Adrienne Jenik

Last Name: 
First Name: 

Adriene Jenik is a telecommunications media artist who has been working for over 15 years as an artist, teacher, curator, administrator, and engineer. She received her BA in English from Douglass College, Rutgers University and her MFA in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to joining the UCSD faculty, Jenik was employed as an engineer in the Blast Jr. development team for Disney Online's Daily Blast. Over the past 10 years she has taught a broad range of electronic media classes at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), UC Irvine, University of Southern California (USC), and UCLA's New Media Lab. From her early productions with Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish TV (1985-1990), performances with the band Snakes & Ladders,and publications with the 'zine collective SCREAMBOX (with Pam Gregg and Bryn Austin), Jenik's artistic projects have continued to straddle and trouble the borders between art and popular culture. Her video productions include the internationally exhibited video short, What's the Difference Between a Yam & a Sweet Potato? (with J. Evan Dunlap), and the award-winning live satellite TV broadcast, EL NAFTAZTECA: Cyber-Aztec TV for 2000 A.D. (with Guillermo GÛmez-PeÒa and Roberto Sifuentes). Her work often serves as a catalyst of community and social movement and interpersonal understanding during its creation and reception. To this end, much of Jenik's work has been collectively or collaboratively produced. Distribution outlets have encompassed television, clubs, bars, and city streets in addition to screenings and events in more traditional cultural and educational venues. Throughout the years, Jenik has consistently moved among and between media. This insistence on expressing herself and her ideas on many levels (musical composition and performance, math/logic/programming, poetry, drawing/painting, videography) finds a well-suited home in her recent computer-based interactive projects. MAUVE DESERT: A CD-ROM Translation is Jenik's internationally acclaimed interactive road movie based on the novel Le Désert mauve by French Canadian author Nicole Brossard. Jenik wrote, directed, produced, edited, designed, programmed and published the disc. MAUVE DESERT has been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Festival International Nouveau Cinéma Nouveaux Médias, the Virginia Film Festival, 2nd Annual Digital Storytelling Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Centro Nacion·l de las Artes and many other venues. The work is considered a landmark piece of interactive narrative and continues to be included in international writing, exhibitions and curricula addressing new media and literary forms. Her current longterm project, DESKTOP THEATER, is a series of live theatrical interventions and activities in public visual chat rooms developed with multi-media maven Lisa Brenneis. Inaugurated with in 1997, DESKTOP THEATER combined weekly experiments and "doubly-live" presentations at venues including Digital Arts & Culture '99 in Atlanta, FutureScreen '99 in Sydney, Australia, and Urban Futures 2000 in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the interest of introducing a new model of immersive and invested play to the computer gaming field, and a new form of theatrical improvisation to the performing arts field, DESKTOP THEATER presented new work and a series of DESKTOP THEATER workshops throughout 2000-2002. A web-based archive of DESKTOP THEATER works can be found at Jenik's current research includes the development of large-scale community-based events over wireless networks. She serves as Art Director on the CAL-IT2 and HP sponsored ActiveCampus project, for which she has initiated several campus-based experimental events: ActiveCampus Explorientation, and the upcoming distributed cinema spectacle SPEC-FLIC. Jenik is also the founder and facilitator of the Smokey Johnson Memorial Center for Research and Development. Since 1997, the Center has supported the creative efforts of artists, musicians, writers and performers through an informal program of residencies in the Mojave Desert. Jenik's work has been reviewed and discussed in such publications as Parachute, The Independent, Jumpcut, The Village Voice, Afterimage, Art Papers, Artlink, Modern Fiction, Salon Magazine and The New York Times Online. In addition, her creative writing and essays have been published in The Drama Review , High Performance, Felix, The L.A. Weekly, Off Video, Heresies, and The Utne Reader. Her awards include a 1997 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in New Media, and a Franklin Furnace Archives commission for the 2001 Future of the Present internet performance series.