Disavowal: Critical Media Practices Faculty and Graduate Student Showcase.

Critical Media Practices faculty and graduate students explore media art, society and politics in 2017, in the inaugural collective show titled Disavowal. Works include video art, interactive installation, immersive virtual reality and augmented reality, audiovisual performance and a program of documentary & avant-garde film.

Friday: Doors open at 5:30 PM; screenings at 7 PM

Saturday: Installations only Noon – 5 PM


Anything On This Earth - Redux v1.0
Kevin Sweet and Sean Winters
Stereo electroacoustic audio with circuit-bent anaglyphic video

“I’d rather die than to not create anything on earth. That’s the way I feel” - Miles Davis

Sean Winters is a sound artist and a doctoral student in Music Composition at CU Boulder. Kevin Sweet is a visual artist and a doctoral student in Emergent Technologies and Media Arts Practices at CU Boulder.


Laura Hyunjhee Kim
Single-channel video

Inspired by artificial nature x strong women x futuristic stock images of cyberspace, a visual-vomit roller coaster ride of a diary trapped in forms of a chill lofi melt hop pbR&B music video. For 2mins and 50secs, cruise with me daydreaming about talking wild animals, cracking the code on local tchotchkes and swag, growing genetically modified neon vegetables, and navigating life as a bold-er asian woman online and offscreen. *EYE STRAIN WARNING* Video has flashing lights and images of wild beasts that may easily strain your mind's eye. Video shot with iphone 6 and webcam in Boulder, Colorado (August - November, 2017).

Laura Hyunjhee Kim is a Korean-American multimedia artist who renders familiar physical experiences into fabricated (non)existent spaces that reimagine digital culture and virtual living. Kim has shown works in numerous on/offline exhibition spaces, screenings, and festivals around the world including Kadist Art Foundation, São Paulo Cultural Center, SFMoMA, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, New York Anthology Film Archives, Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Annual Dresden Artists' Exposition in Germany, quARTel - Galeria Municipal de Arte, Museum of Contemporary Art of Caracas, Fei Contemporary Art Center-Shanghai, Super Art Modern Museum (SPAMM), The Wrong-New Digital Art Biennale, and she was an artist in residence at the Internet Archive and Korea National University of the Arts. Kim was the recipient of the inaugural ArtSlant Award in New Media and her work has appeared in Hyperallergic, KQED, Daily Serving, San Francisco Chronicle, The Creators Project, and the Living Room Light Exchange.


Messengers from the Poor
Eric Coombs
Virtual Reality experience

A VR experience based on Christian Hammons’ and Eric Coombs Esmail short film Messengers from the Poor.

Christian Hammons teaches anthropology and critical media practices at CU Boulder. Eric Coombs Esmail teaches critical media practices. 


Jed Miner
Four-channel video sculpture

Redemption Room
Toma Peiu & Luiza Pârvu
5-channel video, 2-channel teleprompter

A look at personal failure in the public eye, as seen, heard and read in an archive of political speeches broadcast over the past century.

Toma Peiu and Luiza Pârvu are a creative duo, working with images, sounds and words since 2009. Their work have been recognized in over 100 film festivals, museums and live venues on four continents. Toma is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Emergent Technologies and Media Arts Practices at CU Boulder, where he studies, practices and teaches modes of engaging critical thinking with media making. Luiza holds an MFA in Film from NYU Tisch and is an accomplished director, editor and sound mixer. She teaches media making in DCMP.


Small Turns Big
Pat Clark
Looped still images

A series of images representing an exploration of image magnification, texture, material and light.

Pat Clark is a visual artist and filmmaker exploring new ways to combine immersive technology and storytelling.

Jason Gnerre

Augmented reality experience

An exploration in augmented reality, realtime collaboration, and persistence.

Jason Gnerre was a mathematician and filmmaker before becoming the resident nerd in the Department of Critical Media Practices, where his primary responsibilities seem to be tracking down missing SD cards and telling professors to try restarting their computers to fix the problem. He also teaches a course in immersive media production.

