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thoughtworks arts residency

Thoughtworks Arts Announces Open Call for 2020 Residency Program

Global Software Consultancy Partners with MIT Open Doc Lab and WITNESS for Residency Exploring Synthetic Media

Thoughtworks Arts announced an open call for its latest arts residency based in New York City from May 4 – August 1, 2020. Thoughtworks, in partnership with MIT Open Doc Lab and WITNESS, is looking for an artist/technologist who works on issues of synthetic media and deepfakes, and who can bring innovative artistic approaches to these challenges. Applications will be accepted until March 5, 2020.


“The Residency program allows world-class artists to collaborate with technology experts, while getting employees involved in groundbreaking technology art projects. We are excited for the next Resident to join us for the summer,” says Andrew McWilliams, director of Thoughtworks Arts.


Programs within Thoughtworks Arts are run in collaboration with global networks of art and emerging technology partners, connecting with the thousands of employees globally across Thoughtworks. The Residency program includes logistical, financial, creative, and technical support in the creation of a project proposed by the artist.


Synthetic media, of which deepfakes is a manifestation, is a new type of simulacra. It builds on existing models to create even more convincing representations of things that are inherently reconstructed. Encompassing sound, images, text, cinematic, virtual experiences, and varieties of amalgamated combinations, it intensifies an epistemological crisis in the role of media and validating reality.


Thoughtworks Arts is looking for innovative artistic approaches using, but not limited to: moving images, synthetic photographs, motion capture, and speech synthesis with visual combinations. This Open Call was developed in partnership with MIT Open Doc Lab, an academic center for innovative documentary research, and WITNESS, a non-profit organization dealing with human rights and emerging technologies.


Past Thoughtworks Arts Residency projects have included ‘The Sentient Thespian,’ a film by Adrianne Wortzel that explores attributions of sentience to robots by humans and ‘RIOT’, an emotionally responsive installation in which the narrative branches based on facial cues, using artificial intelligence.


The Thoughtworks Arts Residency program is an extension of Thoughtworks Arts, a global technology research lab incubating artist and technologist collaborations to investigate the impacts of emerging technologies on industry, culture, and society. Additional information on submission guidelines for the residency can be found at https://thoughtworksarts.io/open-call/2020-synthetic-media/