ThoughtWorks Arts runs programs incubating artist and technologist collaborations, empowering investigations into impacts of emerging technologies on industry, culture and society.
Art and technology partnerships present a unique and powerful lens for engaging with technology. Art enables freedom to make large, cross-disciplinary conceptual and physical leaps across technical, scientific, industrial, creative and societal areas.
The carefully designed programs in ThoughtWorks Arts cover a wide spectrum of ways of making and thinking. This starts with the accessibility of Hardware Hack Lab, moving into the facilitated design of Art-A-Hack, and continues through to the curated and deep investigations of the ThoughtWorks Arts Residency.
These programs range from complete inclusivity and open access to supportive team collaborations to innovative specificity of technical and social issues.
ThoughtWorks Arts is directed by Ellen Pearlman and Andrew McWilliams, along with a team of experts supported by the commercial ThoughtWorks organization. Programs are run in collaboration with a global network of art and emerging technology partners, including the thousands of employees globally across ThoughtWorks.
The ThoughtWorks Arts Residency program embeds artists full-time within the ThoughtWorks global technology organization. The program includes logistical, financial, creative and technical support in the creation of a project proposed by the artist.
The Art-A-Hack program, run in locations including St. Petersburg, Russia and in New York City, curates and facilitates the creation of prototypes. We ‘collide’ professionals of varied backgrounds into teams, including artists, technologists, hardware and software developers, designers, musicians, filmmakers, performers, animators, and much more.
Doing this enables collaboration between people who otherwise might not have the opportunity to work together. Typically, this results in an exhibitable prototype that expresses an idea or starts a journey.
Projects created at Art-A-Hack have been featured by Tribeca Immersive, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Exchange at the Tate Modern in London, SPRING/BREAK as part of New York's Armory Week and the RIXC Art Science Festival in Riga, Latvia.
Started in 2013, the Hardware Hack Lab has become a staple of the New York City creative technology scene. The lab is known as a free, weekly co-working community, offering access to high-end hardware and a community with a culture of exploration.
Members are encouraged to bring technology they are working on and to exchange and share with others. The lab is often visited by guests from academia, industry, technology and art, and maintains an accessible supply of VR/AR/MR, electronics equipment and devices, providing food and enabling social interaction.
The Volumetric Society of New York is an on-going meetup that showcases emerging new media artists, offers low cost or free classes in technology to artists, and co-sponsors the Hardware Hack Lab.
With thousands of members, The Volumetric Society has been in existence since 2010 with its mission to engage, educate and involve new, aspiring and seasoned artists, technologists and interested parties in new media art.