Fairbanks, AKbio:

Lisa Tolentino is a musician, artist, and media arts researcher with a PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from Arizona State University. Her doctoral work focused on the use of hybrid, augmented reality environments to enhance learning for youth in special education, with a particular focus on youth with autism. For half a decade, she led a collaborative team of special education teachers, media artists, and learning scientists to design learning experiences that used immersive audio-visual metaphors to activate students' capacity to practice social and verbal communication. As a member of the K-12 Embodied and Mediated Learning (EML) research group in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering (AME), her work also included curricular development for middle and high school courses in science and game design, using the Situated Multimedia Art Learning Lab (SMALLab).

As an educator, Lisa approaches digital media and instructional design through the lens of experimental performance. She applies interpretive practices from avant-garde music to create openings for innovation in fields connected to human-computer interaction, special education, and arts-STEM education. Her theory of learning builds upon Lev Vygotsky's socio-cultural theories, and the more contemporary work on games ane learning by James Paul Gee.

Lisa currently serves on the Board of Directors of Tempe-based art collective urbanSTEW, a not-for-profit group that builds, codes and curates performance/installation-based works with interactive electronics, music, and dance. She plays regularly with Crossing 32nd Street, and Phoenix-based contemporary/experimental music performance group; and Rules of Play Music, a duo for vocal-percussion-electronics with Robert Esler. Prior to ASU, Lisa studied Contemporary Music Performance (M.A.) and Computer Science (B.S.) at University of California, San Diego. While there, she performed research on meaning and metaphor with the late Professor Joseph Goguen (PhD, Computer Science), and was a regular member with the redfish bluefish ensemble under the direction of Steven Schick.

projects & performance:

Steve Reich’s "Music for 18 Musicians", January 3, 2014 / First Friday, at the Phoenix Art Museum
John Luther Adams’ "Inuksuit" for 9-99 percussionists, December 5, 2013, at Japanese Friendship Gardens in Phoenix
Karlheinz Stockhausen Fest with X32st @ Paradise Valley Community College - February 8-9, 2013
Intonarumori performance installation @ Mesa's SPARK Festival of Creativity - March 13-17, 2013
Residency with X32st @ Iowa State University, March 28-30, 2013

crossing 32nd street / X32st (phoenix)
rules of play (tempe)
urbanSTEW.org (phoenix)
storytelling series (tempe)
desert, forest, tundra (anza-borrego, ca / sandwich, nh / denali, ak)

dogstar orchestra (CalArts, valencia)
pakaraguian kulintang ensemble (san diego)
red fish blue fish (san diego - la jolla)
rhythm creature (ubiquitous)

current events
spark! Festival of Creativity - March 19-23, 2012 | Performances 7:30pm, March 21 and 22 @ Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ

past events
PLAY! [>]: a festival of technology and art - March 23-24, 2012 @ MADCAP (tempe)
Contemporary Music Series @ Arizona State U. Iannis Xenakis (2011), John Cage (2012)


Media Arts and Sciences, PhD Dissertation - Arizona State University, May 2013:
Immersive Media Environments: Developing Agency in Communication for Youth with Autism
(Download PDF from UMI ProQuest)

New Media Learning Environments for Special Education - Social Spaces for Youth with Autism
SMALLab @ Arts, Media and Engineering, Arizona State U., now extended through SMALLab Learning, LLC
This work has been generously funded by research grants through the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation's IGERT Program, and Intel.

Connecting Contemporary and Experimental Music with Civic Action
"Fields of Vision, Limits of the World: Contemplating New Contexts in Contemporary Music" (pdf),
Roots and Rhizomes 2007, University of California, San Diego


LeadScape blog, 2012 May 2:
"Voices in things: What experimental music has to teach us about performing with labels"

NICHCY blog, 2011 Sept. 22:
"New potentials: Rethinking disability through my sister’s eyes" (reprint)

LeadScape blog, 2009 Sept. 16:
"Diversity, disability perceptions and a vision for a cultural shift"

different from what? film festival (tempe, az), with:
* the equity alliance at ASU, and
* p.a.v.e. performing arts venture experience

public practice & civic engagement in design and the arts (Arizona State U.)


Robert Esler, percussion + electro-acoustic / new media art
SMALLab Learning at ASU (Situated Multimedia Arts Learning Lab), led by David Birchfield and Mina Johnson-Glenberg
Institute of Play, led by Katie Salen (director), home of Quest-2-Learn
Pure Java Jsyn Beta from SoftSynth, led by Phil Burk

To teachers, social workers, cultural workers, families, and community members who have devoted their lives to recovering those lost in labels and institutions ~ A heartfelt thanks.

contact: lisa (at) urbanstew (dot) org

curriculum vitae

* ... if you ( are | look for ) another lisa ...