Mission & History

We produce and present live arts that interrogate the scientific innovations and technological changes of our times. We explore with artists and scientists how light-speed advances impact our lives and our planet. We create shared experiences to spark curiosity, wonder, and critical thinking in order to forge a more informed democracy and inspire a better future. Join us!
In 2019, MAX’s first year of programming, we worked with over 100 artists and scientists to bring 25 performances, 10 presentations, and 5 museum installations to over 10,000 audience members across 3 cities in partnership with 7 premiere venues including The Exploratorium, Carnegie Hall, and the Norton Museum.

Meet the Team

Kay Matschullat

Producing Director

Bio

Kay Matschullat is an accomplished performing and media arts director, producer, educator, and founder whose work is dedicated to deconstructing barriers and exploring inventive collaborations. In 2013, Matschullat set her sights on driving innovation in performing arts through the intersection of technology and the arts by founding Scriptopia, the first software application for collaborative, online script development. After successfully launching Scriptopia, Matschullat secured funding for Media Art Xploration (MAX), a non-profit dedicated to the cultivation and presentation of performing and media arts with the goal of increasing artistic exploration and humanistic inquiry into the light-speed advances in science and technology. She most enjoys creating space for artists and scientists to change the world and to that end, she curated MAX 2019: A Space Festival. 

 

Also in 2019 she produced  We Chose to Go to the Moon, two evenings at Carnegie Hall chronicling the Apollo mission to the moon with St. Luke’s Orchestra in collaboration with America In the Balance.  

 

Directing credits include the classics Threepenny Opera, All’s Well That Ends Well, Skin of Our Teeth, and Love’s Labour’s Lost;  She has directed premier productions by renowned writers including former Czech Republic president and playwright Vaclav Havel (The Conspirators), Nobel Prize-winning Caribbean playwright Derek Walcott (To Die For Granada, Pantomime), Pulitzer Prize winner Ariel Dorfman (Widows), and Carson McCullers Talks About Love with Tony Award-winning composer Duncan Sheik and songwriter Suzanne Vega (nominated for a Drama Desk Award).

 

Matschullat founded the new play program at The Williamstown Theater Festival and InTheRaw at Red Bull Theater. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and recipient of a Master of Arts degree from NYU, Matschullat’s awards include an NEA Directing Fellowship, a TCG Fellowship, a Rubin Foundation Production Grant, a Fulbright Senior Fellowship, and Harvard’s Rudolf Arnheim Award for Interdisciplinary Work. As an artist and educator, Matschullat served on NYU’s Tisch full-time faculty for over two decades, taught in Princeton University’s Theater and Dance program and has held artistic residencies at Dartmouth College, Harvard College, Calarts, SCAD, Duke University. She was a guest lecturer at Harvard College in 2019. 

Deniz Tortum

Associate Producer/Production Manager

Bio

Deniz Tortum works in film and new media. His work has screened internationally, including Venice Film Festival, SxSW, Sheffield Doc/Fest and True/False. He has organized new media exhibitions and conferences at MIT Open Documentary Lab, Istanbul Independent Film Festival and Camden International Film Festival. He has an MS from MIT in comparative media studies and a BA from Bard College in film & electronic arts.

Alan Yu

Development Director

Bio

Alan Yu has spent his entire professional career doing project management and strategic development work for nonprofit organizations in the education and affordable housing sectors. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and holds a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Outside of work, he serves on the Museum of Modern Art’s Junior Associates Steering Committee, and as the Secretary on on the Congregational Council of Trinity Church Wall Street. Alan was also appointed to two terms on Manhattan Community Board 5 in Midtown, serving on the Parks & Public Spaces and Transportation & Environment Committees from 2016 to 2018.

Veronica Burt

Social Media and Virtual Programming Associate

Bio

Veronica Sofia Burt is a Brooklyn-based, Los Angeles bred theater artist. She has performed with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Shakespeare Theatre Company DC, Washington National Opera and in Tokyo Broadcasting Service’s 360 Theater. She also works in the burgeoning field of intimacy direction, her most recent work being New York Musical Festival’s “Best Musical” Leaving Eden. Veronica has worked with non profits and schools such as United in Harmony, Education for the Children Foundation, and Laureate Academy developing arts programming for children in the United States and beyond. BA: Dartmouth College VeronicaBurt.com @veronbee
Mariam Suffrand Headshot

Mariam Suffrand

Administrative Assistant

Bio

Mariam Suffrand is a bilingual, Kean University graduate with a BS in Business Public Management with a focus in media marketing. She participated in Kean University’s 2019 Research Day, presenting a collection of studies in pertinence to international business culture. 

