astronomers have developed techniques, collectively called adaptive optics,
  that allow us to compensate for the atmospheric noise as it occurs. The images produced by adaptive optics allow us to explore astronomical objects on spatial scales - the “diffraction limit” - previously obtainable only by telescopes located in space.

Dynamic Radiophonic Ecologies

Anna Friz

Radio historian Susan Douglas notes that early radio amateurs “were not deterred by a lack of secrecy or by interference from other operators”. These ephemeral, often unstable circumstances of broadcast, both resolutely public and intimate, are the main attraction for radio and trans-   mission artists. If noise is usually defined in communication theory as the unwanted signal that distorts or obscures the desired message, transmission art also understands the potential for noise to indicate difference and relationship, and to offer an experience of dynamic radiophonic ecologies.


Marijke Jorritsma

Marijke Jorritsma, designs software for robotic space exploration at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her projects on lab include designing augmented reality tools for spacecraft engineering and Mars exploration, and software to support spacecraft operations for the Europa Clipper mission; a spacecraft set to arrive at the Jovian moon in the mid-2020s to determine whether it contains life supporting properties. Off-lab

Off-lab Marijke is a creative technologist who explores ways to use emerging technologies technologies and science to builds non-traditional electronic instruments and software. She holds a MS from NYU’s School of Engineering, and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Yasi Pereira

Yasi Perera is an artist, musician living in Oakland and working in the synthesizer industry.


A meditation on diffraction as a methodology seen from two overlapping perspectives, one based on geometrical optics and weak gravitational lensing (the deflection of light from distant galaxies) and the other that questions what diffractive methodologies reveal about the inseparability of science and the social realm.

Karen Barad   Alexie Leauthaud
Feminist Studies, Philosophy, & History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz   Observational cosmologist, Astronomy & Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz

Barad is in theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory. Barad held a tenured appointment in a physics department before moving into more interdisciplinary spaces. Barad is the author of Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, 2007 and numerous articles in the fields of physics, philosophy, science studies, poststructuralist theory, and feminist theory. Barad's research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hughes Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Barad is the Director of the Science & Justice Graduate Training Program at UCSC and is affiliated faculty in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.
Alexi is an observational cosmologist working on weak gravitational lensing: the deflection of light from distant galaxies by intervening gravitational potentials – a purely geometrical effect, free from astrophysical biases and sensitive to all mass - regardless of its baryonic or dark form. Gravitational lensing techniques have a uniquely dual ability to probe both the growth of structure (which is dominated by the distribution of dark matter) as well as the geometrical distance-redshift relation (which traces the expansion history of the universe and the equation of state of dark energy). Gravitational lensing is also powerful tool with which to probe the connection between galaxies and dark matter. Leauthaud also leads a research group that works on a broad range of outstanding questions in Cosmology and Galaxy Formation.


to break apart, in different directions (as in classical optics)
– Diffraction/intra-action – cutting together-apart

Karen Barad

Diffraction owes as much to a thick legacy of feminist theorizing about difference as it does to physics. As such, I want to begin by re-turning – not by returning as in reflecting on or going back to a past that was, but re-turning as in turning it over an dover again – iteratively intra-acting, re-diffracting, diffracting anew, in the making of new temporalities (spacetimematterings), new diffraction patterns. We might imagine re-turning as a multiplicity of processes, such as the kinds earthworms revel in while helping to make compost or otherwise being busy at work and at play: turning the soil over and over – ingesting and excreting it, tunnelling


through it, burrowing, all means of aerating the soil, allowing oxygen in, opening it up and breathing new life into it. It might seem a bit odd to enlist an organic metaphor to talk about diffraction, an optical phenomenon that might seem lifeless. But diffraction is not only a lively affair, but one that troubles dichotomies, including some of the most sedimented and stabilized/stabilizing binaries, such as organic/inorganic and animate /inanimate. Indeed, the quantum understanding of diffraction troubles the very notion of dicho-tomy – cutting into two – as a singularact of absolute differentiation, fracturing this from that, now from then.

