Thoughtworks Arts


SingularityNet Partners With Thoughtworks Arts

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We are thrilled to be joining forces with the world’s first decentralized AI platform, SingularityNET, for our next residency: The Democratization of Artificial Intelligence via Blockchain.

SingularityNet logo against a 3D globe

Blockchains and AI are revolutionary technologies that will imminently change how humans and industry exist forever.

Currently the two are somewhat separate, except in niche crypto currency applications. But SingularityNET’s CEO, Dr. Ben Goertzel, sees their widespread combined potential and set out to create a system that not only captures the power of AI, but one that also is open to absolutely everyone, ensuring that AI is transparent and decentralized.

It was this idea of individuals having better access and insight to AI development that became the inspiration of our residency’s key theme. We’re so excited to now have SingularityNet on board. and look forward to exploring creative approaches to the implementation of a decentralized AI through a unique art work for this upcoming residency.

This open call is also in collaboration with our other partner Snark.Art, a developer of blockchain for art.

Our open call for The Democratization of Artificial Intelligence via Blockchain is still open and ends on July 31st. The residency will take place September 30th, 2019 — January 31, 2020.

Adrianne Wortzel To Screen The Sentient Thespian at the Landmark Anthology Film Archives in New York

Past robotics resident Adrianne Wortzel’s film project, The Sentient Thespian will be screening at the Anthology Film Archives through programming organized by NewFilmmakers.

Adrianne Wortzel on set of her film, The Sentient Thespian
Adrianne Wortzel on set of her film, The Sentient Thespian - photo by Kevin Barry

Adrianne Wortzel on set of her film, The Sentient Thespian - photo by Kevin Barry

The film was shot on location at the Consortium for Research & Robotics, hosted by the Pratt Institute in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Her film features their 16ft tall industrial robotic arm. It also features a non-humanoid robot called MekaMon, manufactured by Reach Robotics in the UK, and explores a narrative on technological transformations and humanity as we advance into the 4th industrial revolution. Elements of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” also swirl into the film’s theme, adding a poignant juxtaposition.

Adrianne Wortzel is an artist whose works include tele-robotic/robotic performance productions, interactive installations, photography, videos, art objects and writings. Her works display the arc of human experience of technological advances as they emerge, become pervasive, and eventually obsolete.

You can learn more about Adrianne and her project on her resident page, and watch a teaser of the film on Vimeo.

Her screening of The Sentient Thespian will start at 7:15 on Wednesday, July 17th. There will be a reception starting at 5:30. Address: 32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003. Tickets available at the door.

Rashin Fahandej Begins Her Volumetric Filmmaking Residency

Our newest resident Rashin Fahandej has begun her volumetric filmmaking residency. Rashin has hit the ground running here in New York, and is actively working with our partner and Emmy-award winning studio, Scatter, using their latest Depthkit tools to further expand her social change project, A Father’s Lullaby.

A Father’s Lullaby still
A still from A Father’s Lullaby

Explored through the space of love and intimacy, her project is being developed with community members as creative collaborators. Rashin is currently pursing New York based stories.

A sample of A Father’s Lullaby can be viewed on Vimeo, and you can learn more about Rashin and her residency project on her resident page.

Rashin will be in residence at Thoughtworks Arts through September 27, 2019, and her project is slated to be shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Boston, MA.

Thoughtworks Arts Launches New Website

Thoughtworks Arts website screenshot

We’ve recently launched our much awaited new website. We feel this revamping better presents our extended programming and is easier to navigate as projects evolve. Please take a look around, and feel free to let us know what you think.

News from Past Thoughtworks Arts Residents

Karen Palmer was the keynote at AT&TShape: Where AI Meets Next-Gen Immersive Storytelling. She was also interviewed by PCMag where they chatted about VR filmmaking and AI-powered storytelling. The article also included a GitHub link to the EmoPy code developed during her residency

hannes bend guided his first AI breathing workshop at Google. Hannes helps to develop machine learning systems and biometrics that reduce stress.

Catie Cuan is on the cover of Standford Magazine’s May edition. Her work with movement and robots was highlighten in their feature article Why Dance Matters

Heather Dewey-Hagborg was recently interviewed by DIGICULT on how her work explores artificial intelligence and biological surveillance. Heather also co-curated Refiguring The Future, a politically engaged exhibition focusing on inclusion, and how the intersection of art, science and technology is an explicitly key force in radical change. This was REFRESH’s inaugural exhibition, which received a Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant.

Moon Ribas having her seismic sensors removed from her feet in surgery
Moon Ribas having her seismic sensors removed from her feet - photo courtesy Moon Ribas Facebook

Moon Ribas recently had her seismic sensors removed from her feet. After seven years of sensing earthquakes as a cyborg, she’s now learning how to adjust to life without seismic activity registering in her physiology. However, Moon has reported to be experiencing phantom movements, confusing her nervous system.

“I’ve started to experience how it feels to lack a cybernetic sense and I’m now feeling phantom earthquakes. How long will these last? Will the extraction of the cybernetic organ affect my identity? Am I a phantom cyborg now? “ - Moon Ribas

Moon is curious to see how this transition plays out, while looking forward to experiencing movement through new forms in the future.

Updates from Art-A-Hack™ Alumni

Rena Anakwe, Artist-In-Resident at Issue Project Room, will present Fast Forward to Silence, her second commissioned project, on July 11th.

Tyler Parker had a debut as a tenor in Frederick Fleet in The Village Light Opera Group presents: TITANIC the Musical!

Sharon de la Cruz was a guest speaker and educator at Processing Community Day at Medios Interactivos USFQ.

Filip Baba ran a community XR jam on April 26 at RLab, a warehouse-sized venue which is the first city-funded VR/AR center in the country.


Ellen Pearlman at UN/GREEN
Ellen Pearlman presenting Art-A-Hack projects at UN/GREEN in Latvia - photo by Elke Reinhuber

Ellen Pearlman is on the scientific board for UN/GREEN: NATURALLY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCES, and presented at the conference July 4 - 6 in Riga, Latvia at The National Museum of Art, and the Art Academy in Riga. Ellen also presented a paper at the world renowned ISEA (International Society Of Electronic Art) 2019, on her work with connecting brain computer interfaces to AI. This year ISEA took place in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, June 22th-28th.

Andrew McWilliams at Creative Tech Week NY
Andrew McWilliams at Creative Tech Week NY

Andrew McWilliams was invited to give a lightning talk on the emotional detection and open source project, EmoPy, at Creative Tech Week NY in May. You can now watch a video of it online and learn about how it was developed, and the considerations that went into detectiong emotions.


Ellen Pearlman: The Resurgence of Russian Cosmism - Performance Arts Journal, MIT Press.

Catie Cuan, Ellen Pearlman, and Andrew McWilliams: OUTPUT: Translating Robot and Human Movers Across Platforms in a Sequentially Improvised Performance - From the 2019 AISB (The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour) Machine Movement Lab at Falmouth University, UK.

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Happy summer, everyone!