REEL LOUD FILM FESTIVAL 2016 Art Installation: “Perception vs. Reality”



Will Huebner – Director, Cinematographer

Fernando Perez – Editor

Adam Brainin – Producer (Music)


The Isla Vista community struggles with a media-created perception that it’s populous only lives to party as festivals and two nights of fun on the weekends overshadow the students’ academic efforts day-in and day-out.


  • Characters: The student population present in Isla Vista. The students live a dual lifestyle. On one hand, the students are known nationwide to be party animals whose collective drunken rage has produced riots and a need for heavy policing in their beach town. On the other hand, the students put their heads down in the classroom and have earned UCSB the distinction of being one of best research universities in the country.
  • Objects: Shots of glass breaking, feet stomping, and doors slamming serve as the “instruments” of the film’s soundtrack of disembodied samples.
  • Elements: Screen static and “technical difficulties” screens serve as placeholders for boxes around the central narrative that are not occupied with “instrument” screens.


The tension present in Perception vs. Reality is exactly what the title suggests: the antithesis that is Isla Vista’s reputation for being a town consumed by substance abuse and a party culture and the day-to-day reality of ambitious students pursuing their goals and dreams through the rigorous coursework of higher education. Festivals like Isla Vista’s annual “Deltopia” and the town’s notorious party street “Del Playa Drive” contribute to Isla Vista’s current reputation. On the contrary, the student population’s “true” home next door, the University of California, Santa Barbara, is ranked as the 37th best university in the States due to the exceptional diligence of the students with their studies.

Completion/ Exit Work

Upon the successful completion of this project, we hope to expose the injustice of passing UCSB and Isla Vista off as a college wasteland. This reputation is poisonous to the value of the hard-earned degrees given out at graduation ceremonies here every year and, frankly, doesn’t faithfully present the whole picture of our wonderfully diverse community. Perception vs. Reality will use musical cues in combination with glitched sequences of video showing Isla Vista parties in order to artistically point a finger at the fallacy of reductive thinking. The partitioned, a cappella-style presentation of a central narrative surrounded by “instruments” synchronized with the soundtrack takes a work that otherwise could be considered a straightforward music video and allows it to symbolically suggest glitch’s ability to provide a pathway to alternate ways of thinking (a concept derived from the writings of Legacy Russell in “Digital Dualism and the Glitch Feminism Manifesto”). Perception vs. Reality will show the error of a narrow perspective on the Isla Vista community as opposed to uncaptivatingly lecturing about it.


Possible Outlets for Further Presentation

The Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara is a local art museum in Santa Barbara that cycles through different contemporary art exhibitions regularly.

The Art, Design, and Architecture Museum at UCSB is the on-campus art museum of UCSB. The museum displays exhibitions in all mediums and showcases student work often.