It’s Nice That is heading to New York for the third and final time in 2019. We’ve once again partnered with the website-building platform Wix to host an evening of talks on Thursday 5 December in the company’s brand-new space opposite the Whitney Museum of Art in Manhattan. Under the overarching theme of “A New Creativity”, we’ll hear from designers and artists who are using emerging technologies and tools to produce bold creative work. To sign up for your free ticket, click here.
As part of our ongoing partnership on the Wix Playground Presents series, the evening will be hosted by It’s Nice That’s editor Matt Alagiah and will feature talks from four creatives: Ezra Miller, Ari Melenciano, Ben Cullen Williams, and Laura Juo-Hsin Chen. Below you’ll find more information on all these great speakers and how they use emerging technologies, from machine learning to augmented reality, and what they’ll be focusing on during their talks on 5 December.
Before and after the talks, the speakers (as well as the It’s Nice That team) will be sticking around, so you’ll have a chance to meet them and ask any questions over a beer. Read on to learn a bit more about the speakers and what they’ll be talking about, or – if you’ve already heard enough – click on the link below to get hold of your free ticket.
Last year was a huge one for Ezra. While he was taking a break from his studies at NYU, the creative coder and all-round multi-disciplinary artist worked on a collaboration with Adidas. A month later he worked alongside artist Jon Rafman on a project for Balenciaga at Paris Fashion Week that garnered global attention (anyone who saw the explosion of colour in a tunnel wrapped around the runway will remember the experience). In 2019, he has continued to create breathtaking and original work, including the visuals for a live audio-visual performance by producer and DJ Objekt that has since toured worldwide. At our event in December, Ezra will be discussing a few of the pieces he’s most proud of, his creative process more generally, and the technologies and tools he puts to use in his work.
Ari is a Brooklyn-based artist, creative technologist and researcher, who is passionate about exploring how various forms of design can impact the human experience. Much of her work lies at the intersections of human-computer interactive technologies, experimental pedagogy, speculative design, race and culture. She is the founder and producer of Afrotectopia, a social institution fostering interdisciplinary innovation for the empowerment of black people. She is also currently teaching courses in design, technology and society at New York University and Pratt Institute, is a Human-in-Residence at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), a creative technology resident at Culture Hub, and is incubating interactive audio-visual work at New Inc in collaboration with Rhizome and Nokia Bell Labs. At the Wix Playground, Ari will be talking about her work with Afrotectopia and also picking out a handful of projects that embody her creative practice, including Electro Negro Synesthesyo, which saw her design and build a collection of audio and visual machines by infusing technology into black cultural artefacts.
Ben Cullen Williams
Ben is a British artist who splits his time between London and New York. While his work has in the past consisted of installations, sculptures, photography and film, he recently teamed up with star choreographer Wayne McGregor and Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project that centred on artificial intelligence. Back in December of 2018, it was announced that Wayne had collaborated with the Lab to create Living Archive, an artificially intelligent choreographic tool, trained on hundreds of hours of video from the choreographer’s extensive back catalogue. In July of this year, in Los Angeles, the tech was put to use in a live AI performance experiment accompanied by a video installation by Ben that used the Living Archive as an artistic tool. Next month, Ben will be sharing with us his process of working with Google Arts & Culture to create this installation and discussing the new creative opportunities afforded by emerging technologies like AI.
Laura Juo-Hsin Chen
Laura is the definition of a multi-hyphenate creative: an immersive experience developer, a designer and animator all rolled into one. Born in Taipei and now based in Brooklyn, she is an alum and ex-research resident of NYU ITP and currently works at Planeta, a studio that – among other things – creates unique VR and AR experiences. Her work has always displayed an interest in weird human interactions and how unusual behaviours shift a participant’s perspective. Often using open-source technology in a lighthearted way, she uses AR and VR, multi-user environments and physical objects. She’ll be joining us to talk about a few projects, including Daily Life, a WebVR series about life’s most basic and essential pursuits: eating, sleeping and, yes, even going to the toilet.
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