- Excerpt from: Diffracting Diffraction: Cutting Together Apart, Parallax, 20:3, 168-187

We Know It is There
But We Cannot See It
Alexi Leuthaud

Alexie Leauthaud’s work focuses on the connection between dark matter and galaxy formation. She uses the technique of "gravitational lensing" and data from a large imaging survey covering tens of millions of galaxies to address how galaxies and cosmic structures grow over time within a cosmological landscape dominated by invisible dark matter.

Gravitational lensing occurs when the gravity of a galaxy in the foreground of an image bends and distorts the light from another galaxy behind it. The bending of light by gravitational lensing can be used to measure the mass of the object in the foreground, including the invisible mass of the galaxy's dark matter halo.

Leauthaud and her galaxy formation working group, HSC Survey Group, are using this technique to characterize the link between galaxies and dark matter and map out the growth of cosmic structures over time in ways that were not previously possible.


Although the nature of dark matter remains a mystery, it appears to account for about 82 percent of the matter in the universe. As a result, the evolution of structure in the universe has been driven by the gravitational interactions of dark matter, while the ordinary matter that forms stars and galaxies follows the distribution of dark matter.

Galaxies form in the center of dark matter halos while on larger scales, dark matter is distributed in a vast cosmic web, with clusters of galaxies forming at the nodes of the web. Leauthaud wants to understand the connections between galaxies and dark matter across a broad range of mass scales, from tiny dwarf galaxies to enormous clusters of galaxies—the largest structures in the universe.


A performative inquiry into Janette Dinishak's research on alternatives to 'deficit views' of autism and Albert Narath's work on the history of campus design. In the Great Meadow, a suggestive choreography lead a body of participants from Mima Meadow to the Kresge Food Co-op. A series of questions prompted the participants movement and engagement with a suite of props provided:

What might be the physical characteristics of autistic spaces? How could one imagine an architecture that does not rely on determining spatial concepts such as “order/disorder” and “difference/sameness”? How might autistic spaces complicate modern narratives that locate the work of design in the creation of “health” or “benefit”?

Janette Dinishak   Albert Narath
Philosophy, UC Santa Cruz   History of Art & Visual Culture, UC Santa Cruz

Janette works primarily in the philosophy of psychiatry, Wittgenstein and the epistemology of other minds. She has published papers on Wittgenstein, philosophical questions concerning autism and perception, and deficit views of human differences.
Albert’s work operates within the intersection of architectural history, environmental history, and anthropology. Projects on subjects such as the impact of ecological thinking on architectural practice, the history of “passive solar” design, and the adoption of environmentalist ideas in architectural education interrogate the complex relationships between the ideas of technology and nature in design discourse during the past half-century.

The Great Meadow

Albert Narath

My field is a grassland meadow that I walk around every day to get home. The “Great Meadow,” as it has been called since planning for the UC Santa Cruz campus began in the 1960s, stretches down from the buildings of the Arts Division. It establishes a field of view. Grasses, scatterings of Coast Live Oak, the cultivated fields of the campus farm, a line of eucalyptus trees, the municipal wharf and boardwalk, and then across the grey-blue water and fog banks of the bay, all the way to the Power Plant at Moss Landing – it is like one of those Grand Tour paintings of the Bay of Naples, but with the smoke of Mount Vesuvius replaced by the power plant’s twin smokestacks.

At the end of the nineteenth century, at the same time that architectural history emerged in universities as a professional field with its own languages and methods, this field – the Great Meadow – was radically transformed through the production of lime. Lime from this location, heated in kilns that denuded surrounding redwood groves, was used to build the city of San Francisco. Beneath the Great Meadow, largely hidden from view, this history is evinced in an expansive underground limescape whose unmappable porosity continues to challenge campus architects looking to lay foundations.

  To state my field in this way – not as a set of discourses marked out by publications and measured by peer-review but as a landscape edged by ecotone, sinkhole, asphalt road, barbed-wire fence, and the limits of a view –
is to ground architectural history, or to think about buildings and cities through stories about the shaping of ground.

Fore-grounding, as a research strategy, is an approach that a group of seminar students and I brought last year to the subject of the history of American campus architecture. Following the old meaning of “campus” as a cleared field set apart from the city, we employed interpretive tools from those disciplines that produce knowledge through practices of walking (cartography, environmental archaeology, geology, mushroom hunting, philosophy, photography, etc.).

