Artists & Presenters

Joanne Cheung

Joanne is an artist and designer. Growing up as a third culture kid and trained as a photographer and architect, she thinks and works in three dimensions—spatially, linguistically, and culturally. Her projects are founded on a core belief that in order to tackle the challenges humans face as a species, design should be practiced at the scale of individuals, communities, and cultures. To that end, Joanne creates architectural and digital experiences that foster collaboration across scales and across differences. Her work has been published in Wallpaper, New York Times Magazine, Wired, Fast Company, among others.

Rus Gant

Rus Gant is a well-regarded international 3D artist, computer engineer and educator. Currently on the Research staff at Harvard University and the faculty at Tokyo’s Showa Women’s University, he is currently pursuing work in the future of real-time 3D computer graphics and virtual reality. He is the Director of the Visualization Research and Teaching Laboratory at Harvard and the Lead Technical artist for the Giza 3D project at Harvard reconstructing the pyramids, temples and tombs on the Egyptian Giza Plateau in virtual reality. He is a past fellow at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the Center for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. For more than 40 years he has applied his visualization skills to work in computer science, archaeology and museology for some of the world’s leading museums and universities.

Saba Ghole

Co-Founder/Chief Creative Officer, NuVu Studio
SMArchS, Urban Design, MIT

Saba Ghole is an architectural-urban designer turned education-technology entrepreneur. As Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of NuVu, an innovation school for middle and high school students based in Cambridge, MA, Saba leads the school’s agenda of creativity and experimentation. Students at NuVu collaborate with experts on projects such as 3D printed prosthetics, to occupational therapy toys for kids with CP, to brainwave-generated art. Saba received her Masters in Urban Design at MIT. Saba’s urban design experience has included work on innovative educational projects such as the Central Los Angeles High School #9 while working at Coop Himmelb(l)au and the Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh while working at leading architecture firm Perkins+Will. Saba is passionate about creating interactive art that raises social awareness and strengthens community. Her art pieces Pulse and Bloom and Grove are two of the largest biofeedback installations of their kind, and have been featured widely. Saba is an INK Fellow and TEDxSanJoseCA speaker.

Rob Hart

Robert Hart is a member of the Physics Instructional Lab team in the physics department.  He has been making things for many decades in order to pursue teaching, research and personal expression.  In recent years, he and his colleagues have introduced new digital fabrication capabilities to the Science Center shops, and have worked to increase access to these resources.  Rob is especially delighted to be able to work with artists, designers and teachers to help them incorporate modern methods of making into their work and lives.

He will discuss and demonstrate examples of projects pursued by students and colleagues in the courses, “How to make (almost) anything” and “Unseen Harvard: Elements of Ambience” and will describe the less formal learning that is going on in the Science Center fabrication shops.

Gavi Levy Haskell

Gavi Levy Haskell is a technology fellow at the Harvard Art Museums, where she aids in coordination and development for the Lightbox Gallery, a digital space within the museums. With a background in both computer science and the history of art, Levy Haskell is interested in using technology to expose broad audiences to art scholarship in new and more accessible ways.

Luke Hollis

Luke Hollis is the founder of Archimedes Digital, a Cambridge-based startup dedicated to software and mixed reality development for the humanities. Rather than creating software that further distracts and isolates users, the artists, developers, and archivists at Archimedes build applications that connect us to our shared traditions and cultures. Archimedes has developed software in partnership with the Center for Hellenic Studies, the Peabody Museum, McMullen Museum, and other institutions. Archimedes Digital is now partnering with libraries, museums, and archives as well as sponsors internationally to provide access to VR/AR hardware for exploring educational and heritage applications.

Ben Houge

Ben Houge is an artist working at the intersection of music composition, digital art, video games, performance, and gastronomy. In recent years, he has been developing a series of multisensory dining experiences he calls “food operas,” drawing on recent technological advances to achieve an unprecedentedly close pairing of music with a meal. He has collaborated with a wide range of chefs, bartenders, and music ensembles, including Jason Bond of Bondir in Cambridge, Jozef Youssef of Kitchen Theory in London, Todd Maul of Café ArtScience, St. Paul new music ensemble Zeitgeist, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in addition to presenting his work at institutions such as Oxford, Harvard, and MIT, and to R&D teams at some of the world’s leading restaurants, including the Fat Duck and Mugaritz.

