Thoughtworks Arts


Olivia Ting and Andy Slater Awarded Leonardo/ISAST CripTech Residencies

Posted by the Thoughtworks Arts Team
Wednesday, 3 November 2021

We are pleased to announce that artists Olivia Ting and Andy Slater have been jointly awarded residencies with Thoughtworks Arts, in partnership with Leonardo/ISAST’s CripTech Incubator program.

Olivia Ting, a smiling woman with long straight shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes, and Andy Slater, a white man with neglected sandy blond hair and a red and grey beard
Olivia Ting and Andy Slater

The residencies will take place during 2022 as part of the larger Leonardo CripTech Incubator. The program supports artists focusing on disability innovation and offers multiple residencies, workshops, presentations, publication and education.

Residency placements will take place via partnerships with aligned institutions including Thoughtworks; Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science and Technology; UC Berkeley RadMad Disability Lab; Arizona State University California Center in Los Angeles; and the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts.

Projects incubated within Thoughtworks Arts Residencies regularly engage global technology and art communities, as well as facilitated access to the expertise of Thoughtworks employees. The residency offers artist stipends, direction and logistical support from the Thoughtworks Arts team.

Logos for Leonardo CripTech Incubator, California Arts Council and Thoughtworks Arts

The major focus of the residencies will take place in California and the Bay Area. The CripTech program received a $500K sponsorship from the California Arts Council’s Innovations + Intersections pilot program to advance groundbreaking strategies for community needs in the wellness and technology sectors. This project will allow disabled artists to engage and remake creative technologies through the lens of accessibility.

The geographic focus will further be enabled by Thoughtworks location in downtown San Francisco, and Leonardo/ISAST, headquartered in Oakland, California.

Olivia Ting

Olivia Ting’s fascination with moving images stems from her hearing impairment. She is deaf in one ear and has 22% hearing in the other. Without hearing aids, Olivia perceives almost no sound.

The center of the image shows reflected views of a woman’s ears with long dark hair cascading over them, one wearing a hearing aid and the other a cochlear implant processor. The string and soundboard of a grand piano flanks each side.
“Soundboard” (2020) by Olivia Ting

During her residency at Thoughtworks Arts, Olivia will develop “Song Without Words,” a spatial audiovisual investigation of parallels between gestural language, visual vocabulary of American Sign Language, and music conducting.

Olivia holds a MFA Art Practice from U.C. Berkeley. She has worked collaboratively on video projections with dance choreographers and museum exhibits.

Andy Slater

Andy Slater is a Chicago-based media artist, sound designer, teaching artist, and disability advocate. During his residency Andy will develop “Unseen Sound,” an Augmented Reality design tool app to support blind and non-visual users in the creation of spatial audio design.

A photo of a computer screen that shows an open session in Max/MSP. Spread across the screen is a series of one line text. The text is repeated in 2 groups. Each text line is stacked atop each other. White text on a black background resembles a plastic strip from a label maker. The text of the top groups reads, “Max is not accessible” and is repeated over a dozen times. The lower group’s text read, “This shouldn’t be so hard.” This text is repeated over a dozen times. The text lines are staggered to look like a staircase.
“Roadblock” (2021) by Andy Slater

Andy is the founder of the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists and director of the Sound As Sight accessible field recording project. He holds a Masters in Sound Arts and Industries from Northwestern University, and is a teaching artist with the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology.

Andy’s current work focuses on advocacy for accessible art and technology, Alt-Text for sound and image, documentary film, spatial audio for extended reality, and sound design for sci-fi film and video games.

Placement at Thoughtworks

We look forward to welcoming both artists to work in collaboration with the vibrant global community of practitioners at Thoughtworks.

Christopher Edwards, a Thoughtworks employee working on the CripTech Incubator project, says:

“As a deaf person and experience designer, I know how important it is to engage directly with diversity, with difference. What comes from this program is not just great work that expands the horizons of art and technology, but also that it fosters empathy through collaboration.”
— Christopher Edwards, Thoughtworks

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