Thoughtworks Arts


Joaquín Fargas and Eden Community Awarded Mars Residencies

Newsletter sent on Tuesday, 13 December 2022
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Parallel residencies have been awarded for projects to take place at Mars College in Bombay Beach, California. The residencies will run simultaneously during January through March 2023.

A headshot of a light-skinned man wearing dark-rimmed glasses, cut next to an aerial view of camper vans set against a dry desert backdrop with mountains in the distance
Resident Joaquín Fargas / Mars College site in Bombay Beach, California

Residents will be on-site participating alongside other Mars College community members, associating virtually with Thoughtworks employees globally to support their project ambitions.

Joaquín Fargas: “Speculative Futures”

The first award will support Latin American based Joaquín Fargas under the “Speculative Futures” track, designed to empower urban communities through research done in the desert.

As an artist and industrial engineer, Fargas integrates biological materials and technological media centered on possible or utopian proposals related to life, its preservation and the interrelationship between living beings and the future.

For the last 20 years Fargas has worked at the crossroads of art, science and technology, creating work including site specific installations, performances and technologically-sound speculative works which examine an era of climate crisis.

A robot with wooden sides, solar panels and wheels in a desert environment
The Rabdomante

In his Rabdomante project, Fargas’ robots comb desert areas, capturing drinkable water produced as a byproduct of solar energy generation. In his Biosphere project, miniature ecosystems are posited within small encapsulated spheres, capable of producing food via bioponic crop generation.

To learn more about Fargas’ work and project at Mars, read the announcement on our website.

The Eden Community: “Creative AI Infrastructures”

The second residency has been awarded to the community at Mars developing Project Eden, under the “Creative AI Infrastructures” track of the open call.

Eden is an infrastructure of AI entities, semi-automated bots and web applications which interact through text-to-image or text-to-text media generation systems.

A dense AI-generated landscape of plant and human-like entities
Garden of Eden image created by the Abraham bot

This award brings together Eden’s technical platform creators, artists, and plug-in software developers to create an artist-centric platform enabling work with visual representations and tools in artificial intelligence.

The award allocates financial resources to the Eden project, including the possibility for team members and artists to interact with and gain support from the international technical and creative community of Thoughtworks.

Sponsoring a democratized, non-hierarchical collaborative facilitates new possibilities between toolkit creators and the artists who use these developing technologies.

To learn more about the Eden community read the announcement on our website.

The Martian Experience

Mars College is a nomadic educational program, R&D Lab and residential community in the desert area of Bombay Beach, California. Artists will arrive in Southern California in preparation for their time in the desert at the end of 2022.

A landscape shot of several caravans set against a large desert mountain backdrop

Thoughtworks Arts partnership with Mars College enables facilitated remote access to Thoughtworks’ global community of technical and creative professionals during residencies. The residencies will take place on-site in the Bombay Beach desert from January 1 through to March 31, 2023.

To learn more about Joaquín Fargas, The Eden Community and Mars.College residency, read our recent announcement blog.

CNMAT Welcomes Olivia Ting as Artist-in-Residence

Olivia Ting, who began her CripTech residency at Thoughtworks Arts in spring 2022, was awarded the prestigious UC Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) residency for fall 2022. CNMAT is dedicated to multidisciplinary research and the creative use of 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

CNMAT is dedicated to multidisciplinary research and the creative use of audio - bringing innovation to new and traditional sound and performance spaces.

During her CripTech residency at Thoughtworks Arts, Olivia is exploring the parallels between spatiality and movement, sign language, film, gesture, haptic intimacy and orchestral conducting. Her project focuses on tensions between sonority, ocular interpretation, and meaning based on her life long experience navigating environments of disruptive hearing. This new work will result in a mixed media, multi-model installation in 2023.

While in residence at CNMAT she will continue developing a sonic design environment and spatial/haptic translations of her audiovisual installation work with UC Berkeley professors Edmund Campion and Luke Dzwobczyk.

Learn more about Olivia Ting and her residency with CNMAT in our recent announcment blog.

Volumetric Society & Hardware Hack Lab Host: Garden For Drowning Descendants

Volumetric Society and Hardware Hack Lab co-hosted a Meetup at Thoughtworks NY on Wednesday, November 16th. Artist Eva Davidova and creative technologist Sidney San Martin gave a demo and a brief introduction of the interactive, mixed reality installation Garden For Drowning Descendants, recently exhibited at Harvestworks.

