UC Santa Cruz professor honored in 11th annual Webby Awards

UC Santa Cruz professor of film and digital media Sharon Daniel (photo by Jim MacKenzie)

Public Secrets, an online art project created by UC Santa Cruz film and digital media associate professor Sharon Daniel, has been named an Official Honoree in the Activism category at this year's Webby Awards.

Hailed as the "Oscars of the Internet" by the New York Times, the Webby Awards are the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. The awards are judged by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a 550-person global organization whose members include David Bowie, Harvey Weinstein, Arianna Huffington, Matt Groening, Jamie Oliver, Internet inventor Vinton Cerf, and RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser.

"The Webby Awards honors the outstanding work that is setting the standards for the Internet," said David-Michael Davies, executive director of the Webby Awards. "Official Honoree selection is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators."

The 11th Annual Webby Awards received a record 8,000 entries from over 60 countries and all 50 states. Out of more than 8,000 entries submitted, fewer than 15 percent were deemed Official Honorees.

Daniel's research involves collaborations with communities that focus on the use and development of information and communications technologies for social inclusion. Her Public Secrets project is an interactive web site of testimonials in which women incarcerated in the California State Prison System reveal the secret injustices of the war on drugs, the criminal justice system, and the prison industrial complex. The project is a collaboration with the nonprofit human rights organization Justice Now and was completed with the support of a fellowship from the Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, the online journal where it was published.

Daniel's work has been exhibited internationally at numerous museums and festivals, including the Corcoran Biennial 2001, University of Paris I, Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Ars Electronica, and Lincoln Center Festival, as well as on the Internet. Her latest project, Palabras--a web site that currently provides access to an archive of over 2,000 video clips created in Buenos Aires; Kiel, Germany; San Francisco and San Jose; and Darfur, Sudan-was recently exhibited at the ISEA/ZeroOne electronic arts festival in San Jose.

Daniel joined the UC Santa Cruz faculty in 1996, where she teaches classes in digital media theory and practice.