Unseen California: Arts and the UC Natural Reserve System

Karolina Karlic, UC Santa Cruz

 Unseen California (www.unseencalifornia.com) is a arts visual platform that serves as a centralizing information hub for arts+science+humanities research that aims to build upon and extend faculty led arts research, education and student work in outdoor California classroom laboratories across the UC Natural Reserve System through an interdisciplinary arts approach to visualizing the environmental and social concerns of the California Landscape in the 21st Century. 

The UC Natural Reserves are by definition mostly remote from campus life apart from the work of scientific investigators. They can seem distant, outside of time, and far from view. Unseen California aims to establish an artist-in-residence program; a digital public arts platform that serves as a collective arts research hub to address urgent topics of climate change, culture, technology, and social justice; and arts+science educational opportunities. Goals are twofold: 1) to interpret and study California land site-specific issues through collaborations of artists, scientists, and humanists and 2) to foster interdisciplinary arts/ecology/technology research. 

How can art help bridge, and at the same time preserve, places of the UC Natural Reserves of California, by giving remote access which can include these reserves in the public sphere and debate and, most of all, take advantage of its immense pedagogical capital and that has become urgent to discuss environmental and social justice in our times?