Ruth West is an interdisciplinary media artist-researcher working with emerging technologies. She envisions a future in which art-science integration allows us to open new portals of imagination, knowledge and communication across cultures and create solutions for our most pressing global problems. Ruth explores avenues for achieving works with multiple entry points that can exist concurrently as aesthetic experiences, artistic practice or cultural interventions and serve as the basis for artistically-impelled scientific inquiry and tools. Her background spans new media, molecular genetics, information aesthetics, scientific visualization, virtual / immersive environments, augmented reality, psychology, neuroscience, and participatory mobile and social technologies. Ruth's work has been presented or featured in SIGGRAPH, WIRED Magazine’s NextFest, UCLA Fowler Museum, CAA, Ingenuity Festival Cleveland, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, FILE 09 Sao Paulo, IEEE VR, Mobisys, SPIE, IEEE ICIP, the American Journal of Human Genetics, Genomics, Leonardo, LEA, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, NPR's The Connection, NY Times, Genome News Network, AMINIMA and Artweek.
Selected Projects
Urban-Wilds / MetaTree Urban-Wilds is a new way to experience urban forests that blends participatory culture, science, sustainability and the arts. Utilizing mobile augmented reality to create a suite of tools for monitoring the status of urban trees it is currently being developed for both the Android and iOS platforms.

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ATLAS in silico ATLAS in silico reflects on one of the elemental scientific and cultural challenges of our time: the shift from an organism-centric to a sequence-centric view of nature made possible by metagenomics and it’s ensuing impact on our understanding of the nature, origins and unity of life. It is a physically interactive virtual environment/installation and art-science collaboration that provides a unique aesthetic encounter with metagenomics data (and contextual metadata) from the largest known protein sequence dataset, the Global Ocean Survey (GOS) - a ground-breaking snapshot of biodiversity in the world’s oceans.


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Segmentation sample Specialized Interfaces for Segmentation of Time-Varying Volumetric Data is user experience and interfacedevelopment research focused on enabling experts and the general public (citizen scientists) to collaborate in the identification and segmentation of structures within time-varying volumetric data. We are designing methods for navigating within volumetric data and retaining a felt-sense of one’s spatial orientation within the volume, thus enabling users to know where they are within data volumes while utilizing non-parallel (oblique) views. Our twofold aim is to remove segmentation as a bottleneck to discovery and to enable citizen scientists to participate in bio-imaging research in ways that generate calibrated and validated data that has the potential to accelerate scientific discovery.

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PEIR-Dashboard PEIR: Personal Environmental Impact Report is a participatory sensing application that uses location data sampled from everyday mobile phones to calculate personalized estimates of environmental impact and exposure.

Project description, video and publication.
Ecce Homology is an interactive installation that bridges art and science through the use of dynamic media, computer vision and computer graphics. Named after Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo, a meditation on how one becomes what one is, the project explores human evolution by examining similarities – known as “homology” – between genes from human beings and a target organism, in this case the rice plant.


A brief description and video are here.
Recoding Innovation - Site Creative & Scientific Consulting for Recoding Innovation an NSF sponsored film series dedicated to exploring the ways in which ethical considerations positively drive innovations in scientific discovery.

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The Trajectory of Forgetting is an interactive installation exploring the nature of memory, its creation, erasure, and transformation, in an interplay between genotype and phenotype, and its centrality to our construct of Self and consciousness.

Description and images: Trajectory
Stars is a work that reflects upon the intersection of gender and the history of science. The sound installation transforms astronomical data, digitally imaged on to 12" vinyl LPs, into unique tonal compositions reminiscent of radio astronomy recordings of pulsars. The strange yet somehow familiar music mediates the relationship of the data to the history of its production, as each LP contains the full-hemisphere astronomical data for the birth or death for each of several women members of the Harvard College Observatory, collectively known as "The Harvard Computers" who collectively are responsible for developing the schema used for classifying stars by their spectra and cataloging and categorising the majority of stellar data used as the basis for astromical maps.

Description, video and images: Stars
Dreamspace Fragments is an exploration into generating representations of the narrative content of dreams as virtual environments, or "dreamspaces." Using a derivative of the classification system for dream content analyses developed by Calvin Hall I encoded the narrative content of dreams into numeric values which were then used to define the parameters for generating 3-dimensional objects that are rendered as VRML worlds.

Description and images: Dreamspace
Multiscale Data Exploration: Ongoing collaborative research to develop systems for real-time visualization and interaction with multi-modal data representing very large and high-dimensional datasets (2D, 3D, and 4D) within immersive environments utilizing ultra-high resolution displays connected by high-bandwidth low-latency networks to facilitate distributed collaboration. This research integrates ultra-high resolution tiled displays, computer grahics and visualization, interatctive technologies and multi-modal, multi-resolution imaging data of biological systems. Key collaborators: Iman Mostafavi, Dr. Jurgen Schulze, Raj Singh, in addition to NCMIR, Calit2 and EVL researchers.

Video and description: Multiscale
Mixed-media works on canvas and paper: An exploration of the potential for transformation of consciousness through visual experience via the creation of images that are neither representational nor interpretive -- images whose sole content is the act of seeing.

View: Works on canvas and paper.
timen = inspiration 2explores the relationship between time and money, the selling of human time for money through labor, and the alternative - purchasing time in continuous or asynchronos multiple dimensions. It is an online experience where individuals create an alternate identity and go on a shopping spree for time. In collaboration with Ingo Tributh.

Description and images: Time

Path of Silence This project highlight page shows preliminary studies for a an installation that would combine real-time video from 11 different labyrinths throughout the world to form a virtual 11-circuit labyrinth thereby establishing a collective sacred space that can be experienced by multiple participants as a single labyrinth.

View sketches: Labyrinth

Ruth West
Associate Professor and director, xREZ lab. University of North Texas
Ruth is cross-appointed in the College of Information / Library and Information Sciences, College of Visual Arts and Design / New Media, College of Arts and Sciences / Biological Sciences and the iARTA research cluster. Prior affiliations include: UCSD Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA)/Calit2, UCLA CENS (NSF Center for Embedded Networked Sensing), NCMIR (National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research), UCLA Design | Media Arts, and Cedars-Sinai Health System.

View: xREZ art-science-humanities research lab.

Upcomoing exhibit and talk: Perot Museum of Nature and Science, June 2013

Keynote iSchools Conference 2013
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