Futures: Trends in Science + Technology & their Implications for Art + Performance

Sun Dec 8: 12.00-6.00pm

** Free and all-ages! Please RSVP for the sake of our headcount. Seating will be first-come, first-served **


A day of discussions and lectures led by industry professionals. See session details below!


What are some current trends in science and technology, and what effect might these ideas and activities have on art and performance?

The day will consist of five 50-minute sessions, each a lecture or a discussion. Each session will look at trends and possible futures for a specific area of science or technology and how artists and performers might begin to embrace what’s coming. The five sessions will be followed by a casual gathering, an opportunity to meet and talk with the speakers and fellow participants.

This event is all-ages and free. We would love for you to RSVP, however, so that we know how many people are coming.

The Sessions:

Noon – 12:50pm

Michael Cohen, Director of Computational Photography at Facebook, “will outline the developments in photography, from the ancient Camera Obscura, to Film, to Digital, to Computational Photography. Examining the current state of Computational Photography, I will discuss its power to improve your photos and provide new photographic experiences. At the same time, new methods are opening increased opportunities for artistic expression.”


Janet Galore, interdisciplinary artist, designer, and Co-Director of The Grocery Studios, will explore how the data we generate by simply living drives some of the most important advances in technology. We’ll look at the current landscape, examples of artists taking data into their own hands, and discuss opportunities to interrogate, shift, and reclaim the ways data is used to shape our society.


Aaron Hertzmann, Principal Scientist at Adobe Research in San Francisco and an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington, will address the question, “Can Computers Make Art,” while exploring how recent machine learning and neural network projects have the potential to become new tools for artists.


A group discussion will explore developments in virtual reality and augmented reality, looking at where we’re going, and how new directions are affecting VR and AR as art and storytelling.


  • Sandy Cioffi, co-founder, fearless360º
  • Jude (Jing) Dai, founder, Immersive Square
  • Daniel Robbins, Principal UX Designer at HTC Vive


And in the last presentation of the afternoon, Adrienne Fairhall, professor of physiology and biophysics working on computational neuroscience at the University of Washington, will look at the implications for artists of developments and experiments in computational neuroscience.

5–6pm: The day will end with a social event in the NWFF lobby, a chance to talk with presenters and fellow attendees.

The Presenters:

Michael F. Cohen

Michael F. Cohen is the Director of Computational Photography at Facebook where he has been for the past 4 years. He previously spent two decades at Microsoft Research. He also currently serves as an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington and Dartmouth College. He previously served on the faculties at Princeton University and Cornell University having advised numerous graduate students who have gone on to academic and industrial research careers. He received the SIGGRAPH Achievement Award in 1998, was elected as an ACM Fellow in 2007, and this past year received the Steven A Coons lifetime achievement award from SIGGRAPH (2019).

Janet Galore

Janet Galore is an interdisciplinary artist and designer based in Seattle. She has worked in the intersection of art and technology for over 25 years, exploring themes in science, perception, and the surreal through short film, animation, installation, and multimedia. She holds a BS in pure mathematics from the University of Washington. As a designer, Janet works as a creative director at Amazon, where her team uses research, prototyping, and speculative design to envision future user experiences. She and her husband own a private art studio called The Grocery on North Beacon Hill where they host pop-up art exhibitions, workshops, dance, music performances, and other creative activities. They seek to connect the community with creative people to build an appreciation of artists as culture makers and interrogators, to support endeavors that give voice to and enrich the local community, and to nurture a healthier ecology of art in Seattle. Janet is on the board of directors at Creative Justice and at Arts Corps, and is a member of the King County 4Culture Public Art Advisory Committee.

Aaron Hertzmann

Aaron Hertzmann is a Principal Scientist at Adobe Research and an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington. He received a BA in computer science and art & art history from Rice University in 1996, and a PhD in computer science from New York University in 2001. He was a Professor at University of Toronto for 10 years, and has also worked at Pixar Animation Studios, University of Washington, Microsoft Research, Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab, and Interval Research Corporation. He is an ACM Fellow.

Sandy Cioffi

Sandy Cioffi is the creative director of FEARLESS, a creative technology studio working in the public interest which launched in June 2016 with the production of SIFFX, the immersive VR festival inside of the Seattle International Film Festival. As a filmmaker and director Sandy’s credits include the critically acclaimed Sweet Crude, Crocodile Tears, Terminal 187 and Just Us. A long-time educator, Sandy was a tenured professor in the Film and Video Communications Department at Seattle Central Community College from 2001-2013 and an adjunct professor in the Film Studies Program at Seattle University 2013-2014. She created and directed Film+Media at Cornish College of the Arts from 2012 to 2015. Sandy has been recognized as a cultural innovator and in 2016 was nominated for The Stranger Genius Award. She is working with Gretchen Burger and the Be Another Lab to create a new living research project involving human rights, technology and implicit bias, FEMINIZING THE MACHINE.

Jude Dai

Jude Dai is the CEO of Immersive Square, a hub that connects human-centric VR experience to the general public through XR experience, virtually or physically through events. Jude aims to feature healthy, inclusive, and collective experiences, and advocates for diversity in new technologies.

Jude believes that the foundation of human connection is established in our connection with nature, our history, and the Yin and Yang energy with others. Her design principle is focused on “simplicity,” which is reflected in her VR production Lantern Ensemble, a minimalist, realistic, and collective VR calligraphy experience, that succeeds in taking emotion out of participants rather than imposing emotion upon them.

Jude’s art practice came from traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, and she is a landscape and nature photographer. She is one of the first selected docents for the debut opening of Seattle Asian Art Museum in 2020.

Daniel C. Robbins

Daniel C. Robbins writes, “as the Principal UX Designer at HTC Vive in Seattle, I’ve crafted a set of positive interventions to curb toxic behavior in Social VR and I’m guiding the UX strategy for future AR efforts. Recently I’ve been speaking publicly on ethics and AR/VR. Prior to HTC, I was a founding member of Seattle mobile VR startup Visual Vocal, was the first Strategy Director at award winning design agency Artefact, and capped a long tenure at Microsoft Research by helping bring the Microsoft Envisioning Center to life. My holistic designs are informed by universal human needs, societal trends, and a desire to bring more irreverence, joy, magic, and beauty into the world. I avidly mentor people from underrepresented groups who are entering the design field. I have a very large collection of sculpture supplies in my cold basement and until very recently, I was the proud owner of two broken down artcars.

Adrienne Fairhall

Adrienne Fairhall is a professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Washington, director of the university’s computational neuroscience program, and co-director of its Institute for Neuroengineering. She obtained her honors degree in theoretical physics from the Australian National University and a Ph.D. in statistical physics in the lab of Itamar Procaccia at the Weizmann Institute of Science. She received her postdoctoral training at the NEC Research Institute with Bill Bialek and at Princeton University with Michael J. Berry II. She has directed the Marine Biological Laboratory course Methods in Computational Neuroscience. Fairhall is a recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award and the McKnight Scholar Award and was a 2013 Allen Distinguished Investigator.

Presented by 9e2Seattle, with the support of 4Culture. 9e2 Seattle is fiscally sponsored by Shunpike.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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