Ben is an associate professor in the Electronic Production and Design department at Berklee College of Music. From 2013 to 2015, he relocated to Spain to help establish the Music Production, Technology, and Innovation master’s program at Berklee’s new campus in Valencia, where he developed a course that explored food and music pairings, in which students presented their final projects as part of an eight-course tasting menu at Quique Dacosta’s Michelin-starred restaurant El Poblet. This summer he is developing a new class exploring the links between music and food, supported by a Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship.

Houge’s eclectic art practice has its roots in classical composition while also drawing from over twenty years of experience developing audio for the inherently indeterminate medium of video games. From 2004 to 2010, he lived in Shanghai, China, where he worked for French video game developer Ubisoft and was active in the Chinese art community, and his real-time, multichannel sound work has been exhibited internationally. He holds classical music degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Washington.

For more information, please visit

Ian Howell

Ian Howell is a member of the voice faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he directs the graduate Voice Pedagogy program and conducts research in the NEC Voice and Sound Analysis Laboratory. 

With an eye toward practical application, his research explores the special psychoacoustic properties of the classical singing voice. Predicated on the idea that human senses both mediate reality according to a dependable set of rules, and also grow in detail as more precise labels and conceptual models are applied, he works to create new aural/visual models that better characterize the nature of sung vowels and voice registration. This work brings objective labels to the relative scale of brightness, and unpacks the gestalt of a vowel by breaking it apart into perceptually coherent units smaller than common sense suggests exist.

As a classical countertenor, he has sung on most major international concert stages as both a soloist and a member of the Grammy Award winning ensemble Chanticleer. He has released recordings on the Warner Brothers, Rhino, Gothic, Yale, American Bach Soloists, and Naxos record labels and has published multiple live concert performances on YouTube. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from NEC and Master of Music Degree from Yale University.

Ani Liu

Ani Liu is a transdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of art and science. Currently at MIT Media Lab, she creates research-based art that explores the social, cultural and ethical implications of emerging technologies. In the search to link scientific innovation with emotional tangibility, her work has spanned the scales of architectural installations, wearable prosthetics, augmented reality and synthetic biology.

Liu’s work has been presented at the Boston Museum of Fine ArtsAsian Art MuseumMIT Museum , MIT Media Lab, Wiesner Gallery, Harvard University, Open Gallery, Powerhouse Alliance Conference, Buildings as Cities Inaugural Conference and TEDxBeaconStreet. Her work has been featured in several publications, including See Yourself X: Human Futures Expanded and Solid: Design Techniques.

In 2014-15, she led the research program in Sensory Mediation at the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, which explores how information visualization, augmented reality and other emerging technologies can be harnessed to extend the human sensorium to redefine spatial experience.

She taught as an Associate Instructor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she co-taught an advanced-level architectural studio called Architecture of Cultural Prosthetics: Tools for Communication and Expression in the Public Space with Krzysztof Wodiczko.

Liu has a BA from Dartmouth College and received a Masters of Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, earning a distinction for her thesis in wearable technologies, responsive environments and cultural prosthetics. She continually seeks to discover the unexpected, through playful experimentation, intuition and speculative storytelling.

Rune Madsen

Rune Madsen is a Danish designer, programmer, and artist living in New York City. He designs and builds web applications, interactive installations, algorithmic graphic design systems, and many other things involving artistic uses of computation. He believes in simplicity, organized complexity, and that the pragmatic and poetic is inseparable.

Peter Martel

Peter is applying his computer science education and startup experience to movement research. With a varied background combining software and hardware, including robotics competitions and factory automation, he’s now tackling the technical uncertainty of building new systems that aim to capture, express, and impact the ways we move.


Skunk began to join metal with lightning in August of 1996, at a small bicycle factory known as Merlin Metalworks, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Practicing after hours, he learned TIG welding on thin-walled titanium, eventually well enough to become a welder full-time. A year later he joined the team at Seven Cycles, welding well over a thousand bicycle frames before transitioning over to become their in-house graphic designer.

However once it became possible to join any variety of ferrous metals, imagination and a few laws of physics were the only limitations. While the results range from steel buttons to canopy beds, Most of Skunk’s efforts were spent in the pursuit of refining the figure in metal: trying to be as expressive with as few parts as possible through the robot’s body language.

Learning to weld was an important element in founding the bicycle chopper gang known as SCUL: once more ‘Fight Club’ & ‘Mad Max’, now more ‘Roller Boogie’ & ‘Blue Angels’. As SCUL grew in years, so did its membership, complexity, lingo, tech and armada; and with it a knowledge of engineering, bike mechanics, destructive testing, and so on. Most of all, SCUL continues to remind Skunk of the importance of play. The motto of SCUL is “Be a superhero version of yourself”. Many late night Bostonians have witnessed SCUL firsthand, with Fleet Admiral Skunk piloting USB Cloudbuster, also known as ‘disco-bike’.

