2023 Counterforce Lab Salon Series: Eyes in the Sky / Birds in the Heart + Mind: Salon #5: Dr. Elizabeth DeLoughrey and Rebeca Méndez (Lectures )

EDA, room 1250

Counterforce Lab Salon Series: Eyes in the Sky / Birds in the Hear and Mind /

Salon #5 /

Dr. Elizabeth DeLoughrey (UCLA English and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability - IoES)
and Professor Rebeca Méndez (Founder and Director of Counterforce Lab / UCLA DMA)
will enter into conversation about the oceanic humanities, the aesthetics of submergence, reciprocity and connection with the animated ocean, and the process of connecting across arts, humanities, science, and Indigenous cultures in response to rampant extractivism, exploitation, and colonialism.

MONDAY, February 27, 2023. 12:00 noon /
Broad Art Center / EDA /
Free Lunch

Our fifth and final lecture in the series will feature Prof. Rebeca Méndez, the Chair of the Department of Design Media Arts and director of the Counterforce Lab, in conversation with Dr. Elizabeth DeLoughrey, Professor in the English Department and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES). As an artist, designer, and educator, Prof. Méndez delves into projects around the social and ecological impacts of the anthropocene. She has created artworks through fieldwork practice and collaborations that bridge across design, science, and humanities envisioning a just response to the entrenched causes of ecological crises for humans and the more-than-human world we share. Dr. DeLoughrey examines climate change and the anthropocene through environmental humanities. Her expansive work has bridged decoloniality, Indigenous perspectives, militarization, and globalization, with a focus on the Caribbean and Pacific Islands.

Their conversation will focus on how artistic, scientific, Indigenous, feminist, and environmental disciplinary lenses are employed to examine the diverse opportunities for interspecies friending beneath the sea surface. Dr. Méndez will be discussing her immersive 360º video art installation, The Sea Around Us which portrays the Eastern Pacific Ocean as a place of rich interspecies connection and interaction. The art installation intimately explores the long-lasting effects of DDT pollution on oceanic life, while forming an interdisciplinary bridge between science, art, and Indigenous cultures, in order to encourage viewers to face environmental wrongings, take restorative action, and establish relationships with other species based on equality and reciprocity. Dr. DeLoughrey will be discussing an Oceanic worldview across art and science called “tidalectics” – which she defines as a methodological tool which investigates the entanglement between sea and land, diaspora and indigeneity, and routes and roots – and the dynamics of our more-than-human watery planet. She stresses the important contribution of “tidalectics” in forming complex and dynamic stories about the relationship between land and sea in order to challenge dominant narratives about Indigenous and inter-species exploitation. Ultimately, Dr. Méndez and Dr. DeLoughrey will engage in a thoughtful conversation about humans' relationships to watery environments in order to encourage relationships of reciprocity and respect with the ecologies, species, and cultures that are not only around us, but a part of us.

Dr. Elizabeth DeLoughrey:
Professor Rebeca Méndez:

Eyes in the Sky, Birds in the Heart and Mind is Counterforce Lab’s 2023 lecture series exploring interspecies friendships and entering into conversations across disciplines. We ask how technology, in combination with different knowledge systems and design, can provide an avenue to connect with and learn from the more-than-human. Drones, or, “eyes in the sky,” can enrich our empathetic connection to the natural world, if we think critically about how we use them.

Made possible with the generous support of a UCLA IDRE grant and UCLA, Design Media Arts Department

UCLA Design Media Arts, Broad Art Center
240 Charles E. Young Dr. North / EDA Room 1250 / Los Angeles CA 90095
Free Lunch