In navigating the field in this way, we viewed the campus as an other space. This required tracing its borders – areas between the extraction of lime and the consumption of education, between on-campus and off-campus, between human and non-human, and between “student life” and “real life” – where the university’s work of subject formation, as well as rejections of it, take place.

Kresge Co-op

Founded 1970

A student-run, not-for-profit natural foods store and lending library founded in 1970. It is run through consensus decision making and group responsibility, "We embrace cooperation as   our tool for social change". Open to all, the co-op provides a space where good food and revolutionary action meet at the checkout line.

The Mercurial brings chemist Peter Weiss and photographer, Tristan Duke into dialogue and practice through their work with the elusive element of Mercury. This shape-shifting element has been used to make mirror’s, photographic plates, extract gold from ore, and availed swift rotation of mirrors in lighthouses.

The Mercurial wanders through the materiality and lifecycle of this element. Drawing from Peter’s work with traces of monomethylmercury (MMHg) found in coastal marine atmospheric fog, we examine the indexes of mercury accumulation in the environment, including lichens, mountain lion whiskers, and hairs from the legs of tiger spiders. Exercising Tristan’s experiments with mercury-based Lippmann photography, we seek to record an image indexical of mercury - a portrait of its traces in the environment.


Tristan Duke
Peter Weiss
Artist, Photographer, Holographer, Infinity Light Science, Los Angeles   Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry & Biochemistry, UC Santa Cruz

Tristan has been working to reinvent Lippmann plate photography, a 19th century imaging technology that employs mercury as an optical element to record in full vibrancy, and without pigments, the true colors of life (is this not a kind of immortality?). This technique, seldom practiced since the turn of the 20th century, records colors in the same way that color is created in soap bubbles or on the surface of oil on water. Much of Tristan’s work centers on questions of indexicality and the materiality of image. Tristan is a co-founder of the Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio, Fellow at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and Artist in Residence, Exploratorium.
Peter's research span the global biogeochemical cycle of mercury, sulfur, and nitrogen; sea-air transfer of methylated mercury and impacts on coastal marine fog; mercury bioaccumulation in coastal terrestrial food webs; marine boundary layer and free troposphere meteorology; pollution source-receptor model validation using measurements; working with large data sets; and environmental toxicology and justice.


Ken Kellman, Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History, UC Santa Cruz

Ken is a lichen and bryologist expert who will open your eyes to the small-scale wonders of these amazing life-forms. Ken is an instructor at the Jepson Herbarium, an active member in the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria and contributed lichen samples to Peter Weiss during the research and development of the recent paper: Marine fog inputs appear to increase methylmercury bioaccumulation in a coastal terrestrial food web.


California Coastal Puma, California (Puma concolor)

Fur and Whiskers - Bioindicators of Mercury conentrations in Coastal Fog

Courtesy: Norris Center for Natural History

Mercury concentrations have been found in lichen, deer, and puma along a coastal fog gradient.
Pumas and their associated food web, have elevated concentrations of MMHg (Meythl Mercury), which could be indicative of their habitat being in a region that is regularly inundated with marine fog.


Laurie Palmer muses on one of five radical qualities of the lichen organism (and parallel considerations for human becoming) - Our “I” is also a “we”. Lichen(s) mess(es) with our grammar; each one is two, part algae, part fungus, in a mutually beneficial symbiosis. As biologist Scott Gilbert said, “we are all lichens,” not individuals but groups, constructed out of multiple relationships. And how could this distributed “self”-understanding change how we construct and navigate the world?

Marianne Weems as theater director and dramaturge reflecst on how “stagecraft” (acting, roles, scripts, improvisation, set design, lighting, character development) and her staged mediatic events relate to this idea of the conditions for “I” to also be a “we”.

Laurie Palmer   Marianne Weems
Art, UC Santa Cruz   Theater, UC Santa Cruz

Laurie is an artist, writer, and teacher. Her work is concerned, most immediately, with resistance to privatization, and more generally, with theoretical and material explorations of matter’s active nature as it asserts itself on different scales and in different speeds. Her work takes various forms as sculpture, installation, public projects, and writing. She has been developing The Lichen Museum, a massively distributed, inside-out institution that considers this slow, resistant, adaptive and collective organism as an anti-capitalist companion and climate change survivor.
Marianne is a theater and opera director and founder of the award-winning New York-based theater company The Builders Association, an influential ensemble that has created a significant body of work at the forefront of integrating media with live performance. Her works spans directing, crossmedia performance, post-dramatic theater theory and practice, documentary theater directing and dramaturgy.


