This fall the RIXC Art Science Festival, Virtualities and Realities, in Riga, Latvia hosted three members of the ThoughtWorks Arts community. RIXC Art Science Festival is an internationally renown gathering for artists and scholars working at the intersection of arts, digital humanities, and science. The Festival includes conferences, exhibitions, performances, and VR artwork showcases.
Director Ellen Pearlman was a conference keynote speaker with her topic: The Approaching Storm: AI, Biometrics, Big Data, Immersion and Surveillance. Director Andrew McWilliams’s multimedia installation Insulin, and Art-A-Hack alum Annie Berman’s video and VR experience, Utopia 1.0, were all included in the festival’s contemporary digital art exhibitions.
Over the summer, Director Andy McWilliams spoke at TEDxVilnius, and shared different examples of how artists are using art practice and technology as a mechanism to explore emergent futures.
“Sometimes looking into the future can be scary, because by definition it is unknown. But with art and technology, we can tell real stories about what is coming, and bring these issues into the light.”
Congratulations to Residency Director Ellen Pearlman, who has been awarded a Fulbright Specialist Grant to Liepaja University in Liepaja, Latvia. The program pairs highly qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions abroad to share their expertise, strengthen institutional linkages, hone their skills, and learn about other cultures while building capacity at their overseas host institutions.
There she will expand her groundbreaking Art-A-Hack art and technology collaborations, assist program directors at Liepaja University with international digital project proposals, run faculty training and development seminars, and lend her expertise toward the design of an M.F.A. Program in art and technology.
We are pleased to welcome our newest resident Karen Palmer, a London-based digital filmmaker and storyteller.
During her ThoughtWorks Arts Residency, Karen will be furthering development of her interactive film, RIOT. This project is an emotionally responsive live-action film with 3D sound, and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, machine learning, and facial recognition to allow users to navigate through a dangerous riot in progress.
ThoughtWorks Arts is currently seeking an artist/technologist wishing to work on issues surrounding the design, use and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI). AI can enhance the human experience, but can also contribute towards amplifying pre-existing social prejudices and biases, thereby restricting the free flow of individuals, communities and entire populations in untold ways.
View the open call here, and also review this article from the Directors explaining our perspective on this critical issue. Note that we have designed the call to be open-ended, so as to allow artists to surprise us with their proposals. Applications are due by June 8, 2017.
Our latest artist-in-residence, hannes bend, has now started his stay with the ThoughtWorks Arts Residency. Hannes recently created one of the first Virtual Reality programs with heart-rate biofeedback in collaboration with the Neuroscience and Quantum Physics Alemán Lab, at the University of Oregon.
During his residency at ThoughtWorks, hannes intends to extend the range of biosensors which can be used in the VR environment, and to develop the user experience of the program towards an aim of increasing personal awareness and mindfulness.