by Carol J. Hobson, CRCA Administrative Director (reprinted with permission from CRCA's fall 2003 newsletter)
12.3.03 - Buildings, like people, cannot help aging and changing with the times. But certain spaces like CRCA's building #408 University Center (nee 408 Mathews Campus) has been a special haven for creativity and inquiry within the realm of arts research since the early '70s. In 1972 the building was designated the Center for Music Experiment (CME) and was founded as UC's first arts research unit. Twenty years later CME evolved into CRCA, and now CRCA is growing into the New Media Arts layer within Calit².
After the Fall 2003 quarter, the staff, equipment and labs currently housed in building #408 will be moved to interim spaces on campus until the Calit² grand opening in FY 2004-05. The transitional period will give our research community time to plan and visualize new ways of working within the interdisciplinary institute. Building #408 currently offers ~ 6,000 square feet that accommodate spatialized sound research, interactive performance, multimedia installation, public events, symposia, concerts and research offices. CRCA in Calit² will share and oversee ~ 17,000 sq.ft. that will house dedicated labs for performative computing, spatialized audio, visiting artists studios, and immersive environments alongside a new digital art gallery and a tele-cinema auditorium.
Building 408 has been a home for dozens of international artists in residence, a cross-disciplinary laboratory for experimentation and critical discourse, and a venue for never-before actualized art experiences and juxtapositions. We won't miss the leaking police short-wave transmissions during performances, or airplanes buzzing the building while someone is trying to edit audio. Nor the doors that warp every El Niño year, or the critters or creatures that rustle through the building when the lights are out. But the energy and soul of every artist, musician, composer, dancer, theoretician, director, and administrator will pervade the very ground and air around this corner of campus even after the building comes down. And those who were fortunate enough to work here, visit, or attend an event will keep a small piece of that alive in their memory. With fond remembrances, we say "goodbye" to #408 UCtr. and "hello" to the future.