Skunk also teaches a TIG welding class at the Artisan’s Asylum. His studio space there doubles as the Ready Room Microgallery.

Christine Southworth

Christine Southworth is a composer and video artist based in Lexington, Massachusetts, dedicated to creating art born from a cross-pollination of sonic and visual ideas. Inspired by intersections of technology and art, nature and machines, and musics from cultures around the world, her music employs sounds from man and nature, from Van de Graaff Generators to honeybees, Balinese gamelan to seismic data from volcanoes. Southworth received a B.S. from MIT in 2002 in mathematics and an M.A. in Computer Music & Multimedia Composition from Brown University in 2006. In 2003 she co-founded Ensemble Robot, a collaborative of artists and engineers that design and build musical robots. She is the general manager of the MIT-based Gamelan Galak Tika, and has composed several pieces for the group and performed at venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, EMPAC, the Cleveland Museum of Art, several Bang on a Can Marathons, and the Bali International Arts Festival. In 2010, she helped design Gamelan Elektrika for her piece Supercollider, which was premiered at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival with the Kronos Quartet. In addition to gamelan, she studies bagpipe, playing both the Galician Gaita and the Great Highland Bagpipe. With her partner Evan Ziporyn, she is currently developing a large-scale multimedia exploration of 9 coral reefs in American National Parks, and helping to create an online world music course for MITx. Learn more about Christine’s work at her website,

Jeff Steward

Jeff Steward directs the museums on the use of a wide range of digital technology. He oversees the collections database, API, and photography studio. For the opening of the new Harvard Art Museums in November 2014, he helped launch the Lightbox Gallery, a public research and development space. Steward has worked at museums with museum data since 1999. Areas of research include visualization of cultural datasets; open access to metadata and multimedia material; and data interoperability and sustainability.

Chris Swithinbank

I am a musician and graduate student in my fourth year of doctoral studies in composition at Harvard University, having previously studied at the University of Manchester (UK) and at the IRCAM Centre Pompidou (France). My work engages with various permutations of instrumental and electronic resources, mainly focusing on creating musical experiences whose structures attempt to afford space to all the bodies implicated. My current hope with each work is to open up doors to worlds that might otherwise not exist, drawing together material contexts for human performers, which are resistant, require collaborative effort, and disclose the necessity of each constituent part of a whole.

Ilya Vidrin

With backgrounds in Cognitive Science, Rhetorical Theory, and classical, contemporary, and improvisational movement and sound, Ilya has spent much of his time synthesizing his academic and artistic interests investigating the articulation of creative expression. Ilya is the artistic director of the Reciprocity Collaborative, a network that brings together artists and researchers through performance practice, education, and community outreach. Ilya is currently a Media, Literacy, and Visualization Fellow at Harvard University’s Bok Center, and is completing a practice-based PhD with a focus on partnering and the psychological underpinnings of coordinated movement.

Kawandeep Virdee

Kawandeep Virdee uses technology and art to explore ways we can create meaning and joy collectively. He co-founded New American Public Art to build interactive art that makes public spaces more communal and welcoming.  Similarly, his internet art strives to encourage collaboration, play, and creativity. His works have shown in venues including the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Facebook, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, Boston Convention Center, Sculpture Visions in Chapel Hill, SFMOMA, Detroit Design Festival, Art & Sol in Saginaw, Suffolk University, Transmediale in Berlin, the MIT Media Lab, and EYEO/Northern Spark.  Talks and workshops include MIT, Google Creative Lab, Facebook, Society of News Design, EYEO, FITC, INST-INT, International Conference on Complex Systems, Connected Communities Symposium in Newcastle, Art Institute of Boston, Tech@State, Betascape at MICA, A Better World By Design at Brown/RISD, Robotsconf, IstanbulHS, Makerland in Warsaw, and JSConf. His works have been covered in publications including the Atlantic, Science, Vice, NewScientist, Make, Core77, the New York Times, the Globe, and Art Digital Magazine. He is on the product team at Medium.

Theo Watson

Theodore Watson is an artist, designer and experimenter whose work is born out of the curiosity and excitement of designing experiences that come alive and invite people to play. Theodore’s work ranges from creating new tools for artistic expression, experimental musical systems, to immersive, interactive environments with full body interaction.