Asia Szczepanowska

Internal Accounting Officer

Bio

Asia has been working in accounting for 18 years.  

Board of Advisors

Dr. Carl Schoonover

Bio

Dr. Carl Schoonover is a postdoctoral research scientist in the Axel Laboratory at Columbia University where he studies the neural mechanisms that underlie olfactory learning. His doctoral work in the Bruno Laboratory at Columbia University focused on microanatomy and electrophysiology of rodent somatosensory cortex. He is the author of Portraits of the Mind (2010), has written for The New York TimesLe Figaro, and Scientific American, and in 2008 co-founded NeuWrite, a collaborative working group for scientists, writers, and those in between. He hosts a radio program on WKCR 89.9FM, which focuses on opera, postwar classical music, and occasionally their relationship to the brain

Vero Bollow

Bio

While researching the Bay Area’s start-up culture for her upcoming comedy film on AI, Vero Bollow came to the conclusion that there should be a place for artists, scientists, and engineers to hang out, be curious and launch new ventures together, so she decided to found Stochastic Labs. Vero’s first feature film, The Wind and the Water, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival before playing to sold-out audiences at festivals worldwide and eventually breaking box office records in Panama, it’s country of production. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she holds master’s degrees from MIT and the Columbia School of Journalism. She is also the director of the Minerva Foundation.

Rachel Chanoff

Bio

Rachel Chanoff is the founder and director of THE OFFICE performing arts + film, her New York City-based programming, consulting, and production company. She is the Curator of Performing Arts and Film for the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Director of Programming of the CenterSeries at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance at Williams College, Consultant to the Feature Film and Theater Programs for the Sundance Institute and to the RAWI screenwriters lab in Jordan, Curator of The New York Jewish Film Festival and The Margaret Mead Film Festival, and the Artistic Director of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. Rachel is proud to serve on the board of the 52nd Street Project and Working Films.

Dr. Sanjoy Som

Bio

Dr. Sanjoy Som founded Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, a non-profit virtual research institute with an interdisciplinary approach to studying the relationship between Earth system science, space exploration, and the future of humanity. Dr. Som also serves as a research scientist at NASA Ames.

Jack Mostow

Bio

Jack Mostow is a Research Professor Emeritus of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. As of 2017 he leads the RoboTutor team (www.robotutor.org), a $1M Finalist in the Global Learning XPRIZE Competition. RoboTutor expands on prior work on Project LISTEN’s Reading Tutor, which listens to children read aloud, to teach writing and numeracy as well. RoboTutor offers exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary work in intelligent tutors, educational data mining, graphic design, speech technologies, cognitive and motivational psychology, human-computer interaction, computational linguistics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Lucia Pietroiusti

Bio

Lucia Pietroiusti is Curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries (London) as well as the Curator of Sun & Sea (Marina) by Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte and Lina Lapelyte, the Lithuanian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019, awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. She is the curator (with Filipa Ramos) of the durational festival on interspecies consciousness, The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish (2018-19) ​as well as the research, publication and performance project, PLANTSEX, on erotics and botany. Since 2013, she has programmed and produced research projects, artist commissions and performances, as well as film and collaborative partnerships, at the Serpentine Galleries. Pietroiusti was the co-curator of the 2018 (Work), 2016 (Miracle), 2015 (Transformation) and 2014 (Extinction) editions of the Serpentine’s yearly Marathon festival of art, science and technology; and the co-curator (with Kay Watson) and co-presenter (with Victoria Sin) of The Serpentine Podcast. Previously, Pietroiusti has been Assistant Curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2007-2009) and Associate Editor of the journal of the arts and letters, Boulevard Magenta (2008-2010). Pietroiusti is currently researching more-than-humanism, ecology, interspecies consciousness, species extinction, plant intelligence, botany and myth.

