Provocative live conversations between scientists, artists and you.
MAXforum presents lively conversations among artists, artist-engineers, scientists, and technological innovators. It aims to serve as a space to collide different perspectives and allow you to engage with new, intersectional fields of thought to forge a better future.
Art of Movement Mapping
Artist/Programmer Lisa Jamhoury, Artist/Technologist Mimi Yin, and Neurobiologist Dr. Ryan York discuss the creative constraints and possibilities of working with AI and movement mapping on humans (and other organisms!). Special appearances by avatars, insects, and doppelgängers.
Ecologies of Sound
Artist Dakota Gearhart will moderate a conversation between biologist and author Dr. David Haskell and composer Dr. Paula Matthusen about what it means to explore and create through sound rather than light. What can we learn about how these capacities evolved over time and what does it mean to compose music for human audiences that brings us closer to understanding the world and our environment from a non-human and sonic point of view?
Memory in Time and Space
Producer and AR expert Adaora Udoji will moderate a conversation between cognitive psychologist Dr. Nicola Clayton and artist Modesto Flako Jimenez on what we can learn from studying the structures of cognition in animals. How might this research help us understand the nature of memory in humans, and what are the possibilities for developing creative and community-centered approaches with VR to address diseases such as Alzheimer’s?
Adaora Udoji is an award-winning storyteller, producer, and media executive with expertise in emerging technology and media. Currently, she is Vice President of Programming and Operations at PBS. She oversees work across scripted and non-scripted programming and distribution platforms. Genres include news, current affairs, indie film, docs, series, web series, and podcasts.
Adaora works across platforms: digital, video, film, radio, podcasts, virtual reality, and augmented reality with content premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Google and has been featured on CNN, ABC News, and public radio. (IMDb profile)
Previously, she was an executive at RLab and ran a media-tech startup, News Deeply. She covered some of the most compelling stories of our time as a broadcast journalist, correspondent and anchor, winning many awards, including recognition by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for reporting on the Afghan war and Hurricane Katrina respectively.
She serves on the board of NEW INC of the New Museum and is currently a trustee at The Hewitt School, serves as an advisor for the Sundance Interdisciplinary Program and the Broadway Accelerato. She is an adjunct professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts.
Dr. Nicola Clayton is Professor of Comparative Cognition in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Clare College and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Her expertise lies in the contemporary study of comparative cognition, integrating a knowledge of both biology and psychology to introduce new ways of thinking about the evolution and development of intelligence in non-verbal animals and pre-verbal children. She is currently President of the British Science Association Psychology Section.
Nicky is also the first Scientist in Residence at Rambert (formerly Rambert Dance Company), a position she has held for 11 years. She collaborates with Mark Baldwin, the former Artistic Director, on new choreographic works inspired by science including the Laurence Oliver award winning The Comedy of Change (2009, 2013), Seven For A Secret Never To Be Told (2011), What Wild Ecstasy (2012), The Strange Charm of Mother Nature (2014), and The Creation (2016), and Grave (2018). In addition, she has written the words and collaborated on Perpetual Movement (2016, 2017), an exhibition of paintings inspired by Rambert at the Lowry and Embodied Cognition, a series of art works drawn and painted by Mark Baldwin (2019).
Dakota Gearhart is a transmedia artist whose practice concerns the effects of modern science and technology with a particular focus on the radical deconstruction of contemporary power structures according to an ecofeminist worldview. She seeks to make the familiar strange—and sometimes the strange familiar—and through that inversion, articulate a more robust and less oppressive future. Her work has been exhibited at The Bronx Museum of Art, NY; Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL; Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, OR; Horse Hospital, London; Horse and Pony Gallery, Berlin; Lab’Attoir, Thessaloniki, Greece; and Taiyuan University, Taiyuan, China. She has been awarded the BRIC Digital Media Fellowship, Franklin Furnace Fellowship, and a National Endowments for the Arts US-Japan Creative Fellowship which will bring her work to Japan in 2022. She is based in New York City where she teaches Motion Graphics with Parsons School of Design at The New School and with the Integrated Design Media program at New York University.
