UCLA A.UD Lecture Series: February 9, 2015
Professor, UCLA Design & Media Arts
Professor Rebeca Méndez joined the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts in 2003. She received her BFA (1984) and MFA (1996) from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California.
Rebeca Méndez is a designer, artist and professor at UCLA, Design Media Arts. Her artwork explores technologically mediated nature and has been exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Oaxaca; and the Nevada Art Museum, among others. Méndez lectures widely, including a TEDx talk in 2011, and is recipient of numerous awards including, the California Community Foundation Mid Career Fellowship for Visual Artists, 2010; the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, 2012; the City of Los Angeles (COLA) Award, 2013; and was the first artist in residence of GLOW, Santa Monica, 2013.
Méndez’s art practice is in various media—photography, 16mm film, video, sculpture and immersive installations—with which she explores the nature of perception and media representation. Her work is driven by the concept of élan vital, developed by the French philosopher Henri Bergson, who described it as “the explosive internal force that life carries within itself,” which he claimed animates all being. She considers the journey as a medium in itself and has produced a significant body of work based on travels to unfamiliar and extreme places such as Iceland, Patagonia, and Svalbard, where she is awakened to a heightened level of perception.