The Conflux Winter Residency is a free, student-led residential program for Harvard undergraduates to immerse themselves in exploring, learning, and creating art tech during January term.
See projects from Residency 2023, and our public exhibition at the SEC.
If you are interested in Residency 2024, please fill out this form!
From Residency 2023:
The program will take place January 4th - 22nd, 2023, and is hosted at the Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences by Conflux and the SEAS Teaching and Learning Group. Throughout this program, a cohort of 18 fellows from a variety of different disciplinary backgrounds will work together on ambitious art-tech projects with mentorship from metaLAB (at) Harvard and the broader Harvard and Boston art tech communities.
The overarching mission of the residency is to build an interdisciplinary community of artists and technologists who—through intense skill-building workshops and cross-disciplinary collaboration with each other and computational tools—will expand the future of art tech at Harvard and beyond.
2023 theme: Liminal Interfaces
Throughout our residency, fellows will conceptualize and create a series of interstitial artworks—art that is genre-bending, genre-breaking, or simply the art of the in-between. These projects center around our 2023 theme, Liminal Interfaces, which explores the ways in which art and media technology can transform liminal spaces—the transitory, ambiguous, and often painful spaces between locations or states of being—into personal and meaningful places.
We will first explore elevators as familiar and tangible liminal spaces where we will investigate the mundane, perfunctory interactions that we have become accustomed to in our daily lives. These spaces provide a unique opportunity for art and technology to play a transformative role, as they allow for the creation of interactive installations that can bridge the gap between the meaningless and the meaningful. By turning elevators into environments lush with play, interactivity, and connection, we transform liminal spaces from settings of disengagement and distress to interfaces of agency and growth.
Over the course of 2.5 weeks, fellows will live and collaborate in a tight-knit community of students from across humanities and engineering disciplines. They will explore the Boston 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 metaLAB members and 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 such as Jeffrey Schnapp, Martin Wattenberg, Seth Riskin, Jeff Steward, and Adam Haar Horowitz. 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 with Oopsa and the Radcliffe Public Art Competition, the Virtual John Harvard Project and the Harvard Visualization Research and Teaching Laboratory, and guest artists—Sarah Newman, Jacek Smolicki, Rus Gant, Jeanette Andrews, Devon Bryant, Bree Edwards—to learn foundational art tech skills such as site-specific design and implementation, soundscape composition, XR/AR/VR development, and projection mapping. 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 a liminal space of their choosing into an interface, with mentorship and critique from members of the metaLAB community and guest artists. Residency fellows will then collaborate on creating a cohesive exhibition showcasing their work during the program.
During this residency, fellows will produce both individual and collaborative works, including:
- Individual art tech portfolios and artist statements
- 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 elevate our lives.
The program is directed by Peggy Yin ‘25 and Alice Cai ‘25.
Support provided by: metaLAB (at) Harvard, the SEAS Teaching and Learning Group, the Harvard Library Creative Technologies group based at Cabot Science Library, the Visualization Research and Teaching Laboratory (Harvard Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences), the Harvard Radcliffe Institute and the Radcliffe Public Art Competition, the REEF makerspace at SEAS, the Music Lab (Harvard Department of Music), the Computing in Engineering Education (CEE) group, and the Office for the Arts at Harvard.