Dr. David Haskell David Haskell is a writer and a biologist. His latest book, Sounds Wild and Broken, explores the story of sound on Earth and is an Editor’s Choice at the New York Times. His previous books, The Forest Unseen and The Songs of Trees are acclaimed for their integration of science, poetry, and rich attention to the living world. Among their honors include the National Academies’ Best Book Award, John Burroughs Medal, finalist for Pulitzer Prize, Iris Book Award, Reed Environmental Writing Award, National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature, and runner-up for the PEN E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. Haskell received his BA from the University of Oxford and PhD from Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, a Guggenheim Fellow, and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, USA.
Lisa Jamhoury is a Lebanese-American movement artist and programmer creating embodied, computational experiences. Rooted in contemporary circus and mindfulness as means to engage trauma, her practice includes interactive performances, installations, and websites that encourage a consensual, celebratory approach to humanity’s shared physicality. She is a member of the New Museum’s NEW INC Extended Realities Track, and recently completed residencies with the 2021 session of the Conference on Movement and Computing, and New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where she completed her masters degree and is an adjunct arts professor. As an aerial acrobat, she has choreographed and performed across the United States, including commissioned work for the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics and TEDx Brooklyn. Her computational work has been recognized by Ars Electronica, Meta Open Arts, Contemporary Art Society, CultureHub, Google/NYU xStory, and others.
Modesto Flako Jimenez is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised, multi-hyphenate artist. As a poet, playwright, educator, actor, producer, and director his work exists in and explores the intersections of identity, language, mediums, cultures, and communities found in his personal life and beyond.
Jimenez’s art addresses the social and political changes affecting the Latin American communities in his Bushwick neighborhood. His 2021 play, Taxilandia, draws on his nine years of experience driving a taxicab in New York City and his documentation of conversations with passengers, residents, locals, and immigrants. He has worked with companies all over the country, including La Jolla Playhouse, Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater, and he founded and is the Artistic Director of Oye Group. Jimenez also works as a Community Programmer at The Bushwick Starr and a professor at Sarah Lawrence College and leads poetry and theater workshops for teens through Oye Group.
Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. Her work often considers discrepancies in musical space—real, imagined, and remembered. In addition to writing for a variety of ensembles, she also collaborates with choreographers and theater companies and performs live-electronics. Her music has been performed by Bang On A Can All-Stars, Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Rider, American Composers Orchestra, Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, Loadbang, Splinter Reeds, Experiments in Opera, and SPLICE Ensemble to name a few. Matthusen’s awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Awards, and the “New Genre Prize” from the IAWM Search for New Music. Awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Awards, and the 2014 – 2015 Elliott Carter Rome Prize. Matthusen is currently Professor of Music at Wesleyan University.
Mimi Yin is an artist and educator. Her work experiments with unconventional modes of
interaction in performance and participatory experiences and has been presented on Governor’s
Island, off The Highline, Yale University Art Gallery, Gibney Dance, Danspace in St. Mark’s
Church, MANA Contemporary and Culture Hub among others. Her research into choreographic
practice and interactive media is being supported by an NEA Art Works grant. She was a 2019-20 artist-in-residence at the Movement Lab at Barnard College with the artist collective Nuum and a Spring 2019 Fellow at The Center for Ballet and The Arts at NYU. Mimi is an Assistant Arts Professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.
Dr. Ryan York is a biologist and multidisciplinary artist based in California. His wide-ranging scientific and artistic work is broadly concerned with the effect of time on complex systems (natural and artificial). Ryan earned a PhD from Stanford University in 2017 and has worked at UCLA, Caltech, and Stanford. He is currently a researcher and metascientist at Arcadia Science in Berkeley, CA. His research explores how organisms evolve behaviors using diverse tools from evolution, genetics, cell biology, and neuroscience. He has a particular focus on generating computational models of organismal movement (including that of humans) and has authored over a dozen scientific publications.
As a musician and producer, he has released work with labels such as Non Projects, Leaving Records, and Ghostly International. As a film composer, he works closely with the directors Justin Daashuur Hopkins and Linda Mai Green. He is currently a part of Nalle Mishima, a collaborative effort using the tension between improvisation and composition to produce new sound and visual art. Across his work, Ryan is committed to exploring how creative output (scientific and artistic) can be represented, shared, and used openly, freely, and democratically.