Untitled (Kombucha Fjord Film, after Tony C.)
Joe Steele

16mm loop, C-stands, projector

16mm found footage loop form newsreel aged in kombucha for 8 months, C stands, projector, screen, dimensions variable. Experiment to see if the bacteria and yeast would eat the film.

Joe Steele, born 1982 NY, USA. MDes Harvard Graduate School of Design, PhD Student ETMP CU Boulder. MIT OpenDocLab Fellow.



Eastern Elk
Betsey Biggs

Laptop Improvisation

An elegy for the last eastern elk, and an exploration of the meaning of digitally archived sound.

For more than fifteen years, Betsey Biggs has created musical compositions, improvisations, interactive sound and video installations, site-specific audio works, public interventions, relational projects, and multimedia theatrical works that connect the dots between sound, music, visual art, place, storytelling and technology. She earned her Ph.D. at Princeton University and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Composed by Hugh Lobel
Performed by Summer Lusk (violin) and Hugh Lobel (computer)

Inspired by Cage, Fluxus, and current trends in experimental electronic music, Contemplation_00 is the first part in a series of works exploring the intersections of indeterminacy, collaboration, and technology. This work is for two performers: a musician playing any instrument, and a musician guiding that instrument through a variety of electronic manipulations via a computer. The first musician, playing any acoustic or electric instrument, has complete freedom to play whatever and however they’d like, and to respond to the computer system however the performer sees fit. The second musician, at the computer, follows a score that specifies manipulations that will be made to the sound of the first musician, while other aspects of the computer part are determined by chance. The computer musician is allowed to respond to the stochastic changes, or to follow the score directly. The result of these interlocking parts is a fusion of focus from both performers and the resulting singularly unique sonic contemplation. For tonight’s performance, CU alumna Summer Lusk will be playing violin, while Dr. Lobel guides the computer part.

Dr. Hugh Lobel is an active composer and music software developer. At the university, Dr. Lobel teaches sound practices courses for the Department of Critical Media Practices. His research involves crafting and distributing Music_SDP, the open-source music performance software that is used for tonight’s performance.

Iconoclashgiftsfeld or The destruction of images in a poison field
Directed & Live Video by: Angie Eng
Music by Hoppy Kamiyama

This is a project about iconoclasm in the digital age. The title, ‘Iconoclashgiftsfeld’ draws from Bruno Latour’s exhibition essay ‘What is Iconoclash or Is there a world beyond the image wars’. What happens with our collective memory after the hammer goes down? The object is erased, but our memories are intact. The disappearance of the image actually points even moreso to its previous existence revivifying that murdered picture in the mental world, or not for the iconoclashgiftsfelders. In the age of unreason and ultracapitalism, the solution is an easy fix. The event, of course, ends with the souvenir shop. Only through tokens of newer images diffused amongst the populace that former images begin to fade. This is, of course, a parody of a frightful situation of the over-consumer mediatized gaze.

Angie Eng is a visual artist who works in experimental video, conceptual art and time-based performance. In 1993 she became involved in the downtown NYC electronic arts scene where she experimented with video sculptures, interactive installation and live video performance. She collaborated on numerous video performance projects and was involved in the first wave of new media art/web based art in the late 90’s. Her work has been performed and exhibited at: Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center,The Kitchen, New Museum of Contemporary Art, Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, Roulette Intermedium, Bronx Museum, Artists Space, Art in General , Anthology Film Archives, Le Cube, CNES, and Cité de la Musique. Her videos have been included in digital art festivals around the world. She has received grants and commissions: New Radio and Performing Arts, Harvestworks, Art In General, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Alternative Museum, and Experimental TV Center and Foundation for Contemporary Arts. She received her masters in contemporary design, media arts from Paris 8 with high honors for her thesis on remix culture. She is currently a European correspondent for AOA (Artist Organized Art) to support a critical dialogue between artists, art practice and dissemination via public events, as well as a PhD candidate in Intermedia Arts, Writing and Performance at CU Boulder.


