Thoughtworks Arts


Thoughtworks Arts at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in NYC

Newsletter sent on Thursday, 1 March 2018
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We are thrilled to announce that Thoughtworks Arts has teamed up with Harvestworks to stage Thoughtworks Stranger Than Life Hacks, a special projects exhibition for the 7th annual SPRING/BREAK Art Show (part of Armory Arts Week) at 4 Times Square, March 6 - 12, 2018.

Eva Lee and Aaron Trocola waering brain headgear
Dual Brains by Eva Lee and Aaron Trocola

For the opening night VIP event on March 6th, 5pm - 9pm, we will be presenting alive performance of Dual Brains, an Art-A-Hack project that uses shared empathy between two brains to create a visual and sonic environment.

The exhibition features artists from the Thoughtworks Arts residency and Art-A-Hack™ working at the nexus of art and new technology utilizing biometrics, Artificial intelligence (AI), digital storytelling, genetics, Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) for empathy and surveillance, and other emerging technologies. Get your tickets now before they sell out.

Artists whose work will be included in the show are: Eva Lee and Aaron Trocola; Javier Molina and David Gochfeld; Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Shoili Kanungo and Iliya Fridman in collaboration with Chelsea Manning; hannes bend and Lewey Geselowitz; Annie Berman; Karen Palmer; Sofy Yuditskaya; Andrew McWilliams; and Ellen Pearlman.

Art-A-Hack projects from CYBERFEST 2018 in St. Petersburg

For the first time ever, Art-A-Hack™ was in St. Petersburg, Russia for CYFEST 2018, produced in collaboration with CYLAND MediaArtLab. Artists, programmers and creative practitioners teamed up to develop their ideas over two consecutive weekends before presenting final projects in a public opening at the Berthold Centre in St. Petersburg on February 10th.

A hologram in an exhibition
Digital Hologram by Kseniia Galkina, Dmitri Akhmediyev, and Leonid Gavrilov. This piece was created using Art-A-Hack’s methodology in only 4 days

Projects from this Art-A-Hack included Digital Hologram, a projected, animated hologram that responds to a typed question asked to a Google AI API; Word Cloud, that produced sonic and visual elements relating to questions asked to the ‘emotional’ response of IBM’s Watson API;  and Blinking, which used Open CV to detect nuances in an observer’s blinking to edit a movie. Hologram will be shown at Tate Modern’s Tate Exchange special program, March 6 - 11, 2018.

News from Art-A-Hack Alumni Sam Arsenault-Brassard & Javier Molina

Samuel Arsenault-Brassard is working on a new VR/AR focused gallery in Montreal, LiL Pocket Gallery. The inaugural AR show, Illusive Sympathy opened on February 23rd with work by street artist Cryote.

A man wearing VR headgear
A viewer at the opening of LiL Pocket in Montreal

Javier Molina is pursuing a PhD in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and has been invited to join as faculty at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. See Javier’s project from Art-A-Hack, To Be With Hamlet, a live theater performance in Virtual Reality that allows viewers anywhere to have an intimate experience of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in the Thoughtworks exhibit at SPRING/BREAK Art Show.

TWA Director Ellen Pearlman Awarded Residency at Quartaria in Russia

Thoughtworks Arts Director, Ellen Pearlman, has been awarded an artist residency at Quartariata in Russia. The Q-Residence is an experimental center for audiovisual arts and technology, combining a country art residence and a multifunctional site for cultural and educational events in the field of multimedia, cinema, photography, performative art, modern choreography, subject design, architecture and urban planning.

A birds eye view of Quartariata
Quartariata Arts Residency in Peterhof, Russia

Ellen will use the residency to work on a new brain opera that incorporates emotionally intelligent AIs and robotics. Ellen’s previous brain opera, Noor, will be on display at the Thoughtworks exhibit at SPRING/BREAK Art Show.

OPEN CALL: Thoughtworks Arts Summer ‘18 Residency in Robotics

Applications are now being accepted for our next Thoughtworks Arts residency for Summer 2018: Mechanics and Movement.  We are looking for artists who are actively exploring these realms to produce surprising twists and turns in the non-verbal dance between code, gears, blood, flesh and inspiration. Although language is an important aspect to this field, we are more interested in non-verbal cues and responses. Please help spread the word and share the Open Call. Deadline for applications is March, 26th, 2018.  

Cyborg Foundation launches the Transpecies Society

Past residents and Co-Founders of the Cyborg Foundation, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas, have launched a social project called the Transpecies Society, a membership-based organization for people who identify as or would like to transition to non-human identities.

Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas
Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas working at Thoughtworks in NYC

The Transpecies Society is an association that gives voice to non-human identities, raises awareness of the challenges transpecies face, advocates for the freedom of self-design, and offers the development of new senses and organs.

Directors and Alumni News


Heather Dewey-Hagborg (Past resident)
IFVA Festival
Hong Kong Arts Centre
March 6, 2018 - March 20, 2018
Hong Kong

I am here to learn: On Machinic Interpretations of the World
Frankfurter Kunstverein
February 15, 2018 - April 8, 2018
Frankfurt, Germany

Stranger Visions
McGlothlin Center for the Arts
February 12, 2018 - March 9, 2018
Emory, VA

Strings: Data and the Self
California Museum of the Arts
January 19, 2018 - April 15, 2018
Thousand Oaks, CA

Big Bang Data
MIT Museum
October 11, 2017 - March 30, 2018
Cambridge, Massachusetts


Heather Dewey-Hagborg (Past resident)
Photos of the Week
The Atlantic

Face masks hanging in a gallery
Visitors look at 3D-printed faces of what someone with Chelsea Manning’s DNA could potentially look like in the installation, A Becoming Resemblance, by Heather Dewey-Hagborg the annual Transmediale art and digital culture show in Berlin, Germany (From The Atlantic)

The Best Photos From Around the World This Week


Heather Dewey-Hagborg (Past resident)
Conversation with Chelsea Manning
March 15, 2018, 5pm
Michigan Theater, University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Conversation with Chelsea Manning
March 20, 2018 6:30-8pm
McConomy Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
(Tickets required)

Ellen Pearlman (Director)
Open Lecture on ‘Noor: A Brain Opera’
ITMO University
St. Petersburg, Russia

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