Jennifer Cool

Jennifer Cool is a social anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker whose work focuses on the cultural histories of networked and electronic media. She has written on the origins of social media and taught in Cinema at San Francisco State University, Information and Computer Science and Art at University of California at Irvine, and Anthropology at University of Southern California since 2010 where she leads the MA program in visual anthropology.

Updated July 2019

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Mits Kataoka, Communications Designer, New Media Visionary - Part 2: Lessons from Life

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The son of two Japanese immigrants who met and married in Los Angeles, Kataoka was born in 1934 in the city’s Jefferson Park neighborhood, then home to a large Japanese American community. His mother was a housewife and his father and uncle worked for a time as partners in a Firestone tire dealership in downtown Los Angeles. Later, his father rented 10 acres in the city of Azusa, located in the nearby San Gabriel Valley, where he raised flowers and strawberries.

The family spoke Japanese at home and Kataoka learned English while attending elementary school in …

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Mits Kataoka, Communications Designer, New Media Visionary - Part 1: A Pioneering Influence

Mitsuru “Mits” Kataoka, was an entrepreneurial visionary who fostered artistic explorations of electronic media among generations of students and colleagues at UCLA’s department of Design Media Arts, where he taught for nearly forty years. Decades before YouTube and smartphones, he saw the transformative potential of electronic communications and worked to put emerging technologies in the hands of artists, designers, and students through innovative partnerships with technology companies. Over his long career, he worked on experimental projects with collaborators as diverse as Marshall McLuhan, Buckminster Fuller, William Wegman, and Nam June Paik.

In 1969, Kataoka introduced video and computer media courses …

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