Sound Screening

The Soft Side of Still (4 min, 2017)
Composed by Nathan Hall

Soft Side of Still is a sound collage composed entirely of archival fragments from painter Clyfford Still. He recorded hours of himself practicing the piano, and his wife recorded several stories into their 1955 recording machine. This collage paints a softer, more musical portrait of the often difficult, curmudgeonly, and stubborn abstract master.

Nathan Hall is a composer and artist in Denver. His practice uses music as an artistic medium to explore landscape, the fine arts, sexuality, and other fields. He currently teaches Performance Media for CMCI.


Film Program

Record (4 min, 2017)

Directed by Stephanie Spray

Excavated from the detritus of other films, Record is a pithy dialogue between the filmmaker and a collaborator-protagonist. Record is part of an online correspondence among five anthropologists and artists on “Image” to be published in December 2018 Cultural Anthropology.


Mikumentary (12 min., 2016)

Directed by Tara Knight

Mikumentary is series of short, animated documentaries that explores Hatsune Miku—the singing, dancing hologram who is collectively created by hundreds of thousands of people.  These films have screened internationally and have been bootlegged into a dozen languages by viewers online.  This version is a remix of a few films in this series, and was designed to tour with Miku's hologram for the North American Tour in 2016.


Waltz of the Flowers (5 min., 2009)

Directed by Andrew Young

Waltz of the Flowers is a short photogram piece that utilizes and repurposes a range of objects and materials (including glass, lasers, film prints, among other things).  This film utilizes "low res” aesthetic and found footage so as to explore some the complex intersections of ideology and idealism.

Andrew Young utilizes a range of media practices in his work, with a particular emphasis on combining media forms (particularly film and video) with emergent technology.  As an Instructor in the Department of Critical Media Practices with a background in film and digital media production, his work focuses primarily on issues of identity, political action, and acceptable public discourse.


Sisyphus 2.0 (7 min., 2016)

Directed by Luiza Pârvu & Toma Peiu

Drawing on Albert Camus’ eponymous text, Sisyphus 2.0 is a visual compendium of humanity’s search for meaning. Made of real surveillance footage, the film assumes its perspective’s omniscience, beginning as a series of quotidian assemblages of ‘a day in a life’ of the global citizens, embraced by a voice-over retelling of the Sisyphus myth. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017).

Luiza Pârvu and Toma Peiu are a creative duo, working with images, sounds and words since 2009. Their projects have been recognized in over 100 film festivals, museums and live venues on four continents. Luiza holds an MFA in Film from NYU Tisch and is an accomplished director, editor and sound mixer. She teaches media making in DCMP. Toma is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Emergent Technologies and Media Arts Practices at CU Boulder, where he studies, practices and teaches modes of engaging critical thinking with media making.


A Net to Catch the Light (7 min., 2016)

Directed by Erin Espelie

With a nod to Wallace Stevens (“the light is like a spider”), A Net to Catch the Light contrasts digital imagery with hand-processed 16mm footage of an orb-weaver. It’s sonically charged with spider vibrations, the voice of Steve Jobs, and a compression of Mac/Apple computer start-up sounds from the 1980s to now.

Erin Espelie is a writer, editor, and filmmaker, with degrees in molecular and cellular biology, and experimental and documentary arts. As an Assistant Professor in the Film Studies & Critical Media Practices Departments, she recently helped launch the Nature, Environment, Science, & Technology (NEST) Studio for the Arts here at CU Boulder.


Untitled (the house carpenter's wife) (4 min., 2017)

Directed by Joe Steele

Out-ing to Paddock's Is. Hills and Sea. Dedicated to the Wind.

Joe Steele, born 1982 NY, USA. MDes Harvard Graduate School of Design, PhD Student ETMP CU Boulder. MIT OpenDocLab Fellow.       