Robert Cowan, MD, FAAN

Bio

Robert Cowan, MD, FAAN is Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Division of Headache Medicine at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Stanford he was ta senior clinical research scientist in molecular neurobiology at Huntington Medical Research Institutes (Pasadena, CA). Dr. Cowan attended University of Southern California, Keck Medical School, completed a residency program at USC Department of Neurology and served on faculty there until 2000. He is Board Certified in the areas of: Psychiatry and Neurology and Pain Medicine. He also holds subspecialty certification in Headache Medicine. Dr. Cowan is widely published in various scientific journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association Cephalalgia, and Headache. He has authored book chapters lectures both nationally and internationally on a variety of headache topics, and has appeared on NBC, CBS and has been featured in articles ranging from the San Francisco Chronicle to Vogue Magazine. Dr. Cowan has held several nationally elected positions, including chair of the sections on Chronic Daily Headache and In-office Patient Education for the American Headache Society. He is immediate past President of the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific, is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. He is on the boards of the Alliance for Headache Diseases Advocacy, the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific, the American Headache and Migraine Association, and the American Council for Headache Education. He is a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, including Headache and Cephalalgia. He is an editor for Headache Currents. Dr. Cowan is the author of The Keeler Migraine Method (Penguin/Avery, 2008). Along with Dr. Alan Rapoport, Professor of Neurology at UCLA School of Medicine, Dr. Cowan co-founded BonTriage which develops computer-based tools to aid in the diagnosis, education, and care of people with chronic medical conditions. Dr. Cowan’s primary research nterest is the pathophysiology of chronic daily headache, utilizing functional imaging, body fluid analysis and deep phenotyping. He has been the recipient of NIH, foundation, industry and individual grants and gifts for his research.

Penelope Boston

Bio

Dr. Boston works in the fields of micro- and astro-biology, having pioneered collaboration between the two fields. She explores the deepest caves to find the microscopic clues to which planets could harbor recognizable life and detect the presence of such life. Dr. Penelope Boston plunged into the wonders of exobiology at a very young age. She grew up traveling the world with parents who were traveling performers, frequently delves into deep caves to do research, has worked with Dr. Carl Sagan on a project and serves on several scientific advisory panels with Dr. Frank Drake, A current professor at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, author of over 150 publications, and co-founder of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute and organizer of multiple conferences, Dr. Boston has devoted her career to teaching and understanding overlapping scientific disciplines.
Suzanne Kite photo

Suzanne Kite

Bio

Suzanne Kite is an Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. Kite’s scholarship and practice highlight contemporary Lakota epistemologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fibre sculptures, immersive video and sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records. Kite has also published extensively in several journals and magazines, including in The Journal of Design and Science (MIT Press), where the award winning article, “Making Kin with Machines,” co-authored with Jason Lewis, Noelani Arista, and Archer Pechawis, was featured. Currently, she is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Research Assistant for the Initiative for Indigenous Futures.

Dr. Felipe Orduña Bustamante

Bio

 Dr. Felipe Orduña Bustamante is a senior researcher of the Acoustics and Vibrations Group, ICAT-UNAM. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics (UNAM, 1987), a Master’s and Doctorate in Sound and Vibrations (University of Southampton, England, 1990 and 1995). He works on acoustic instrumentation and measurements, digital signal processing, musical acoustics, and music technology. He is the author of many articles, reports and patents included in international academic indexes. Tutor and graduate professor in Engineering and Music, initiator of the areas of Instrumentation and Musical Technology.

Maxwell Neely-Cohen

Bio

Maxwell Neely-Cohen is the author of the novel Echo of the Boom and Editor-at-Large for The Believer.

His essays and non-fiction have been featured in places like The New Republic, Ssense, and BOMB Magazine.

His experiments with literature and technology have been acclaimed by The New York Times Magazine, Electric Literature, The Financial Times, and Google.

In 2019 he was an artist-in-residence at Pioneer Works and CultureHub, and part of the Fall cohort at the School for Poetic Computation.

Sam Gershman Photo

Sam Gershman

Bio

Sam Gershman received his B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University in 2007 and Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2013, where he worked with Ken Norman and Yael Niv. From 2013-2015 Gershman was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, working with Josh Tenenbaum and Nancy Kanwisher. He currently is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Center for Brain Science at Harvard. His research focuses on computational cognitive neuroscience approaches to learning, memory and decision making. 

Sally Katz

Bio

Sally Martin Katz is Curatorial Assistant of Photography at SFMOMA and Ph.D. candidate in Art History, focusing on History of Photography, at the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Before moving to the Bay Area, she lived in Paris, where she completed a Master of Arts degree in Art History as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography, both from the Sorbonne. While living in Paris, she served as assistant to the director and the head of exhibitions & communications at the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson and worked on the photographic archive of the Greek, Roman & Etruscan Antiquities Department at the Musée du Louvre.

Sam Cuddenback

Bio

Recently retired after 25 years as Head of Drew School in San Francisco and 20 prior years as an English teacher and administrator at Tabor Academy (MA) and Lick-Wilmerding (CA).  A former member of the Executive Committee the California Association of Independent Schools. AB, MALS Dartmouth College. Sam is currently a Dartmouth class officer for ‘71. He has served as a trustee on three independent schools’ boards and for the Teach With Africa organization. He reads avidly, rides a Bianchi and journals daily.