A screenshot with a female dancer hanging upside-down from a ceiling surrounded by foliage, over a virtual water line

A discussion on the collaborative aspects of the piece explored the conceptual and complex interplay between the hardware, software and human interaction factors of the multi-player experience. Sidney San Martin talked about the customized code and innovative solutions he developed during both the prototyping and implementation phases.

The event explored a simple framework one could use including terminology, audience interaction, and creative development solutions. It promoted, supported, and facilitated the participation of everyone towards the creation of virtual worlds melding entangled with the physical.

To sign up for future events visit the Volumetric Society Meetup page.


Ellen Pearlman presented DANCEDEMIC IN A PANDEMIC on November 6th at NowNet Arts Conference 2022 in conjunction with Advanced Computational Science (IACS), Stony Brook University, NY, and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University. On October 8th Ellen presented in Riga, Latvia at the RIXC Open Fields Conference “Splintered Realities” – sharing her preliminary research on “Language Is Leaving Me” concerning AI and epigenetics. Ellen took part on a panel at MetaLabHarvard at Harvard University on October 3rd. She joined a diverse group of opera practitioners and scholars discussing the transmedia flow of opera, and how it pivoted the presentation of performance mediums during the pandemic.

News from Past Thoughtworks Arts Residents

Nouf Aljowaysir has developed a short film and visual diary, Ana Min Wein, with the support of Somerset House and PATH-AI. Nouf’s film launched on Thursday, Dec 8th, on Somerset House’s curated online platform for art, ideas, and the artistic process. Nouf will also be featured on Somerset House’s podcast series, The Process, where she will speak more about her work.

Gloria Damijan performed in a concert demonstration at NowNet Arts Conference 2022: Network Arts Stage: Artistic, Technological, and Social Strategies, on November 6th.

Catie Cuan is working with Everyday Robots to map individual joint velocities onto musical tracks played through robots. As a result, the robot makes music as it moves. The aim of this experimental project is to help make general-purpose robots more legible and relatable.

Andy Slater and Olivia Ting’s Crip Tech Incubator residency with Leonardo/ISAST and Thoughtworks Arts received a feature in Inside Philanthropy. The article, Six Trends in Arts and Culture for Funders to Watch lists the incubator as #2: Technology is becoming integral to the future of the arts.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s biopolitical hyper-realistic 3D-printed masks are currently on view at SFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and featured in Forbes. Read about Heather’s DNA portrait sculptures and how they challenge the justice system.

Updates from Art-A-Hack™ Alumni

Tyler Parker has been cast in the Blue Hill Troup for the April 2023 performance of The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty.

Kate Sicchio’s paper, Towards A Framework For Dancing Beyond Demonstration, was published by ACM Digital Library. The paper is about human/robot performance and presents a prototype framework for developing real-time human-robot performances and applications.

Sadah (Espii) Proctor is starting a new position as Projections Instructor, at Apollo Theater Academy.

Heidi Boisvert gave a virtual talk for BioArt Talks at CBIS, on April 1st, 2022, at her alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Center for Biotechnology, the ARTS department & the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and The Sanctuary for Independent Media’s NATURE Lab. She detailed her current research methods and emerging insights from the Limbic Lab and discussed how these findings have informed her works in bio-adaptive, networked dance, and mixed reality theatre performances.

Eva Lee presented at The Wellbeing Summit For Social Change in Bilbao, Spain, June 1 – June 3. Eve spoke at Hearing a Who: Dr. Seuss, the Nature of Mind, and Intelligent Technology on February 16th at the Through A Different Lens: Innovation Lab Lecture Series, Fairfield University College of Arts and Sciences Innovation Lab in partnership with Quick Center for the Arts. Eva recently received an Official Selection from Cannes Short Film Festival 2021 and NewFilmmakers NY Festival 2021 for her short animated film, Sojourner.


Ellen Pearlman: Is There a Place Where Human Consciousness Cannot Go? - HumanTies and Artificial Intelligence, European Commission, NoemaLab. “DANCEDEMIC” in a Pandemic: A New Networked Reality - Journal of Network Music and Arts, Stony Brook University. AI Comes of Age - Performance Arts Journal (PAJ), MIT Press, Dance for Transformation: “DANCEDEMIC” AlumniTies, Medium. Cyborg Arts Co-Lab: Interdisciplinary Collaboration Enriched Through Art-A-Hack™ Practices -Art Hack Practice: Critical Intersections of Art, Innovation and the Maker Movement, 1st Edition, Edited by Victoria Bradbury and Suzy O’Hara, Routledge Publication. The Resurgence of Russian Cosmism - Performance Arts Journal(PAJ), MIT Press.

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