ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness (LINK: is a symposium and series of events exploring the discourse of global proportions on the subject of art, technology and nature. The ISEA symposium (LINK: is held every year in a different location around the world, and has a 30-year history of significant acclaim. Albuquerque is the first host city in the U.S. in six years.

The ISEA2012 symposium will consist of a conference September 19 – 24, 2012 based in Albuquerque with outreach days along the state’s “Cultural Corridor” in Santa Fe and Taos, and an expansive, regional collaboration throughout the fall of 2012, including art exhibitions, public events, performances and educational activities. This project will bring together a wealth of leading creative minds from around the globe, and engage the local community through in-depth partnerships.

Machine Wilderness references the New Mexico region as an area of rapid growth and technology alongside wide expanses of open land, and aims to present artists’ and technologists’ ideas for a more humane interaction between technology and wilderness in which “machines” can take many forms to support life on Earth. Machine Wilderness focuses on creative solutions for how technology and the natural world can sustainably co-exist.

The program will include: a bilingual focus, an indigenous thread, and a focus on land and skyscape. Because of our vast resource of land in New Mexico, proposals from artists are being sought that will take ISEA participants out into the landscape. The Albuquerque Balloon Museum offers a unique opportunity for artworks to extend into the sky as well.

The lead organizations hosting ISEA2012 are 516 ARTS (LINK:, The University of New Mexico  and The Albuquerque Museum of Art & History (LINK: There are a total over 50 partnering organizations to date representing museums, colleges, nonprofit arts organizations, environmental organizations and the scientific and technological communities.

Current Administration and Staff

Andrea Polli, Artistic Director
Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media and Associate Professor of Art and Ecology, UNM College of Fine Arts & School of Engineering

Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Producer
Executive Director, 516 ARTS


Sherri Brueggemann, Program Manager, City of Albuquerque Public Art Program
Regina Chavez, Executive Director, Creative Albuquerque
Andrew Connors, Curator of Art, The Albuquerque Museum
Andrea Polli, Associate Professor of Art and Ecology, UNM College of Fine Arts & School of Engineering
Suzanne Sbarge, Executive Director, 516 ARTS
Shelle Sanchez, Director of Education, National Hispanic Cultural Center


Wildlife: “Trans-Species Habitats”
Catherine P. Harris
Assistant Professor, Art & Ecology and Landscape Architecture, The University of New Mexico

The Cosmos: “Radical Cosmologies”
Lea Rekow, Independent Curator
Tom Leeser, Program Director, Art & Technology in the School of Art, California Institute of the Arts

Creative Economies: “Econotopias”
Stephanie Rothenberg
Associate Professor, Department of Visual Studies, SUNY Buffalo

Power: “Gridlocked”
Erin Elder, Nancy Zastudil & Nina Elder
Co-Founders, PLAND, Taos, New Mexico

Andres Burbano, Latin American Forum
Media Arts & Technology Scholar, The University of California Santa Barbara

Agnes Chavez, Education Program Liaison
President, Sube, Inc., STEMArts Consultant

Regina Chavez, Director of Economic Development & Outreach
Executive Director, Creative Albuquerque

Richard Lowenberg, Santa Fe Liaison and Artist/Scientist Residencies Co-Coordinator
Artist, Board Member, Santa Fe Complex

Jack Ox, Artist/Scientist Residencies Co-Coordinator
Research Asst. Professor, College of Fine Arts
UNM Assoc. Faculty Member, Center for Advanced Research Computing, The University of New Mexico

Nathaniel Stern, Chris Butzen & Bryan Cera, Website Development Team
The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Mary Tsiongas, UNM Faculty/Staff/Student/Alumni Exhibition Coordinator
Associate Professor, Electronic Arts, UNM

Nancy Zastudil, Taos Coordinator
Curator, PLAND Co-Founder


Rhiannon Mercer, Assistant Director, 516 ARTS
Teresa Buscemi, Program Coordinator, 516 ARTS
Claude Smith, Education Coordinator, 516 ARTS