UCSD is located in La Jolla, along the pacific coast and a few miles north of San Diego. It was founded in the post-War boom years, originally planned as a high-tech graduate school. It is now ranked as one of the top 5 public universities in the nation. San Diego is the 8th largest American city, tucked into the southwestern corner of the country, right against the Mexican border. The region is a volatile geopolitical interface between northern and southern hemispheres and the social economies that infuse them. While San Diego has traditionally been a Navy town, but is now global hub of biotech and infotech.
Roger Revelle, Scripps Institute turn of the century, originally graduate only focusing on science and technology but without borders between arts and humanities, instead cluster of colleges.
Nestled in groves of supermodernist concrete baked in sea salt, UCSD is home to seven Nobel Prize winners (“College of the Surf” in Thomas Pynchon's Vineland was based on it). It also hosts the Scripps Research Institute (where among other things Denning pioneered the measurement of CO2 and climate change, in essence inaugurating global warming science), the Salk Institute, and the San Diego Supercomputing Center, one of the world's top 5 university supercomputing sites. Its national top ten programs include neuroscience, bioengineering, bioinformatics, cognitive science, computer science, mechanical and aerospace engineering, electrical and computer engineering, structural engineering, geophysics, economics, and studio arts.
It was also a somewhat accidental home to the Americanization of European Critical Theory. UCSD was where Herbert Marcuse fought with Gov. Reagan and mentored Angela Davis and Kathy Acker. Fredric Jameson often hosted Jean Baudrillard while teaching in the same Literature department where Michel de Certeau taught for many years and writing The Practice of Everyday Life, while in La Jolla. At the Louis Kahn-designed Salk Institute, a young Bruno Latour studied proteins, peptides and the scientists who love them, and in doing so inaugurated Actor-Network Theory and revolutionized Science and Technology Studies.
Today the intellectual culture at UCSD orbits biotechnologies, bioinformatics & biopolitics, neurophilosophy, cognitive linguistics & eliminative materialism, the epistemic history of technoscience, computational ontologies & interactive art. As such it is precisely where the D:GP's brief of emergent ICT and public infrastructure can help to invent the alternative modernities to come.
See ucsd.edu →