APPLY HERE by November 9
The Conflux Winter Residency is a free, student-led residential program for Harvard undergraduates to immerse themselves in exploring, learning, and developing new media, art tech, and creative technologies during January term.
To learn more about our 2023 residency program, Liminal Interfaces: check out our program details, projects from Residency 2023, and press coverage of our public exhibition.
The program will take place January 4th - 20nd, 2024, during which a cohort of 15 residency fellows from a variety of different disciplinary backgrounds will collaborate on art-tech projects with mentorship from leading artists and technologists from the broader Cambridge, Boston, and New York art tech communities.
The mission of residency is to provide a supportive setting—away from the stress of semesters—to encourage deep wonder, curiosity, and inquiry in the pursuit of meaningful interdisciplinary work. We connect fellows with the resources, mentorship, equipment, and facility access to kickstart innovative projects, which will be showcased in a thematic public exhibition during spring term. Above all, we aim to foster a close-knit community of artists and technologists who will expand the future of art tech at Harvard and beyond.
2024 Theme: Symbiotic Perceptions
The act of perceiving is not a solipsistic endeavor—it depends on the intricate and interdependent nature of human sensory and cognitive experiences. This year’s theme explores the limits and possibilities of perception, probing at how these constraints have informed, transformed, and reformed our perspectives on ourselves, each other, and the world around us. Through experimenting with “more-than-human” perceptions in the context of interspecies communication, human-nature and human-machine interaction, and extrasensory augmentation technologies, we challenge residency fellows to embrace the perceptual system of another—be it human, animal, or object; animate or inanimate; natural or synthetic. Final projects will center on how interacting with a variety of perceptual systems might expand our ways of being in and believing in perceptual coexistence.
Over the course of 2 weeks, fellows will live and collaborate in a tight-knit community of students from across humanities, arts, and engineering disciplines. They will explore the contemporary art tech scene, and engage with leading artists and technologists in speaker events and meals. They will learn and hone a range of creative techniques and technologies in expert-led, hands-on workshops. They will be personally mentored by working art tech professionals to conceptualize and create their own art tech project, and collaborate to curate a public showcase of residency work.
In the first phase of the residency, fellows will be introduced to the field of art tech through artist talks, studio visits, and exhibition tours with invited guests. During this time, fellows will also engage in a variety of team exercises to strengthen their collaborative mindsets, and prepare them to work in cross-disciplinary teams.
In the second phase of the residency, fellows will engage in hands-on workshops to learn foundational art tech skills such as site-specific design and implementation, audiovisual performance, sustainable design, Bio-sensing, Bioacoustic and Interspecies Design. Fellows will apply these skills to design and implement prototypes, which will be reviewed by mentors.
In the third phase of the residency, residency fellows will work in small, cross-disciplinary teams on art tech projects transforming perceptions of their choice into something more-than-human, with mentorship and critique from guest artists. Residency fellows will then collaborate on creating a cohesive exhibition showcasing their work from the program.
During this residency, fellows will produce both individual and collaborative works, including:
- Individual art tech mini-projects
- Several art tech installation prototypes
- A final, public exhibition of work completed during residency
- Multimodal documentation of design & engineering processes
Fellows will emerge from the program with a deepened understanding of their own artistic philosophies, and the ways in which technology may augment or extend them. More than that, fellows will emerge with a broadened understanding of how art tech may be used to investigate and expand our understanding of our lives and the world around us.
Skye (Xinyi) Gao is a creative technologist, designer, and multi-disciplinary artist. She holds a B.Sc in Interactive Media Arts from NYU Shanghai, and is currently pursuing a Master of Design Studies degree with a concentration in medium/technology at Harvard Graduate of Design. Skye’s research and creative endeavors encompass a wide spectrum, including interactive technology, computational art, and speculative design. Her primary focus lies in investigating the intricate and dynamic relationship amongst human beings, non-human beings, and their surrounding environments. She delves into the realm of responsive environments, human-machine interaction, and recently bio-inspired design and arts to examine how technology transforms experiences and understanding from a more-than-human perspective. Furthermore, through her interactive media art practice, Skye seeks to visually and conceptually articulate profound contemporary concerns, such as the juxtaposition of life and death in the digital era, while critically reflecting on the (post)human condition and its implications.
Rainee (Yunyi) Wang (she/they) is a trans-media designer, creative director, and digital artist. She holds a B.Sc in Interactive Media Arts at New York University Shanghai and is currently a master student at Harvard Graduate School of Education studying learning design and technology. Her works pioneer immersive, interactive, and playful learning experiences through the human-media interactions between spatial dimensions (XR, installations, performative spaces) and sonic interfaces (soundscapes, computational music, real-time a/v performances). She aims to democratize art education, connecting diverse media, people, and cultures for societal impact.