Tom Griffiths

Bio

Tom Griffiths is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Information Technology, Consciousness and Culture in the Departments of Psychology and Computer Science at Princeton University. His research explores connections between human and machine learning, using ideas from statistics and artificial intelligence to understand how people solve the challenging computational problems they encounter in everyday life. He has received awards for his research from organizations ranging from the American Psychological Association to the National Academy of Sciences, and is a co-author of the book _Algorithms to live by_, introducing ideas from computer science and cognitive science to a general audience. 

Wendy Ettinger

Bio

An award-winning producer and director, Wendy Ettinger co-founded Chicken & Egg Pictures and Gamechanger Films, an equity fund dedicated to financing feature films directed by women. Through Gamechanger, she was the Executive Producer of Land Ho; through Chicken & Egg Pictures, she was the Executive Producer of Pariah, directed by Dee Rees. Wendy was also the Executive Producer for The War Room, the Academy Award®-nominated documentary directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker. She produced Eye of God (Sundance Film Festival, 1997) and Hotel Gramercy Park (Tribeca Film Festival, 2008), and produced and directed Baby I’m Yours (Tribeca Film Festival, 2003). As a casting director, she worked with Ken Loach, Ang Lee, Hal Hartley, and James Lapine. Wendy believes deeply in the power of change through media, education, and the arts. She serves on the board of Working Films, The Educational Foundation of America, Imagine Science, the 52nd Street Project and MAX.

Vincent Conitzer

Bio

Vincent Conitzer is the Kimberly J. Jenkins University Professor of New Technologies and Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. He received Ph.D. (2006) and M.S. (2003) degrees in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and an A.B. (2001) degree in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University. Conitzer works on artificial intelligence (AI). Much of his work has focused on AI and game theory, for example designing algorithms for the optimal strategic placement of defensive resources. More recently, he has started to work on AI and ethics: how should we determine the objectives that AI systems pursue, when these objectives have complex effects on various stakeholders? Conitzer has received the Social Choice and Welfare Prize, a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award, an NSF CAREER award, the inaugural Victor Lesser dissertation award, an honorable mention for the ACM dissertation award, and several awards for papers and service at the AAAI and AAMAS conferences. He has also been named a Guggenheim Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, a Kavli Fellow, a Bass Fellow, an ACM Fellow, a AAAI Fellow, and one of AI’s Ten to Watch. He has served as program and/or general chair of the AAAI, AAMAS, AIES, COMSOC, and EC conferences. Conitzer and Preston McAfee were the founding Editors-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Economics and Computation (TEAC).

Paul Roossin

Bio

For the past several years Paul Roossin has been the principal technologist for two medical company start-ups whose suite of products leverage modern Artificial Intelligence techniques to automate diagnostic and therapeutic processes. Prior to this work, Paul was the Science Director of Nanotronics Imaging, Inc., a New York-based microscopy, computer vision, AI, and robotics company that designs and delivers automated inspection and analysis solutions to the semiconductor, pharmaceutical, and materials industries. Paul trained as a neurobiologist at The Rockefeller University where he performed pioneering investigations into the neural substrates of memory consolidation and recall. His interest in artificial intelligence led him to join IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center, where he and his team created the world’s most accurate machine translation system, first used for translating French texts into English. The statistical and information theoretical techniques they pioneered have become the basis for the methods used by all modern translation software. At IBM Research he also designed, produced, and marketed MedSpeak Radiology, the world’s first commercially available continuous speech, large vocabulary speech recognition system. This system and its progeny are currently used to automatically transcribe nearly all radiology reports in the US. As an entrepreneur, he and two colleagues founded ConsumerSearch.com, a consumer product meta-review website; it grew to be one of the largest shopping sites on the web and was sold to The New York Times Digital in 2007. Other prior experience includes CTO positions at the technology startups Tribeca Software and Revonet, Inc., and he was a founder and general manager of Blueshift Ventures, LLC, an early-stage life sciences and technology venture capital firm based in New York City. He is also the founder and CEO of Mental Machinery, Inc., a science and technology consulting firm.

A member of the New York Academy of Science and the Society of Sigma Xi, Paul’s active interests include medical and science policy, the development and use of artificial intelligence technologies, and educational outreach. He was featured as one of the 100 smartest individuals in the New York City area in a New York Magazine cover story. Paul received a B.A. cum laude from New York University in biology and computer science and from 1980 to 1985 was a Ph.D. Fellow at both The Rockefeller University and the Courant Institute of Mathematics.

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Thank you to our Board 
We thank our Board of Directors, Nancy Eswein, Wendy Ettinger, Mark Johnson, Dale Matschullat, Louisa Spencer.

Contact

info@mediaartexploration.org