Art + Astrophysics Lab

The lab works closely with OpenLab founding Professors Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz and Jennifer Parker with support from the UCSC NSF REU- Lamat Summer Research Program, OpenLab, and the SLUG: Supercomputer lab for Undergraduates.

Projects + Workshops + Exhibitions

Galactic Bowling - Tidal Disruption of Stars: Game like Wiimote triggered visualization created by one of the OpenLab Summer Institute teams of Art and Astrophysics at the University of California Santa Cruz. Lyes Belhocine, DANM Research Associate Drew Detweiler, DANM Research Associate James Guillochon, Astrophysics Graduate Student Morgan MacLeod, Astrophysics Graduate Student Uliana Popov, Engineering Graduate Student Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, UCSC Astronomy and Astrophysics Faculty Jolie Ruelle, DANM Graduate Student/Summer Art Lecturer

Black Star/Digital Star was developed by Eddie Lee in response to an OpenLab open-call for the TRANSMUTATION project with SonicSENSE at Gray Area. Lee is a graduate from the Guildhall at SMU, where he received his Masters in Interactive Technology. 

"The idea of OpenLab is simple: Bring together a group of specialists from different disciplines and task them with leveraging each other’s strengths to create new ways to visualize scientific research."

The Kepler App and Display Case were developed through the OpenLab initiative at UC Santa Cruz, which brought together faculty and students in astrophysics, art, and technology for a summer institute last year. The Kepler Explorer team includes astrophysicist Jonathan Fortney, a member of the Kepler science team; two of his graduate students, Eric Lopez and Caroline Morley; artist Kyle McKinley, a recent graduate of the Digital Arts and New Media program; and John Peters, a recent graduate of the computer game design program.m

Black (W)hole is an immersive exhibition experience designed by The Einstein Collective that combines the arts, data visualization and sonification, and astrophysics. Entering the installation, viewers step into a darkened gallery where a laser star field projects onto their skin.

MoonSplat! The model for OpenLab’s 3D stroboscopic zoetrope, is a series of physical models created by sculptor Leslie Thompson with Sudhu Tewari from computer simulations of an impact between the moon and a smaller companion.

OpenLab opening reception with presentation by artists and scientist who collaborated on the Arts + Astrophysics Exhibition.


Join the 3D VizLab for an open house at the 3D Astrophysical Visualization Laboratory (a.k.a. the 3D VizLab), where we will be presenting a range of 3D scientific visualizations, both on our 3D TV and our virtual-holographic workstation, zSpace.


Nathan Ober is a DANM graduate student developing creative research projects for the Art + Astrophysics Lab in the Digital Arts Research Center this summer at UCSC. 

The Astro Lounge was developed by OpenLab summer research fellows Zach Corse and Nathan Ober as members of OpenLab's 2015 Art + Astrophysics' Summer Institute. New works emerged from their interest in Einstein's theory of general relativity and its many applications, information theory, and the limits of human perception. 

ART + Astrophysics Exhibition. The exhibition feature four exhibit of astrophysical phenomena including Black Hole/Star Bowling Game; a Kepler App; a 3D Zoetrope of MoonSplat, and an interactive sculpture of Spectral Shifts in the Milky Way.