The Neighborhood Pest (4 min., 2017)

Directed by Amy Richman

A short documentary film about a backyard beekeeper navigating suburban expectations while trying to keep her bees alive.

Amy Richman is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the lines between internal and external realities through video, animation and writing. Richman is currently an MFA candidate in the department of Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Messengers from the Poor (14 min., 2017)

Directed by Christian Hammons & Eric Coombs Esmail

One man, 400 mummies, all of humanity.  Messengers from the Poor profiles Dennis Van Gerven, a retired professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, who excavated 400 Nubian mummies in 1979 and, over four decades, used them to teach kids about poverty, child mortality, and the human condition.

Christian Hammons teaches anthropology and critical media practices at CU Boulder.  Eric Coombs Esmail teaches critical media practices.  Messengers was their first collaboration - but not their last.

Contigo (7 min., 2016)
Directed by Dan Boord & Luis Valdovino

Contigo is a waltz with family and tradition, close to the South Texas border. While the Alamo has been designated, by the United Nations, as a World Heritage site, equally noteworthy is the cultural heritage in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Contigo is a Sunday afternoon in San Antonio and a weekend at a conjunto music festival in San Benito. It is a song written by one of the pioneers of conjunto music, Don Santiago Jiménez and performed in this video by his son, Santiago Jiménez Jr.

Dan Boord is a professor and chair of the Department of Critical Media Practices and Luis Valdovino is a Professor in the Art & Art History Department. Selected exhibitions include: The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Toronto Film Festival, Toronto, Canada; Oberhausen Film Festival, Oberhausen, Germany and the 50th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar.


Disavowal crew

Artistic Director: Betsey Biggs

Technical Director: Kevin Sweet

Production Manager: Gary McCrumb

Technical Manager and Broadcast Engineer: Bret Mann

Film programmer: Toma Peiu

Promotion: Nick Sutcliffe, Juliet Luna

Graphic design: Kolby Harvey

Graphic consultant: Joe Steele

Projection operators: Ryan Gorospe, Cameron Hamblen

Lights: Ian Mcmorran

Set: Jack Marty, Nick Neeley

Sound: Maria Rodriguez

Videography: Sam King

House Manager: Bryce Taylor

Visual photo credit: Christian Hammons & Eric Coombs Esmail

The Department of Critical Media Practices is part of CU Boulder's College of Media, Communication and Information.



We are so grateful to the ATLAS Center for Media, Arts, and Performance and its director, Michael Theodore, for offering us this beautiful and innovative performance and exhibition space. We wish to especially thank Gary McCrumb, Bret Mann and the rest of the Black Box crew for working so hard to help us bring this show to fruition. Thanks also go out to graduate student Kevin Sweet, who went above and beyond the call of duty to provide technical direction for the show; to Professor Daniel Boord, chair of the Department of Critical Media Practices, who initiated this idea; and to Dean Lori Bergen, the Dean of the College of Media, Communication and Information, for her ongoing support of our creative work.

The Department of Critical Media Practices addresses the how and why of creative practices in the 21st century. Students create and think about media in new and innovative ways; they also learn critical perspectives so that they can place media practices within a broad cultural and historical continuum of innovation. Visit https://www.colorado.edu/cmci/dcmp to find out more about our programs.                                 

The College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) opened in fall 2015—the first new college on the CU-Boulder campus in 53 years. Our students and faculty think across boundaries, innovate around emerging problems and create culture that transcends convention. Learn more 


Disavowal is presented by CU Boulder’s ATLAS Center for Media, Art and Performance, an incubator for the novel and experimental use of technology in music, dance, visual art, theater, lm and new media.





Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 12:00pm to 5:00pm

Roser ATLAS Center, ATLAS Black Box Experimental Studio
1125 18th Street, Boulder, CO 80309

Event Type

Exhibit, Concert/Show


Arts & Culture, Science & Technology, Journalism & Media


Students, Faculty, Alumni, General Public, Staff

College, School & Unit

Engineering & Applied Science, Arts & Sciences, Media, Communication and Information




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