Thoughtworks Arts


Mechanics & Movement: Announcing Our New Robotics Residents

Newsletter sent on Thursday, 26 April 2018
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We are pleased to announce that Adrianne Wortzel and Catie Cuan will join Thoughtworks Arts this summer as our newest residents, exploring issues of movement and robotics.

Icons of Adrianne Wortzel and Catie Cuan
Adrianne Wortzel and Catie Cuan

Adrianne Wortzel is an acclaimed artist who creates unique and innovative interactive web-based works, robotic and telerobotic installations, performance productions, videos, and writings. During her residency at Thoughtworks Arts, Adrianne will be initiating a project to develop a social and psychotherapeutic tool for nonverbal expression through gesture.

Catie Cuan is a performer, choreographer, and technologist. Her current robotics work, Time to Compile, shows how choreography can inform the design of robots to make them more effective and expressive, especially for personal spaces like homes and hospitals. Catie will use her residency to finalize the performance piece and synthesize her research for this project.

The residency was awarded to these two artists respectively, because of their unique and complementary views on important issues. Their practices provide different critical approaches to issues of the mechanical and movement, as it pertains to robotics and human-computer interaction.

You can learn more about Adrianne and Catie and the projects they will be pursuing through their residency at Thoughtworks in the announcement blog post.

Open Call for Art-A-Hack™ Special Edition Summer 2018

We are now accepting applications for Art-A-Hack™ Special Edition 2018 in collaboration with CUNY City Tech. As always, Art-A-Hack is completely free to participate and open to anyone. We are seeking passionate and curious people to explore projects around two themes: Climate Change: Data & Disinformation; and Emotionally Intelligent Artificial Intelligence & Brain Computer Interfaces.

Art-A-Hack promo image

This special edition of Art-A-Hack will take place in New York City over four Saturdays between June 9th and July 7th (with a break for the July 4th holiday). Final project presentations will be held at CUNY City Tech’s theater in downtown Brooklyn on July 13th. Deadline to apply is Tuesday, May 8th 11:59 PM ET. Please apply to join us and help spread the word by sharing the Open Call!, Co-Founded by TWA Director, Highlighted by the Environmental Defense Fund

In 2017, Thoughtworks Arts Director Andy McWilliams co-founded, a community of technology professionals using their skills, tools, and influence to amplify the Climate Movement. is currently focused on empowering tech sector employees to move their companies forward with sustainability agendas and climate advocacy. Their “Sustainability Accelerator” program has linked emerging technology/environmental advocate employees to successful senior-level sustainability coaches in major tech firms.

The program was recently highlighted in an article published by the Environmental Defense Fund, 4 Corporate Sustainability Trends All Business Leaders Should be Watching in 2018.

Screens showing climate chaos in a red room
Still from Emergency Room Installation

Andy’s art practice is currently focused around linking the climate crisis to personal health emergencies. He most recent work, Emergency Room, is an immersive media installation featuring images of environmental activism amid planetary impacts of climate change, surrounded by a beeping ECG display.

Past Resident Heather Dewey-Hagborg Discusses Art, Tech and Politics with Chelsea Manning

Watch the entire conversation where Heather and Chelsea speak on the social, technological, and economic ramifications of Artificial Intelligence, and on the practical applications of machine learning.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea Manning
Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Chelsea Manning at the University of Michigan

While in her residency at Thoughtworks, Heather partnered with Thoughtworks designer Sholi Kanungo to create the graphic short story, Suppressed Images, illustrating her collaboration with Chelsea Manning and imagining what future might unfold around artificial intelligence and DNA surveillance.

Updates from Art-A-Hack™ Alumni

Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Russell has launched #Create2030, and new film and creative campaign to engage artists and storytellers in helping to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals. Funded by the UN Secretary General’s SDG Advocacy Group, the five minute film features other conscious artists from around the world.

During major social holidays (such as International Women’s Day, World AIDS Day, Earth Day, etc), the campaign will be “activated” and artists will be encouraged to share their SDG-inspired creative content with the hashtag #Create2030. This allows UN/NGO agencies and other partners working on the SDGs to identify possible creative partners.

The #Create2030 logo
The #Create2030 Campaign by Lisa Russell

Are you Interested in arts and machine learning? Gene Kogan is teaching a one-week Machine Learning for New Media Art workshop at Anderson Ranch this August, in Aspen Colorado. You may be able to get a discount if you contact Director of Programs, Andrea Wallace, so act fast!

Join Creative Tech Week’s 10-day Festival for Creative Technologists

Creative Tech Week 2018 brings together interdisciplinary developers, designers, executives and artists in the creative technology field for networking, discovery, conferences, AR/VR, AI, interactive art, and performances. The programing features over 100 experts across New York City for events including VR Night, the intimate CryptoCreative symposium and the CTW2018 Conference.

A person speaking at Creative Tech Week

Get your tickets now for Creative Tech Week 2018 in NYC, May 3-12. Members of the Thoughtworks Arts community can receive a special 20% discount with the code CREATIVETECH.

Directors and Alumni News


Ellen Pearlman (Director)
The first neuroopera ‘Noor’: transparent brain and the end of humanistic ethics?
Russian Journal Of Communication


Lisa Russell (Art-A-Hack Alum)
TEDx Ashbury Park
May 19, 2018 9 AM - 5 PM
Ashbury Park, NJ

Dr. Ellen Pearlman (Director)
3rd Global Symposium “Posthuman Ethics”
April 28, 2018 4 - 5:20 PM
New York University - Liberal Studies
New York, NY

Roundtable Discussion
Fred Forest Strikes Back: The Politics of Institutional Discrimination
New York, NY

Gene Kogan (Art-A-Hack Alum)
Musicmaker’s Dystopia: the Automation of Songwriting, Production, and Curation
CTM Festival
Berlin, Germany

hannes bend (Past resident)
FluxBuddha: A Time-Based Performance Art Concert
The Rubin Museum
New York, NY

Moon Ribas (Past resident)
Porto, Portugal

Blog Posts

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