A fog of bodies roll in from the coast, tumbling onto the Great Meadow, a gathering site for two lines of force within radical feminist art where ecosex is enacted and medico-judicial categories of sexuality (homosexuality/ heterosexuality) are troubled. Among an assembly of humans and animals, bio and trans, men and women, transgender bodies, mutants, survivors, witnesses, ring bearers... Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkles (along with an extended group of participants) will marry the fog – together a re-eroticism of the universe, a calling into question the hierarchy of species, definitions of sexuality, and the political stratification of the body.


Choreographies Claire June Apana, Sophie Lev, Leila Kaplan, ooooo Officiants Beth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle  Performance Launa Light, Blessings The Water Underground Ring bearers Futurefarmers Light Sarah Bird Rituals Lady Monster Sound Marijke Jorritsma/Yasi Perera/Anna Friz, Micha Cárdenas and more....

Elizabeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle
Art, UC Santa Cruz /Sex Educator
  Coastal Fog
Troposphere, planetary boundary layer, Earth

Elizabeth Stephens and her partner Annie Sprinkle have married the snow. They've married the sea, the sky, the redwood forest, and the earth. They created a new field of research, 'Sexecology,' exploring the places where sexology and ecology intersect in our culture - in art, theory, practice and activism. Their ecosex performance art weddings have involved thousands of collaborators and participants in eight countries, at the Venice Biennale and Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum. They also do Sexecological Walking Tours, visual art installations, and have made a film about mountaintop removal coal mining destruction in Appalachia called Goodbye Gauley Mountain — An Ecosexual Love Story. Stephens is a professor of art at UCSC and received her Ph.D. in performance studies at UC Davis. Sprinkle holds a Ph.D. in human sexuality. And Annie is an American certified sexologist, sex educator, former sex worker, feminist stripper, pornographic actress, cable television host, porn magazine editor, writer, sex film producer, and sex-positive feminist.
The Troposphere is the lowest region of the Earth’s atmosphere, host to all life forms. It contains most of the clouds and our coastal fog. In lower parts, friction with the Earth's surface influences air flow. This layer is typically a few hundred meters to 2 km deep depending on the landform and time of day. The word troposphere is derived from the Greek tropos (meaning "turn, turn toward, change") and sphere (as in the Earth), reflecting the fact that rotational turbulent mixing plays an important role in the troposphere's structure and behaviour. Besides the dry air, H2O is an important component in the troposphere. It is the reservoir of precipitations that provide drinking water and water supplies for agricultural, industrial, and recreational purposes. And, it is a natural and the most important greenhouse gas in modern air that raises the temperature of surface air by over 30 K so that the Earth’s surface is habitable for humans and animals.



Preparing the Wedding Party

Sophie Lev
Filling the Void

The Fog Body will wander into the sinkholes of the great meadow to fill them with our ephemeral, collective presence. On this campus, sinkholes and the voids below them are pumped with concrete and cement: the porosity of bedrock is plugged up so that it can become a foundation upon which to develop, expand and build more facilities. Attempts to make them solid, and their persistence in slipping away, reveal that sinkholes sit at the know-ledge, the edge of what can be known. As porous and foggy bodies, we fill these sinkholes with ourselves rather than concrete. We unite foggy atmosphere with foggy land. We occupy and share the foggy space of knowing, and build a relation to sinkholes based on our shared, uncontainable materiality.



Wandering Seminar was a series of six thematic gatherings that circulated through the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. It was the culmination of an extended, periodic residency hosted by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, called Fog Inquiry, whereby Futurefarmers used the regional physical phenomenon of fog as a framework to engage various fields of inquiry within the university setting; fog as a state of being whereby hierarchies get troubled, perspectives shift, and new modes of thinking (and making) can emerge.