His recent work includes the Eyewriter, an eye controlled drawing tool, Graffiti Research Lab’s Laser Tag a laser graffiti system and Funky Forest, an immersive interactive ecosystem for young children. He is co-founder of creative studio Design I/O, which specializes in the design and development of cutting edge, immersive, interactive installations, and co-founder of the openFrameworks project, an open-source library for writing creative code in C++.

His work has been shown at MoMA, Tate Modern, Ars Electronica, The Sundance Film Festival, Res Fest, TIFF Kids, REMF, Cinekid, Montevideo, OFFF, SHIFT, ICHIM, The Creators Series, Deitch Projects, Eyebeam, Pixel Gallery, and Museum N8 Amsterdam.

Riley Watts

Riley Watts is a dancer, teacher, researcher, and interdisciplinary artist based in Portland, Maine. He studied ballet and contemporary dance at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and received his BFA from The Juilliard School in NYC. He has danced professionally with the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Bern Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theater, and The Forsythe Company in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2015, he was invited to perform Forsythe’s DUO2015 on the Life in Progress farewell world tour of iconic dancer Sylvie Guillem, for which he was awarded “Contemporary Dancer of the Year” by the Leonide Massine-Positano Prize, 2015.  He is a teacher and facilitator of improvisation and creative process, specializing in facilitating an environment of embodied thinking through improvised motion, and has done so at numerous universities, dance companies, choreographic institutes, and research platforms across the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.  He was Associate Researcher with Motion Bank/Dance Engaging Science and has been a visiting artist in dance, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology departments at universities in the USA, Europe, and Australia.  He is currently a Visiting Artist at Colby College, on the advisory committee and summer faculty member at the Bates Dance Festival, and continues to teach and perform in theaters, festivals, galleries, and museums worldwide.

Harry Yeff

Harry Yeff is a two-time ARS PRIX Electronica nominated artist and world renowned beatboxer. His projects are bolstered by his unique vocal skills and ensuing interests, hinging academic research and technological innovation to performance.

Last year Harry Yeff partnered with The Mill and Aurelia Sound to make the world’s first gyroscopic audio, VR music video. Yeff asks: what is purposeful use of technological experimentation within performance? And when does this kind of exploration intelligently amplify the needs and horizons of artists?

Yeff’s hybrid ideas include the hugely successful Polyphonic Playground, a large-scale, climbable frame comprising electric-paint circuitry and instrumental trigger pads. Augmenting this classic structure, Yeff’s playground constitutes an unorthodox musical tool, challenging predetermined patterns of musical composition. Faithful to depicting experimentation in an explicit and tangible way, he is also known for harnessing physical phenomena like cymatics to fluently translate the morphology of sound in real-time. The results are potent, aesthetically arresting audio-visual displays.

Yeff’s specialization in oral percussion and performance has generated a global online following, rendering over 50,000,000 views and title as pioneer of experimental vocalism. Exhibiting work across events like Miami Art Basel, and Design Weeks in London, Milan and Tokyo, he is a polyglot of audio and visual communication who has redefined the role of articulatory phonetics as a means to truly bridge artistic, musical and scientific communities.

Evan Ziporyn

Evan Ziporyn (b. 1959, Chicago) has composed for the Silk Road Ensemble, the American Composers Orchestra, Brooklyn Rider, So Percussion, Maya Beiser, Wu Man, Sentieri Selvaggi, and Bang on a Can. He studied at Eastman, Yale & UC Berkeley with Joseph Schwantner, Martin Bresnick, & Gerard Grisey. He is Inaugural Director of MIT’s new Center for Art, Science and Technology, where he has taught since 1990. His work – informed by his 30+ year involvement with traditional gamelan. He received a Fulbright in 1987, founded Gamelan Galak Tika in 1993, and has composed a series of groundbreaking compositions for gamelan & western instruments. These include three evening-length works, 2001’s ShadowBang, 2004’s Oedipus Rex (Robert Woodruff, director), and 2009’s A House in Bali, which was featured at BAM Next Wave in October 2010. Awards include a USA Artist Fellowship, the Goddard Lieberson Prize from the American Academy, Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, the MIT Gyorgy Kepes Prize, and commissions from Carnegie Hall, Kronos Quartet, Rockefeller Multi-Arts Program, and Meet the Composer. He co-founded the Bang on a Can All-stars in 1992, performing with the group for 20 years. He has also recorded with Paul Simon, Steve Reich Ensemble (sharing in their 1998 Grammy), and Matthew Shipp, and he currently performs with Iva Bittova and Gyan Riley as the Eviyan Trio.