Kathleen Ruiz

Associate Professor, Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences

Kathleen Ruiz is a media artist who creates simulations, games, installations, sculpture and photography. Her work explores issues about perception, behavior, interaction and the confluence of the imaginary and the real, inviting inquiry into how conceptual constructs are built and how they serve to shape ethics and power. She provides us with simulated places where multiple viewpoints can be explored and expanded, while challenging us to simultaneously perceive the perspectives of the observer, the observed and the process of observation.

http://homepages.rpi.edu/~ruiz/
ruiz@rpi.edu

She is the founder, lead artist, designer, director and producer of Eco Resilience Games, where she leads a trans-disciplinary group of international student and faculty artists, computer scientists, game designers, writers, music composers, and engineers, working with biologists, geologists, and freshwater ecologists who are passionate about the environment and in making a lasting impact on emerging generations. Here art, games and ecological science come together for environmental knowledge preservation by creating virtual worlds that inspire us to preserve our actual one. Whether we are enabling people to experientially see, hear and touch plankton in new ways in order to understand their vital importance to freshwater ecology, or making it possible to become a water droplet traveling through an entire watershed, we are creatively using advanced game technology to introduce people to new worlds, new perspectives, and new systems to help understand and preserve emerging environmental knowledge and the vital need to work together globally for a sustainable, eco-resilient future. Please visit the Eco-Resilience Games: https://sites.google.com/view/eco-resilience/home

Grants awarded include NSF, NYFA, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Award, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Commission, New York State Council on the Arts exhibition grant, Experimental Television Center Grant, and the New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist award. Her work was sponsored by Sony Computer Entertainment in Europe and awarded a grant by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Ruiz's art has been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums in the United States, Mexico, Europe, South America, and Asia and has been reviewed/published in the New York Times, Aperture, Art News, ARTI, Jornal do Brasil, The College Art Journal, The MIT Press, Reuters Video News International, Computer Graphics, Yale University Art Gallery, Wired, USA Today, arteTV, Kultur, TeknoKultura, and by Merrell, Thames and Hudson, IEEE, and others.

She is committed to using simulation technology to expand awareness of the human condition and has created research groups and projects in the following areas: CapAbility Games: simulation for differently-abled individuals; ErGoGenic Games: for health; and Eco Resilience Games: art and science games that engage both digitally and physically with field science observations and art making.

Education

Doctoral candidate (abd), European Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies EGS

M.A., New York University

Research Focus
  • art and empathic simulation and visualization systems
  • expressive simulation
  • multiperspective simulation
  • Eco Resilience Games https://sites.google.com/view/eco-resilience/home
Select Works
  • "Physically Interactive Gaming: What Appeals to Adolescent and Undergraduate Women?" by Julie G. McIntyre , Sybillyn Jennings (The Sage Colleges) and Kathleen Ruiz (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) at the Interacting with Immersive Worlds Conference in Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, June 4-5, 2007
  • "Imaginary Homelands: Reconstituted Narratives in the Digital Landscape", The Photography Quarterly, #85, Vol. 20, No.4. 2003 Published paper and curated exhibition,by Kathleen Ruiz Imaginary Homelands: Reconstituted Narratives in the Digital Landscape is an exhibition exploring the notion of "homeland" within the context of the transience, portability, and flexibility of digital media. The exhibition includes the work of a diverse group of nine artists who investigate this subject using digital media ranging from photographic and video methodologies to interactive virtual environment installations. Each artist presents a strong personal, political or psychological discourse on the preservation, reflection, exploration, and longing for a home that may or may not be actual. The works presented are created by artists from Ghana, Latvia, Israel, Malaysia, Spain, America, Brazil, and Bulgaria. The title is taken from Salman Rushdie's collection of essays and criticism of the same name - his ten-year personal and intellectual odyssey that records the politics and irony of culture, film, religious fundamentalism, racial prejudice, and the preciousness of the imagination and free expression. The common theme seen throughout the work included in the Imaginary Homelands exhibition is coping with transience, a topic that is especially relevant in our current times of displacement, globalization, and the turmoil of unresolved conflicts worldwide.
  • "Conditions of Engagement in Game Simulation: Contexts of Gender, Culture and Age", Ralph Noble,Ph.D., Kathleen Ruiz, Ph.D. abd,Marc Destefano,PhD., Jonathan Mintz Juried paper presented at the International Digital Games Research Association, "Level Up" University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, November 2003 We advocate a research approach to determining the conditions of engagement in game simulation that is a multi-disciplinary cultural and scientific inquiry at the juncture of psychological, artistic, and programming perspectives. What are the factors that cause some people to become enthralled with detail-oriented simulation game-play, while others are captivated by more abstracted, symbolic styles of play? How are the conditions of engagement influenced by gender, culture, and age? Keywords: Research methodology, psychology of engagement, intuition, decision making, gender, culture, real world psychology and game worlds, game aesthetics, game composition, logistics of perception, synthesis of factors
  • Ruiz, Kathleen and Kornecki, Krystina. Eco-resilience: Games, Art, Science, 2019 IEEE (gem), Yale University, New Haven, CT., USA, 2019, pp. 1-11. doi: 10.1109/GEM.2019.8901974 URL: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8901974
  • Major Research Archives or Databases DBLP and The ACM SIGMOD Anthology http://www.informatik.uni-trier.de/~ley/db/indices/a-tree/r/Ruiz:Kathleen.html