Susana Ruiz

Susana Ruiz

Associate Professor, Film & Digital Media

Susana Ruiz’s scholarly and creative work is concerned with how the intersection of art practice, game/playful design, and digital storytelling can enable new approaches to social activism, aesthetics, and public pedagogy. Ruiz’s work is collaborative, interdisciplinary, and takes the hybrid form of intertwined theory and practice. The cinematic and the playful drive their practice and the humanistic and the collaborative drive their process.   

Her research interests include “serious,” documentary, and “art” games; ubiquitous and locative experience design; animation; modes of transmedia storytelling, production and activism; game-based learning; empathic, value-centric and participatory design; and the artistic application of theories of social justice such as anti-oppression, intersectionalism, narrative power analysis, and ethical spectacle.


ARI Supported Project:

LOST CHINATOWN is an interactive public memorial; a site-specific mobile app that brings light to the historical erasure and lost vibrancy of Santa Cruz’s last Chinatown through augmented reality and holographic filmmaking. The project makes connections between the historical othering of Asian bodies and current xenophobia and anti-Asian violence. The app allows the public to engage with the past by weaving together an in-situ interactive experience in downtown Santa Cruz. The work interrogates new modes of documentary and public pedagogy in the age of immersive and ubiquitous media.

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