Los Angeles, California
“New technologies mediate the ways in which we experience, consume, and share experiences of the everyday. How can we develop creative ways to engage difference, identity, and community in this space?”
Dr. Kristy H.A. Kang is research associate and associate director of the Spatial Analysis Lab at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. She collaborates with urban planners and policy specialists on ways to visualize overlooked spaces and peoples.
She is also an award-winning media artist and scholar whose work explores the intersections between urban space and narratives of identity and cultural memory. She is an Annenberg Fellow, among a group of international artists and scholars recognized for their work in communication research and creative practice with technology. She received her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Practice at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Kang’s research interests include histories and theories of digital media arts, animation, and transnational media and ethnic studies between the U.S. and Asia. In 1997, she became a founding member of the Labyrinth Project research initiative on interactive narrative and digital scholarship at USC, directed by media scholar Marsha Kinder. Kang has served as researcher, project director, and designer on a range of collaborative projects at Labyrinth.
Kang’s works have been exhibited internationally and have received several awards, including the Jury Award for New Forms at the Sundance Online Film Festival. She received this as co-director with Carroll Parrott Blue and the Labyrinth Project for “The Dawn at My Back: Memoir of a Black Texas Upbringing,” an interactive memoir exploring the cultural history of race in Houston, Texas.
Kang was director of Labyrinth’s two science visualization projects. One was “A Tale of Two MAO Genes: Exploring the Biology and Culture of Aggression and Anxiety,” a collaboration with molecular biologist Jean Chen Shih. The other was “Three Winters in the Sun: Einstein in California,” an interactive installation about Albert Einstein exhibited at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Labyrinth projects exploring the city as narrative space that Kang co-directed include “The Danube Exodus: The Rippling Currents of the River,” a cinematic installation with Hungarian documentary filmmaker Peter Forgács that premiered at The Getty Center, and “Tracing the Decay of Fiction: Encounters with a Film by Pat O’Neill,” a collaboration with experimental filmmaker Pat O’Neill that combines fictional and archival narratives to explore the former Ambassador Hotel and its surrounding neighborhood, now known as Koreatown, near downtown L.A. Her current research project, titled “The Seoul of Los Angeles: Contested Identities and Transnationalism in Immigrant Space,” focuses on this area of Los Angeles and its diverse ethnic community.