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Kuan-Ju Wu is interested in creating delightful interactions between humans, machines, and environments. He builds immersive experience and tangible interfaces that borrow facets from the shapes and movements of nature, from the stories about the future machines, and the perceptual memories from our early childhood, those intuitive, rich, and satisfying experiences. He has shown work in such venues as Ars Electronica, Japan Media Art Festival, Currents New Media Art Festival, Art+Tech San Francisco.
The work explores the symbiotic relationship between Nature and Machine. The 21st century will challenge pre-existing distinctions between nature and technology. How might the boundary between biology and technology begin to blur? Can we create a platform that is mutually beneficial for both robot and living things?
Natura Machina: Newborn and Teenage Meadow are interactive pneumatic sculptures that embrace elements of the natural world and the human form. As a mound of reindeer moss lichen that swells and contracts like a breathing lung through hidden, robotically turned gears, this work explores the interplay of interior versus exterior spaces relating to the body and nature. Singular and concrete meaning-distinctions—machine, plants, people— dissolve along a single plane; triggered by the presence, and deactivated in the viewer’s absence, Natura Machina highlights the context structuring compositions so that our role becomes nature’s role for the body. We are such intimate moments existing as one.
Eliza Au is originally from Vancouver, B.C. in Canada. She received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and her MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Artist residencies she has attended include Greenwich House Pottery (NYC, NY), The Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR), and the Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY). She has taught in Canada, United States and internationally at various institutions including the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, the Alberta College of Art and Design, Monmouth College, The University of Iowa and the Alfred-CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts) Program in Beijing, China. Au is currently an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of North Texas.
The designs I create have a close relationship to historical ornament, particularly to the pattern motif of the arabesque. I am interested in how this motif draws a parallel between historical Islamic patterns and the contemporary wireframe structure in CAD. The underlying structure of the polar and square grid serves as a framework to create my patterns. Working with the wireframe structure in clay, structure and ornament become inseparable. Flirting with ideas of impossibility by pushing the clay to become planar sheets that are thin, sinuous and perforated, I am able to build structures that reference fluidity and contemporary architecture.
Zach Valent is an interdisciplinary visual artist who creates objects and installations that are
encouraged by his fascination with growth and time. His artistic practice encompasses a
multitude of processes ranging from mold making and casting to metal fabrication,
woodworking, digital fabrication, and materials exploration. Valent received an MFA in studio
arts from Arizona State University in 2017 and a BFA in sculpture from Southern Illinois
University Carbondale in 2014. Currently, Valent is living and working as a professional artist in
the Phoenix Metropolitan area. In 2018, Valent and several colleagues created Lot 14 Studio, a
15000 square foot collaborative workspace focusing on private and public commissions. Valent
is also a faculty associate of Phoenix College and Arizona State University, where he teaches
beginning through advanced sculpture. His artwork has been admired, exhibited, and collected
internationally. For more information on past achievements visit
Zach Valent is an interdisciplinary visual artist creating objects and installations encouraged by
his fascination with growth and time. While the formal qualities of his work have continued to
evolve, the desire to highlight a visually symbiotic relationship between human existence and
nature continues to impact what he makes. Often, Valant’s creations exist between the
boundaries of science, technology, and artistic application. From computer-generated
sculptures and robotic fabrication to fictitious contemporary fossils and time-based
installations, Valent has developed an artistic practice devoted to the exploration of process
and the blending of new and old ways to make art.
Fueled by favors and smiles, Coby Unger experiences the world through the building and making things. In his artistic works, he aims to find delight in the ordinary. Coby primarily works in wood but prefers pulling boards from dumpsters or rescuing broken furniture over trips to the lumber yard. Professionally, Coby enjoys a position at the MIT Hobby Shop where he teaches woodworking, metal fabrication, and design. Outside of the workshop, Coby can be found tending his garden, volunteering for a local food rescue organization, climbing in the mountains or cooking with the other members of his Somerville MA Co-Op.
Stump Chair started when a group of friends in Providence RI found a broken chair on the sidewalk near a recently cut tree. Working under the cover of darkness they drilled holes in the stump and installed the chair back. After making a few more installations in the ensuing weeks the project began to create some buzz around town and the friends adopted pseudonyms (only to be dropped years later). Since then Coby and friends have installed Stump Chairs in Providence, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and outside Yosemite National Park. Copycats are encouraged, and others have replicated the works in Portland, London, and elsewhere.
Sylvie Rosenthal started building at age six at an experimental design museum where she made circuses, catapults, rockets, and robots. She received her BFA from The Rochester Institute of Technology, Woodworking and Furniture Design Program in the School for American Crafts and received her MFA in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Sylvie has been routinely invited as a visiting artist, teacher, and researcher to many schools including Penland School of Crafts (NC), Haystack Mountain School (ME), Anderson Ranch Arts Center (CO), Australia National University (Canberra, Australia), and Tainan National University of the Arts (Tainan, Taiwan R.O.C.). She shows nationally at galleries and museums. Currently, Sylvie maintains a studio practice making furniture on commission, production work for sale online, and sculpture dealing with the intersecting flight patterns of the histories of trade, the intentional and unintentional transplantations that come with it, hybridity, materiality, queer theory, and the natural world.
