Brian Bartz is a new media artist and educator living and working in Berkeley, CA. He is invested in exploring digital technologies sculpturally and materially as a way to dispute the supposed immateriality of virtual space. He holds an MFA from UC Berkeley, and a BA from Reed College. His work has been shown across the west coast, including at the Berkeley Art Museum, Embark Gallery, and SOMarts Cultural Center, among others. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the San Francisco Foundation Cadogan Award, the Eisner Prize for Excellence in Creative Practice, and the Kaspar Locher Fellowship. Bartz completed the ACRE artist residency in 2019 and is currently an artist in residence at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley.
Some of his recent work examines the ways in which new media technologies facilitate a turning inward of extractive neoliberal logics onto our own minds. He is interested in bridging the space between the geological extraction necessary to develop smart-technologies and the self-exploitative tendencies they foster in users, considering both to be a similar process of terraforming (earth shaping). His recent science fiction short film, —Ecopoiesis— makes this conflation literal, depicting a terraforming process unfolding on a planet-sized brain, all towards the end of producing a monocrop of wheat on the brain's surface.