2017 Digital Arts & New Media MFA Exhibition

ultraSHIFT is the culmination of two years of research by seven unique artists in UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media MFA program. Their work iterates ideas and performs experiments in realms not easily detected or deciphered in the conventional art world. Pushing the limits of game design, musical soundscapes, performative sculpture, social and interactive media, these artists’ work simultaneously resists and expands long-established, canonical meanings of art.

THE ARTISTS    (click for more artist info)

Matthew R.F. Balousek ​grew up in Michigan, then dropped out of art school, then dropped out of community college, then got two degrees in computer science. He makes games with an emphasis on rhetoric and systemic expressions of queerness. He also makes bread, bots, interactive fiction, and bad jokes.

SL Benz ​is an animation artist and experimental filmmaker working in hybrid media forms.Their work explores the interplay of memory, mediation, and political theology. By re-engaging with the supernatural and the ghosts of material forms, Benz’ work examines our relationships with culture.

Finley Coyl’s ​work delves into dynamics of social justice and resistance, identity and queerness, codes and hoaxes, transformation and shift. Combining drawing and photography, visual narratives, and time-based works, Coyl utilizes a hybrid of traditional and new media.

Katie Green ​is a new media artist living in Santa Cruz, California. She earned her BFA from the University of Florida in Art and Technology. Green makes digital games about death, storytelling, cats, werewolves, forests, and memory. Players are challenged to consider agency and purpose within a predetermined narrative.

Marguerite Kalhor ​received her BA in art practice with a concentration in new genres and drawing from UC Berkeley. Kalhor’s research focuses on the selfie, social media and their effects. Kalhor pulls from a variety of aesthetic and conceptual sources to combine seemingly irrelevant cultural themes with mass media messaging.

Darrell McKelvie Ruppel ​is a social practice artist and educator collaborating with underprivileged youth in Santa Cruz, California. Ruppel addresses sociopolitical and environmental understanding among diverse groups through performative social sculpture, videography, and interactive games. He holds a BA in art with a focus on sculpture from UC Santa Cruz.

Scott Tooby​ is a sound artist and musician making electronic instruments and art that integrates machine listening and embeddable computing. After obtaining a BA in music composition from UCSB, Tooby moved to Los Angeles and acquired skills in electronics and sound design while working in the entertainment industry. He now lives in Northern California.

Exhibition Hours: Thur-Sun , April 27-30, 2017 | 12-5 pm
Reception:   Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 5-9 pm
Digital Arts Research Center (DARC), UC Santa Cruz
(map and parking info)

Fri, April 14 | 7:30-9 pm | Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
Sat, April 29 | 12:30-2 pm | Digital Arts Research Center, UCSC

All events are free and open to the public.

Visual Coordinates:



DANM researches the creative potentials and social implications of emerging technologies and digital cultural practices. We are driven by an ethos of empathy and cooperation, a passion for joining art and technology, and a commitment to positive change locally and globally. Our two-year MFA program emphasizes artistic and technological innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and social action. Faculty closely mentor emerging artists to become deep thinkers, artistic innovators, and responsible leaders.


Bennett Williamson
DANM Interim Program Manager
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April 27 – April 30, 2017

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