Fog Inquiry was the connective tissue between people, places and ideas who may not usually meet. Due to the many restrictive factors of the university campus; bureacracy, campus design, geography, funding, public access, pedagogy, architecture... a university in-of-itself can become a dense atmospheric condition that needs new navigation tools. AWhistling Tea Kettle mounted upon a 14’ wooden tripod, signaled their various Inquiries. on campus where they encountered people, projects and hidden places – troubling disciplines, finding the foggy edges of research and certainty. This relational object drew people into a dense fog of questions and invitations to wander further...

Wandering Seminar moved through the physical and intellectual matter of the campus as a Fog Body - a growing and shitfing constellation of people and actions. Like fog, this Fog Body drew from the elusive and complex nature of coastal fog in how it forms, how it evolves, and how it dissipates or disappears.

Bus Shelter as Classroom

Wandering Seminar used the architecture of campus bus shelters as a meeting point and geographic anchor. A Fog Body met at a bus shelter to activate each theme through readings, performance or participatory action. Gatherings started at a relevant bus stop and wandered to a related site. Wandering Seminar endeavored to invite the itinerant body at each bus stop to join – a rotating system of bodies moving from one class to another, one field of research to another, one place to the next.



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A core body of collaborators who assemble during each gathering of the Wandering Seminar. The shared knowledge formed within the Fog Body moves, transforms and disperses via various medium; radio, texts, performance, bodies, voice, printed matter and sculpture.

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ooooo is a transuniversal constellation that initiates, mediates and facilitates, curates and appropriates projects, abducing thought, reflection and praxis on relevant issues. oooo is hosted by Marthe Van Dessel, an activist and performer who creates interfaces, devices & protocols to instigate our urban and institutional hardware & software. She engages in the administrative, cultural, socio-political dimension of personal and collective identities. By triggering intersubjective alliances she confronts the 'self & other' with the commons, co-authorship and the redistribution into the public domain.

Sophie Lev, artist, writer, student UCSC

Sophie is interested in the poetics and politics of agentic matter. Their practice explores the links between embodiment, objects, and language, using word play and double entendre to build a relational reorientation and sensitivity to entanglements between bodies. They think and make projects about cyborgs, rituals of land tending and place-making, agency, psychoanalysis, puppetry, and communist affect. Sophie is co-founder of the artist collective Ritual Capital.


Elizabeth Thomas, Curator, Writer, San Francisco

Elizabeth produces research-based and site-responsive artworks across a range of media. She has collaborated with Futurefarmers for nearly a decade. As Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, she curated new projects with Futurefarmers, Trevor Paglen, Emily Roysdon, Allison Smith, Ahmet Ogut, among others. She teaches in the Curatorial Practice program at California College of the Arts and the Exhibition and Museum Studies program at the San Francisco Art Institute. She writes for a range of publications.

BERG, San Francisco

A design collective founded by Benner Boswell and Alexander Kozachek who met while studying at the California College of the Arts. They have choreographed the collective’s Graphic Sublayer Transfer System workshop in Bay Area galleries and museums, including the California Academy of Science, The Museum of Craft and Design and Youth Art Exchange’s [X]space.

AV-net, Belgium

AV-net is a technical and logistical rescue team for infra-structural, service-oriented and life urgencies.


Brian Karl, curator, producer, writer, San Francisco

Brian Karl has served as Artistic, Executive, and Program Director at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Harvestworks Media Arts, and Headlands Center for the Arts. His writing has been published in Art & Education, art-agenda, Artforum, Flash Art, Frieze, Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Migration Studies, SFMOMA’s Open Space and Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. His media work has screened at Kadist Foundation, as well as in the Whitney Biennial, and the New York and San Francisco Film Festivals. He teaches at UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts and San Francisco Art Institute. Brian received his PhD music and anthropology at Columbia University.

Wei Wang,
Printmaker, Graphic Designer, San Francisco

Originating from China, Wei’s transcultural background gives him a multi-focal perspective, which he expresses through digital design, performance art, traditional and experimental printmaking, bookmaking, and installation. Wei works to redefine found objects and printed ephemera by examining their informational structure which gives way to their past and future possibilities. Wei’s current work is focused on cultural communication, social justice, and sentiments about the migration of time and space.


Fog Inquiry was supported by:

Ray & Robin Yeh-Green, patrons of domestic well being for Wandering Residency.

A Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant