Friday, August 16th, 2019
Auditorium 6:00 - 7:30pm
Kamal Sinclair, is making the world more beautiful as the Executive Director of the Guild of Future Architects; supporting independent artists as a Senior Consultant for Sundance Institute’s Future of Culture Initiative, and making art through a family creative practice at Sinclair Futures.
She also serves as an External Advisor to the MacArthur Foundation's Journalism & Media Program and as a board member of MIT’s Center for Advanced Virtuality.
Previously, she served as the Director of Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Labs Program for seven years, which supports artists working at the convergence of film, art, media and technology. She partnered with Chief Curator, Shari Frilot, in the development and platforming of landmark projects in the evolution of story, including experimentations with XR, iOT and AI as storytelling mediums. She also consulted for the Ford Foundation's JustFilms program, Johns Hopkins University’s Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Technology Center, For Freedoms, and NYU Tisch’s Future Imagination Collaboratory.
Her career began as a cast member of the Off-Broadway hit STOMP.
Sandra Ekong Gordon
Sandra Ekong Gordon joined Google Creative Lab in 2019 where she works on design and story-led projects across a range of Google initiatives. Prior to Google she spent 10 years in the Luxury and Beauty industries with Procter & Gamble and Tiffany & Co. designing, launching and repositioning new and established brands and products. Sandra was born in St. Petersburg Russia and moved to New Jersey as a child; New York is home (for now!).
Sweaty by Nature
Opening Reception DJ
Lounge 7:30 - 9:30pm
SWEATY BY NATURE (aka Ashley Hefnawy) is a New York born and based DJ, writer/poet, music supervisor, and musician. She started DJing professionally in the summer of 2018, and has brought unique sounds from around the world to parties and events all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, including (but not limited to) le Poisson Rouge, The Brooklyn Rail, Blind Barber, Brooklyn Bazaar, Museum of the City of New York, Bossa Nova Civic Club, and Rockwood Music Hall.
She began DJing in 2018 after dreaming for years about transforming spaces with sound. Her DJ name came from a genuine desire to create spaces for people to heal themselves with sound and movement, naturally, to get in touch with whatever it is that pains them, and set (or sweat) it free. Music from Egypt and the Middle East has had a major impact on her own healing journey, and she tries to infuse a bit of those sounds into every one of her sets.
Saturday, August 17th, 2019
Workshop (9-10:30am, Angela Davis Room)
Title: Trail Blaze the Future of VR
Description: We’ll talk about what is XR, where does VR fit in the big picture of extending reality and reasons to create in the VR medium. We’ll develop projects in Unity 3D and show other ways to build for the VR in games and beyond.
Bio: Hessvacio Hassan is the creator and lead developer of Museum Multiverse a VR series for the Gear VR and Oculus Go. He also recently released VR experience for the Gear VR called Don't Look Away, which has been downloaded over 300k times to date.
Dr. Ronah Harris
Workshop (9-10:30am, James Baldwin Room)
Workshop Description: In this workshop you will explore the growing world of wearable technology. You’ll learn how to design and make a project that incorporate circuits, sensors, LEDs, and programmable boards into clothing, costumes and accessories.
About the Instructor: This workshop will be lead by Dr. Ronah Harris, who is computer science educator, STEM education advocate and founder of Play Pattern LLC an Education Technology consultancy. She is a former costume designer and producer for children’s media. Dr. Harris is a graduate of the Teachers College, Columbia University and has published and consulted on topics of cognition, creativity, innovation, technology, sewing and design.
Workshop (9-10:30am, Nina Simone Room)
Workshop Description: Zines hold both the memory and poetics of sociopolitical movements. In this workshop, we will look at zines as a technology to help further educate and organize our friends, family and community. Together we will operate zines as a critical tool to analyze and agitate by responding to prompts on the subject of race/racism. We will learn basic copying, collaging, folding and binding techniques in tandem with semantic mapping in order to construct a collectively made publication regarding the cybernetics of race/racism by the end of the workshop.
About the Instructor: Neta Bomani is a black, first generation American born, multicultural east African person of Tanzanian-Malawian lineage who engages in visual storytelling, direct action and anti-art practices for black and brown communities. Neta’s work has materialized as an organizer of the Tech Zine Fair, an organizer of the School for Poetic Computation, a member of Stephanie Dinkins Studio and a participator in grassroots organizing against prisons and borders in New York City and beyond.
Fireside chat w/ Adaora Udoji
Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist who creates platforms for dialog about artificial intelligence (AI) as it intersects race, gender, aging, and our future histories. She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to co-create more inclusive, fair and ethical artificial intelligent ecosystems. Dinkins’ art practice employs lens-based practices, emerging technologies and community engagement to confront questions of bias in AI, consciousness, data sovereignty and social equity. Investigations into the contradictory histories, traditions, knowledge bases and philosophies that form/in-form society at large underpin her thought and art production.
ADAORA’s expertise is emerging technology. She has worked for and now with Fortune 500 companies, consulting firms to venture capital and startups. Currently, she is the Director of Corporate Innovation and Venture Program at New York City’s RLab, the first City-funded hub focused on immersive tech. Prior to that, she worked with companies such as IBM on marketing artificial intelligence, Daydream VR-Google, writing and producing a virtual reality experience and a number of tech startups running and advising on operations and fundraising. She is an adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts and on the board of NEW Inc of the New Museum. She advises the VRAR Association, the Guggenheim Museum Global Innovation Council and mentors at the Op’Ed Project. Adaora supports women founders and entrepreneurs: Pipeline Angels, The Helm, and SheEO Radical Generosity.
Workshop (11 - 12:30pm, Angela Davis Room)
Workshop description: My worksop will inspect the intersection of User Centered Design (UCD) and the Concept Album.
About the Instructor: As a hybrid UX Designer and Front-End Developer, I have an imminent love for code and design. I am passionate about creating user experiences that enhance the way people work, communicate, and interact. I specialize in building bespoke UI/UX design systems for Fortune 500 companies and global brands. My design process is unique in that I borrow substantially from User Centered Design methodologies, but my background in programming allows me to make decisions not only for the user, but also for the code. I love clean code, great design and fascinating user experiences.
Workshop (11-12:30pm, James Baldwin Room)
Workshop description: “Let’s Talk About You” | It’ll be a session where people learn a structure to introduce themselves in a way that is both meaningful and effective. No matter what your industry or your role.
About the instructor: Christopher Lee is a UX Content Strategist and Information Architect in the creative agency space. He helps bring user experiences to life by thinking through psychology of how and why we interact with digital products and services. Extra-professionally, Chris enjoys craft beer, honing his DJ skills, and meaningful conversation. He is also the undisputed Mario Kart champion among his network of friends and family.
Workshop (11-12:30pm, Nina Simon Room)
Description of workshop: “Intro to WebVR with A-Frame” Hands on workshop on how to create WebVR applications using A-Frame (an easy to use and open source virtual reality web framework). Participants will work on a live coding project using A-Frame to learn the basics.
About the instructor: Celeste Layne began her career as an architect and urban planner, but quickly got absorbed into San Francisco's tech scene after a brief stint on the West Coast. She currently lives and works as a software engineering instructor at General Assembly in New York, NY.
Chroma + Salome Asega
Living Room Conversation (11-12:30pm, Living Room)
In this Living Room session, creative studio Chroma will be in discussion with artist and researcher Salome Asega. exploring and discussing methods of digital strategy, community organizing, and building partnerships that both inform and inspire their work. Chroma will share past projects as well as more recent initiatives that speak to the urgency and power around grassroots mobilization via digital landscapes. Asega will share her own work that compliments similar frameworks and share how her current position as a Technology Fellow at the Ford Foundation allows her to lift the work in her community. The session will then open up to Q&A from the audience.
Sharon de la Cruz
Workshop (2-3:30pm, Angela Davis Room)
Description of Workshop: “Code Slang: Experiments rooted in my attempts of being playful with math” is a workshop that will go through some projects I’ve facilitated in the past two years whose goal is to center culturally relevant tech pedagogy. And that perhaps through culturally relevant pedagogy we could be playful with math and teach math in a playful artistic manner that encourages discovery, growth, and curiosity.
About the Instructor: Sharon Lee De La Cruz is a multi-disciplinary artist and activist from New York City. Her thought-provoking pieces address a range of issues related to tech, social justice, sexuality, and race. De La Cruz’s work ranges from comics, graffiti, and public-art murals to more recent explorations in interactive sculptures, animation, and coding.
Tao Leigh Goffe
Workshop (2-3:30am, James Baldwin Room)
Workshop Description: “Hang the DJ: Black Feminist Visual Soundtracks”
PhDJ Tao Leigh Goffe will share her creative collaborative practice and will discuss the uses of the digital in DJ'ing and education. At the intersections of black feminism, diaspora, and technology we will consider what the digital means for the future of DJ'ing. In full sound and color, participants will experiment with audio and visual sound technologies to form collective soundtracks of black life and culture.
About the Instructor: Tao Leigh Goffe is a writer and a dj specializing in the unfolding relationship between technology, the senses, and memory. DJ’ing and digital cartography are an important part of her teaching and research. An assistant professor of black diasporic studies and sexuality at Cornell University, Tao is at work on a book called Pon De Replay: Gender, Sexuality, and DJ Cultures, a manifesto on black feminist praxis, technology, and nightclub culture.
Workshop (2-3:30am, Nina Simone Room)
Workshop Description: coming soon
About the Instructor: Kenyatta Cheese is a professional Internet enthusiast who creates technology-based media studies on the impact of media and technology on culture. He is Cofounder of Everybody at Once, a media consultancy, Cocreator of Know Your Meme, a primary resource for understanding web culture, and Founder of Unmediated.org, a blog that tracks trends in decentralized media. He is also one of the pioneers of web-based television, with projects such as WiFiTV, Browse TV, and vogbrowser. In previous iterations he has worked with the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and the online video network Rocketboom.
Outlet.fyi & Rose Gold
Living Room Conversation (2-3:30pm, Living Room)
Living Room topics:
About the hosts: Khalid Livingston is an advocate and strategist deeply invested in the awareness, accessibility, and development of the arts and culture for people of color. He’s the founder of Outlet.fyi, a public events newsletter, private social membership, and consultancy that celebrates the work of emerging and established creatives of color.
A D A I R is a DJ, producer, nightlife organizer, and cultural curator. She is invested in amplifying the voices and visibility of womyn, people of color, and queer communities through the creation of intentional safe spaces for people to experience joy through music. A D A I R is also a founding member and resident DJ of Rose Gold Collective, as well as of Haute Sauce, a Brooklyn-based black womyn creative collective.
Vanessa (they/them) is a multidisciplinary creative. A strategist, DJ, writer, and event producer, they create space to empower queer and people of color communities to be their authentic selves and harness their creative energies.When they're not working as a strategist at a creative agency, they run No Insights, a community for women and gender non conforming creatives of color in the advertising and media industries, head programming for Ethel's Club, a soon-to-launch social club for people of color, and throw parties and DJ sets as a part of Rose Gold, a collective centered around creating experiences for queer, people of color.
The Creator’s Suite
Beat Cypher Performance (Auditorium, 4-5:30pm)
About the founder of The Creator’s Suite:
Abhita Austin is the Founder and Creative Director of The Creator’s Suite, a community-driven platform for women in music production. Moved by the underrepresentation of women and girls in music technology, over the past 2 years, Abhita has worked diligently to create opportunities for this community to become more visible and vocal.
About the performers:
Kumbaya | A multitalented lyrcist, producer, drummer, and space enthusiast from Queens, New York.
KeiyaA, born Chakeiya Richmond, is a Afro-American singer-songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist.
Incksalonius | Artist, Urban Educator and Visionary, with a new project in the works along with launching a new Arts enrichment program for teenagers in New York City, expect a skillful instrumental piece of work to drop for 2020.
Sunday, August 18, 2019
Title: Black Data
Description: Black data is an experiment in touching feeling thinking blackness and techne. Black—black folkz, black site, black box, black bloc. Racialized blackness has been produced through and alongside technologies and this lecture foregrounds the work of makers who improvise survivable pasts and presents.
Bio: Shaka McGlotten is Professor of Media Studies and Anthropology and Chair of the Global Black Studies and Gender Studies Programs at Purchase College-SUNY. Their work engages and experiments with blackness, queerness, art, and technology.
Title: With a Cast of Colored Stars
Description: Today, the popularity of Black reaction GIFs are more frequently used than any other ethnic group (E. Jones, The Guardian) in social media. My presentation seeks to offer an editorial reframing of contemporary Black reaction GIFs and the design aesthetics found in Black film posters dating from early 20th century. Through close examination of typography, language, and body gesture, identifiable patterns emerge pointing to shifts in communication styles and cultural representation.
Bio: Kelly Walters is a designer and educator whose work investigates the intersection of black cultural vernacular in mainstream media. She founded Bright Polka Dot, a multidisciplinary design practice, which focuses on print, digital, exhibition and textile design for musicians, artists and cultural institutions. Kelly is currently an Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York.
Digital Activism: Bringing artists, education, & culture together online
Devon will discuss current concepts, developments, & practices that help to cultivate emerging artists in an ever-changing digital landscape. Devon's talk will briefly discuss the value of culture, self-education, and community as a way to shine a light on their methods for artist cultivation.
Bio: Devon Moore aka Dev Moore is a net artist, curator, and creative director of the FELT Zine collective. FELT is an experimental internet art platform and artist collective. Its IRL and URL experiences examine digital activism, hip hop culture, race, gender, and class.
Title: "Your Sovereignty, Our Sovereignty"
Description: Sovereignty isn’t something we discuss enough - as a Diaspora or as individuals. We are unique beings with limitless energy fields that are driven by the alignment of our mind, heart, soul, and physical body. Soleil, the artist who created Afrotectopia's "Sovereignty Exhibition," will explore and outline the importance of our sovereignty and how we can harness and use it as a tool in our individual and collective purpose and liberation.
Bio: Soleil is a 27 year-old, Black American and Costa Rican Artist, Activator, and New Earth Architect whose intention is to unlock and unify collective awakened quantum consciousness through music, visual art, and conversation. Her personal art practice is devoted to spreading, preserving, and expanding the legacy of Free Wombz.
Title: Re-Imagining African Mask Art Using Neural Networks
Description: In this work, I curate a dataset of 11000 images of African Mask art and train a Generative Adversarial Neural Network (GAN) that learns to generate newmasks. The modes learned by the GAN (geometry, texture, material) suggest interesting interpretations and conversations that draw attention to the underrepresented area African Art. I also discuss findings on the quality of results, novelty of generated samples, and ideas for tools to evaluate the quality of AI-generated art.
Bio: Victor Dibia is a Research Engineer with Cloudera’s Fast Forward Labs. His interests are at the intersection of human computer interaction and applied artificial intelligence. Some of his recent projects include Handtrack.js - a library for prototyping handtracking applications in the browser and ConvNet Playground - a tool for exploring representations learned by convolutional neural networks. Victor is currently a Google Developer Expert for Machine Learning.
Ashley Jane Lewis
Lightning Talk, Exhibiting Artist
Lightning Talk : Speculative Science: Using BioArt to Build Empathetic Imaginings of Black Culture |
Inspired by science fiction writer, Octavia Butler's research in slime mold, we'll discuss the ways in which biocultures are used as collaborators in art to form empathetic connections to difficult subject matter.
Bio: Ashley Jane Lewis is a Tech Educator and Interactive artist with a focus on bioart, afrofuturism and speculative design. In the summer of 2016 she was listed in the Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada. Her new media work has exhibited in both Canada and the US, most notably featured on the White House website during the Obama presidency. She is now studying to get her Masters at ITP (Interactive Telecommunications) in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Lightning Talk, Exhibiting Artist
Lightning Talk: L@ngst0n Mü$3: A Quantum Transmission From the Future
Bio: I am a creative spirit that has found my voice in the poetics of technology. Designing experiences that positively impact humanity through learning, play and storytelling is my jam. I'm a bit of a swiss army knife: creative, UX, game design, coding, rapid prototyping, ML and management. Currently a creative technologist at Google’s Creative Lab
Title: Apathy to Action
Bio: Jordan Muthra is the founder of Island Stream, a mobile app for Caribbean digital media. Through Island Stream, Jordan seeks to provide a viable and lucrative distribution channel for Caribbean & African artists in a way that minimizes traditional music business exploitation.
Muthra is also a creative technologist that works at the intersection of art and technology. Recent projects include SuperReal with Moment Factory, projection mapping at The Met Gala, and Dr. Jess’s "Be Well" series at Samsung 837. Currently, Jordan is gearing up for a national hologram tour, the first tour of its kind.
He is from Montego Bay, Jamaica, an now resides in Brooklyn, New York. Muthra graduated with an MSc in Media Management from The New School’s School of Media Studies. He is also an alumnus of Pace University, Cornwall College, and Montessori.
Title: BLACK AND TECH
Description: We’ll look at how listening technologies impacts New Yorkers, such as by tracking the number of microphones in small area (probably a block, close to a train station). We’ll outline the harms and then develop a policy response to not just stop facial recognition but the NYPD listening into our conversations.
Bio: Mutale Nkonde works at the intersection of AI, Race and Culture. Over the last three years she has been working with Congresswoman Yvette Clarke on the development of policies that seek to reduce the harm inflicted on communities of color. During her tenure she has been involved in the introduction of the Algorithmic and Deep Fakes Accountability Acts as well as the No Biometric Data in Public Housing Act, which bans facial recognition in public housing. She is now turning her attention to educating Black audiences about these issues through popular culture.
Angela Davis Room
Title: (Island Stream) Future of monetizing music & streaming
Description: How do we aggregate black & brown communities that are segmented by language, economics, and politics? Why do we excel we drive culture and IP, but often are left out of infrastructure and equitable compensation? What role does language play in black and brown communities being segmented? What does African identity mean to members of the Diaspora in the West & global south? How do we break free from the indoctrination of colonial days?
James Baldwin Room
Title: Experience is the Brand Designing beyond the logo.
Description: The world’s most recognizable logos are more than marks or beautiful graphics. They’re memories, emotions and beliefs embedded in a visual cue. What do you think when you see Nike? A story of victory and personal best. What do you think when you see Away? A story of adventure and exploration. Join Taj Reid, Edelman NYC’s Executive Experience Director, as he shares strategies and best practices for building brand experiences through creative technology and compelling storytelling. During this session, we’ll also brainstorm ways brands can leverage experience and creative technology for social good.
Bio: At Edelman, Taj (EVP, Creative Technology at Edelman NYC) leads an awesome team of makers, breakers and thinkers who combine art, code, and copy to create innovative campaigns for the likes of Samsung, Unilever, eBay and others. Prior to joining Edelman, Taj was at Microsoft as a Principal Creative Director crafting digital products and community experiences for Mixed Reality. This work included shipping Remix 3D, Paint 3D, Office, Mixed Reality Viewer and other future innovations for Windows.
Nina Simone Room
Title: Decolonizing Education
Description: In this session we will define a few terms in order to have common language for effective communication, identify how colonialist ideology in curriculum does not support learning goals, and plan a lesson designed to achieve the desired learning outcome through equity and inclusion.
Bio: Njeri Semaj, a Prep for Prep alum raised between the island of Jamaica and the Bronx, is an educator in her 20th year of teaching Spanish in middle and high school. Whether she is working with students in public, charter or independent schools, Njeri creates learning opportunities by challenging colonialist models of education and by facilitating meaningful connections through content that reflects student identities.
Rafael Sergio Smith
Sun Ra Room
Title: Designing for Mental & Emotional Wellbeing
Description: We know the interventions that lower stress and anxiety. But therapy, meditation, and mindfulness practices are not currently delivered in accessible ways for all people. In this workshop we'll explore how to leverage design and technology to move emotional wellbeing from a place of theory to practices that feel accessible in our daily lives.
Bio: Rafael is Senior Design Lead at IDEO.org
Living Room 1
Title: Climate Change and Community
Description: Climate change has become lightning rod for discussion, driving conversations in the courts, on the campaign trail and in our homes. All of these conversations focus on three central questions: 1) What are we facing? 2) What are we doing right now? and, 3) What can we do in the future? Join us as we discuss the answers to these questions and what they mean for communities across the country.
Bio: Taylor K. Lilley, Esq. is an environmental lawyer working on issues of environmental and climate justice. She previously served as the Public Interest Law Fellow at the Environmental Law Institute and has recently joined the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as an Environmental Justice Attorney. Taylor currently holds a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of Florida and a J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
Living Room 2
Title: Afro-health from medical apartheid to digital health revolution
Description: Through case studies and group exercises, this think tank session will center on highlighting the factors influencing black representation in medical research and black health challenges that can be addressed by technology. Participants will be challenged to think of innovative ways of encouraging and improving engagement with health research and development of digital health solutions to bridge black health disparities.
Artwork: Dope and Different is an interactive portrait series that combines vibrant color, video, and sound collage to celebrate individuals who transform marginalized experiences into boldly inspired ways of being. It consists of 12 painted portraits of sizes ranging from 18x18in to 36x48in. With the use of Augmented Reality technology, each portrait comes to life through video and sound collage when a person points their smartphone at the image.
Artists: Jessica Valoris and Sur MonikoLove
Bios: Jessica is a visual and performance artist whose work lives at the intersection of historical consciousness and timeless spirituality. Activating themes of Afrofuturism and holistic wellness, Valoris creates environments in which participants are invited to reconnect and conversate with personal and universal truths.
Sur MonikoLove is a mixed-media artist whose confessional style of work explores themes of inner peace, universal connection, and supernatural blackness. MoniKO uses film, photography, and painting to create immersive sensory experiences.
Artwork: In early 2019, the Google Creative Lab partnered with Bill T. Jones, a pioneering choreographer, two-time Tony Award Winner, MacArthur Fellow, National Medal of the Arts Honoree, and artistic director and co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company of New York Live Arts. We teamed up to explore the creative possibilities of speech recognition and PoseNet, which is Google’s machine-learning model that estimates human poses in real time in the browser.
Artwork: StorytellingBot - Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters | The purpose of the SpelBots Team StorytellingBot is to ascertain if the robotic method of delivering a 2nd-grade level story will prove to be more beneficial in the retaining and comprehension of the storyline, than the human method of delivery. Researchers aim to determine if 2nd-grade children retain information from a story delivered by a robot better than a story delivered by a human. As well as see if the robot effectively communicates with 2nd-grade children through preprogrammed motions, voice variability, and interactive questions in a story.
SpelBots Team bio: The members of the StorytellingBot Team are apart of a larger team called the SpelBots Team, Spelman College's robotics team. The SpelBots team is the first all-female African-American robotics team. A SpelBots team member is encouraged to improve the community & themselves and develop new and exciting projects that benefit society. Through outreach, professional development, and research the SpelBots team is dedicated to encouraging underrepresented students, especially young Black women, and the elderly to explore robotics and computer science.
Title: SOVEREIGNTY EXHIBITION
Description: Sovereignty Exhibition is an interactive art experience that invites you to pose for a portrait in front of the legendary Red, Black and Green, Free Wombz Riot Flag. This is the exact flag that Free Wombz carried during a handful of riots that sprinkled throughout the southeastern region of the United States, just days before WWIII began. After your portrait is taken, you will be given the opportunity and space to anchor your most important life relationship with an Official Marriage License to marry yourself - a true demonstration of sovereignty and devotion to your Self, your purpose(s), your missions and your path.
Ashley Jane Lewis
Artwork: I Can't Breathe
Description: “I Can't Breathe” is a soft robotics data visualization in response to the disturbing video of the last moments of Eric Garner’s life after a violent police engagement, paying homage to the deaths of black people at the hand of police brutality in North America over the last 3 years.