In a still life, skulls symbolize mortality and ephemerality. They are a reminder of the fleeting nature of life. Skulls are the literal seat of the human brain, intelligence, imagination, and the mind. A teapot is a type of vessel, it can be full or empty, accept and contain, give and share. The earliest teapot, a cauldron, was a place of alchemical transformation turning plant matter into restorative and curative tonics. Combining the two, in Skull Teapot, is at once, a tongue-in-cheek play on body as a vessel and also an impossible mental double bind of thinking through the literal body as vessel. Artifact teapot furthers that doubling, adding the complexity of conjunction, the double-take, and the wild potentials of life.
Skull Teapot + Artifact Teapot are technical exercises as well as conceptual teapots. Skull teapot is fully hand-carved from bass wood. Artifact Teapot is a 3D scan of Skull Teapot, doubled, gross carved on a 7-axis KUKA arm, and finished by hand. Both works are impossible and possible at the same time, they look real to the eyes that recognize human features while the brain works to separate the real and the unreal.
The works oscillate between being skulls, being teapots, and just carved plant-based biomass. In the end, they are the same as us, more fragile than a ceramic teapot and here in material form for little more than a blip of space-time.
Stacy Jo Scott
is an artist and educator based in Eugene, Oregon. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including most recently at Ditch Projects, Springfield, OR; Rockelman & Partner, Berlin, Germany; Thomas Hunter Projects in New York, NY; The Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR; PDX Contemporary Window Project in Portland, OR. Her writing has been published in numerous publications online and in books and periodicals. Publications include Bad at Sports: Contemporary Art Talk, The Studio Potter, and Crafts: Today’s Anthology for Tomorrow’s Crafts. She received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and is a founding member of the Craft Mystery Cult. Stacy Jo is a member of Carnation Contemporary gallery in Portland, OR. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Oregon.
My work revolves around imaging the ephemeral body and speculating on queer futurities. The speculative nature of my inquiries are grounded in confounding the relationship between clay’s materiality and the supposed purity of machinic code. I explore how digital media renders embodiment, and how computational tools can be used to convey illegible histories or mythic futures. I employ the more ancient skills of hand-working clay alongside generative software tools, unorthodox 3D printing, and CNC hacks. The idiosyncrasies of clay interrupt the numeric logic of the machine, bringing it back into the living, breathing, transient world of direct human experience.
Sandy Curth works at the intersection of mud and robotics, imagining freer modes of digital craft through real-time sensing, effective cyborg communication and cheap robots. With a passion for democratizing technology, Sandy has developed intuitive and accessible tools including "Potterware" for creators to translate ideas into reality through digital fabrication. Previously a researcher at Emerging Objects, he has designed and built 3D printing ceramic and earthen architecture through the production of novel software and robotic systems. His other research includes the integration of Augmented Reality with digitally fabricated models for Berkeley’s XR Lab and climate change monitoring through aerial photogrammetry.
Prior to joining the Design and Computation group at MIT, Sandy received a Masters of Architecture from UC Berkeley and worked for the Long Now Foundation’s 10,000 Year Clock project.
Always fascinated by our halting transition into digital beings, Sandy Curth's practice revolves around the production of digital artifacts of varying material fidelity and lifespan. His recent work has focused on using biometric data to produce long-lasting ceramic objects encoded with an individual or group's real-time experience of a period of time.
Audrey An received her BFA and Art History Minor from Alfred University. Upon completing her degree in 2017, she received the Windgate-Lamar Fellowship from Center for Craft to fund her two-year post-baccalaureate at Colorado State University and to travel around historic and contemporary centers of ceramic innovation, including Icheon, South Korea and Jingdezhen, China. Audrey currently lives in State College, PA where she is an MFA graduate student at Penn State University. She is also a founding member of the B.Well Collective - now the Welby Collective in Denver, CO.
I am a Third Culture Kid. Having spent a significant part of my developmental years moving between South Korea and the United States, I developed a sense of relationship to both. I make work that navigates the spectrum between my "past and present" and my "here and there" to claim my space and locate a sense of belonging. Pulling from universal to a personal understanding of architecture, landscape, and topography offers a mixture of organic and mechanized tension. I create a visual mapping of places I once inhabited by integrating digital technology with the analog handling of clay as a metaphor for my transcultural experience. My work develops through transitioning between these two methods of creation. This trans-processing style of making objects is reminiscent of the transcultural making of me.
Mary Neubauer’s sculptures and digital prints have appeared in international exhibitions in the USA, Europe, and Asia. She has completed numerous public art projects involving the interactivity. Working at the intersection of art and science, she is active in Ars Mathematica & Art-Science Collaborations. She has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome and a Fulbright Fellow in Cambridge, UK. She is on the board of directors for Digital Stone Project in Tuscany, where she has been an exhibitor since 2013. She has been an artist in residence at the Anderson Ranch Center for the Arts; the Tyrone Guthrie Center, Ireland: the John Michael Kohler Arts and Industry Residency, and the Arctic Circle Expeditionary Residency. Mary is a Presidents’ Professor of Sculpture at Arizona State University, where her practice involves 3D visualization from a sculptural and interactive viewpoint.
