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  Karolina Karlic

Karolina Karlic

Associate Professor



Use my name

Arts Division

Art Department

Associate Professor
Art + Science Faculty Director, Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History
Founding Director Unseen California


Kenneth S Norris Center for Natural History
Film and Digital Media Department

Regular Faculty

Art Photography/Photography as Critical Practice
Social Documentation
Visual Arts

Digital Arts Research Center
DARC # 239

by appointment

Art Department

Through a range of photographic media Karlic creates work that widely addresses the intersection of photography and documentary practices, with a focus on systems of labor and industry, globalization, and their impact on the social and environmental landscapes. Karlic has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, residencies, and awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Cultural Exchange International Fellowship of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Fellowship, the Hellman Fellowship, the Sacatar Foundation Residency Program, and Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program, amongst others. Her work has been published in the New York Times, The  New Yorker, Aperture, Juxtapoz Magazine, Society of Photographic Education, IMA Japanese Magazine, Marie Claire UK, and others.


Her research is dedicated to telling the stories of those persons and ecologies who have been affected by the post-modernization of the industrial world. Through the use of documentary art practice as a research method rather than an artistic style, her work seeks to better understand societal, environmental, and industrial constructs by critically making visual notes of them. Karlic invites the viewer into a space and environment where historical consciousness is critical to reflecting on our relationship to consumption by questioning photography’s limitations, engaging contemporary concerns around the social impact of art, and elaborating on the distinctions between art and lived experience.


In her research, Rubberlands, a photographic survey that maps the ways natural rubber manufacturing is socially, ecologically and systemically formed, Karlic proposes that rubber + photography are both integral components of the second phase of the industrial revolution. This research proposes that each are equal players in the development of a globalized contemporary mobile society of making and consuming.


Unseen California

Karolina Karlic is the co-founder of, Unseen California, a research initiative that serves as a centralizing information hub for arts+science+humanities research that aims to build upon and extend faculty led arts research, education and student work in outdoor California classroom laboratories across the UC Natural Reserve System through an interdisciplinary arts approach to visualizing the environmental and social concerns of the California Landscape in the 21st Century. 



M.F.A., Photography and Integrated Media, California Institute of the Arts 

B.F.A., Photography, Minneapolis College of Art and Design



Unseen California

Environmental Art + Social Practice M.F.A. Program, Art Department UCSC

Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History

Social Documentation M.F.A. Program, Film and Digital Media Department UCSC



Photography as Critical Practice, Documentary Practice, Environmental Engagement Arts + Sciences, Media, Archival Research.

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