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Jennifer Parker


Sculpture, Digital Arts/New Media, Founding Director, OpenLab Collaborative Research Center

Jennifer Parker is an artist and professor of Art and Digital Art & New Media and founding Director of the OpenLab Collaborative Research Center (


Parker investigates methods of Arts Integration in Higher Education by combining creative research practices with science, engineering, and technology. As an artist, Parker carves sites for collective entanglement between disciplines. Facilitating, identifying and determining the boundaries of complex, multi-dimensional space with the aim to develop (a sense of) community to encourage learning, and inform and develop the practice of its members. Her methods of inquiry build on lab and studio visits, literature reviews, and conversations with faculty and students across disciplines triggering a heuristic learning process to pursue creative research for exhibitions and publications.


Parker served as department chair from 2012-17 and as principal faculty for the Digital Arts & New Media (DANM) MFA program from 2008-18 where she directed the Mechatronics collaborative research cohort to develop research projects that combine art, design, science, and technology. She is a board member for SOUNDWAVE, a non-profit arts organization that creates cutting edge art, technology, and performance experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area. From 2008-2012 she collaborated with artist Barney Haynes on sonicSENSE, an expandable and evolving site for art, culture, and new technologies. In 2018 Parker co-founded The Algae Society: Bio Art & Design Lab working with artists and scientists around the globe to create exhibitions with algae as a non-human research partner and is serving as campus lead PI for PlaceMakers: UC Place-based Art + Design initiative, multi-campus planning grant. Her most recent project with the Sesnon Gallery, What Makes Us Human: An Art + Genomics Convergence is open to future collaborations and explorations with students and researchers around the world.


Education and Training: 
M.F.A. Rutgers University
B.A. College of Creative Studies, University of California Santa Barbara
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
Selected Publications: 

Parker’s work has been exhibited, performed and presented in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area in places such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SF Camerawork, The LAB, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Bay Area Science Festival, SFMOMA, Southern Exposure, California Academy of Science, ZER01, Biennial, Tech Museum; Montalvo Art Center, Bay Area Maker Fair, Randall Museum, and Kala Art Institute. Internationally, Parker has shown at the de Baile in Amsterdam, Holland; The War Memorial Museum in Seoul, Korea; the World Trade Center in Osaka, Japan; the Iskra History Museum in Kazanlak, Bulgaria; Califia Galerie and Školská 28 Galerie in the Czech Republic; and Bellas Arts, Uiversidad Complutense, Madrid and the Sala de exposiciones Parque García Sanabria Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

She is the recipient of several grants, awards, and fellowships including Artworks NEA, NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Art Matters, New Forms Regional Grant administered by the Inter-Arts Program of the NEA, Epsilon/Alliance Environmental Art and Education, American Psychoanalytic Foundation Award, The New Jersey State Council of the Arts, and the Kate Neal Kinely Memorial Fellowship Award.

Select Articles/Book Chapter:

Science and Collectivism in Artistic Creation: Embracing Climate Change through Art 
The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review. Volume 14, Issue 1:12-20, (2020)

Species Loss: Exploring Opportunities with Art–Science 
Integrative and Comparative Biology, Volume 58, Issue 1 (July 2018)

Making Sense of Sensors
Digital Culture & Society (DCS),Vol. 3, Issue 1/2017 Published Online: 2017-06-27  (Jun 2017) 

Slow FAST Forward: Enacting Digital Art and Civic Opportunities Book Chapter by J. Parker
Book: Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis (2016)

Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation: Enabling New Forms of Collaboration among Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design 
LEONARDO, MIT Press Journals (2015)

Teaching Interests: 

Old and new Media, Interactive Art, the Body, Sound, Sculpture, Interactive Art, Performance, and Kinetic Work

Elena Baskin Visual Arts E-106
Office Hours: 
Winter 2024: Wednesdays 1pm - 3pm
Mailing Address: 

Art Department

Baskin Visual Arts

UC Santa Cruz

1156 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95064