Sea ice, forms grows and melts exclusively in the ocean. Annual sea ice extent is an important indicator of the speed of global warming. Seasonally cyclical, it is a measure of the surface area of polar seas and oceans covered by sea ice. As air or water temperatures increase, sea ice extent decreases, resulting in the exposure of the dark ocean surface to solar radiation, and amplification of warming.
This project is based on the comprehensive NOAA-based data set: MASIE sea ice extent, which covers daily extent for all sixteen ice-forming seas in the Northern Hemisphere. The numerical text file from which this project was developed consists of over 70,000 data points recording sea ice extent in square meters in the Northern Hemisphere from 2006 to 2018. Data from all sixteen seas were charted separately. While sea ice behaved differently in each instance, the overall result modeled progressive losses.
Elizabeth Sher is an Bay Area artist and filmmaker where she is owner of I.V. Studios: Art & Film for the 21st Century. She is Professor Emeritus of Art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland, where she taught Painting and Media Arts for over 3 decades. Sher’s drawings, prints, paintings and artist books have been exhibited at many university art museums and are included in the collections of San Francisco Museum of Art, Fine Arts Museum of California, San Jose Museums of Art, Oakland Museum of California, BAMPFA, De Saisset Museum, Carnegie Mellon University Hunt Collection, and the United States Embassy Collection. Sher has had solo exhibitions in the San Francisco Bay Area and nationally. Her films have been honored at film festivals nationally and internationally and aired on television in the US and abroad.
Although I am trained in painting and printmaking, I believe I have always been waiting for the possibilities that technology offers artists today. I like mixing handwork with digital programs to explore these new horizons. Long ago handmade objects were one of a kind - prized for their uniqueness. With the industrial revolution, they became mass-produced and choices became limited. But now in what I like to call The Digital Renaissance once again objects can be unique again. Anyone can have and image of her dog on a pillow or a mug and this involvement “lifts all boats” making more people conscious of their aesthetic environment. In my own work, I can do things with my images that I could never do before. However, I still love the handmade mark, paint and drawing tools, incorporating them into my process and works.
Paul Sohi is a recovering architect turned industrial designer, focussing on additive manufacturing tech and AI systems to aid designers. Paul’s previous work includes developing the first additively manufactured performance prosthetic, working with NASA to aid astronauts with muscle and bone atrophy, and these days you can generally find him muttering at a laptop, but don’t worry, he’s usually talking to some AI he’s been tinkering with, even if they don’t understand him.
Virtually Impossible: the lines between the immaterial and material no longer exist. Controlled electromagnetic waves send data through the air across the world to turn virtual objects into real objects. Scanners take the material and make them virtual, and now augmented reality blends both virtual and physical realities together. In turn, this blurs how we think about we make, the previously impossible becomes possible through news ways of thinking and design, it manifests in half realities between the imagine and the possible. I invite you to take the virtually impossible with you everywhere you go, in your pocket. Made with real manufacturing principles, imagined to be a real thing one day, but virtually impossible.
J. Lin-Hsien Kung is a toolmaker, artist, manufacturer, fabricator, and more. Jerry is best thought of as an interpreter, speaking in the language of design and culture. Born in 1975 to Shanghainese parents in Taipei, Jerry carries with him the nuances and sensitivities that are demanded through the living and absorbing multiple languages and cultures. His perpetual pursuit for knowledge of glass has lead him to explore material throughout the world, whether that’s working with Gaffer Glass in New Zealand to testing and developing new glass bodies, being a visiting artist and lecturer at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Art (Songjiang, China) and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Jerusalem, Israel) or participating in a Residency at S12 in Norway, Jerry pursues the desire to explore his craft in ways always unfamiliar to him, so that they can become familiarities to hone his craft, as he crafts. If not in the workshop, you can most likely find Jerry deep in a mountain or riding his motorcycle.
Tools help us answer questions, and they help me find solutions to non-standard problems. Exploring the possibilities of digital drafting is a tool to address unsolved questions about glass. Empirical tools help answer empirical questions of physicality, in digital space. It is easier to answer these questions by making a tool instead of aimlessly drafting digital vistas. Digital spaces can be a distraction, an illusion that detracts from the tangible, something that haunted me for 12 years. Tools can address scale, we see this in clothing, footwear, and now digital spaces. In glass blowing, each bubble is unique in size and heat envelope. Instead of working to fit an inanimate object, the tool fits me. Although my life has been spent here, there is not a day that I forget this is not my place. I must think twice about most things because having a multicultural background often renders one dominant and the other becomes a rounding error. I fit myself to my place, I fit my tools to myself.
I have been exploring a singular line.
It is like a sentence, it is like cursive, it is like thought.
It can be interrupted, folded, reordered, and manipulated.
I use glass as transparent canvas to explore this concept.
These tools are the extensions of this exploration.
These tools are the extensions of this exploration.
These tools are the extensions of this exploration.