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NEW INC was cofounded by Lisa Phillips and Karen Wong in 2014 and is the first museum-led cultural incubator dedicated to supporting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship across art, design, and technology. Under the directorship of Stephanie Pereira, the New Museum’s cultural incubator welcomes its seventh annual class this month. 64 members working at the intersection of art, design, technology, and entrepreneurship will participate in the yearlong programme. This year, participants range from individual practitioners — such as artists, designers, and storytellers — to collectives, studios, non-profits, and start-ups. In alignment with NEW INC’s mission to foster cultural value, many of these members are committed to projects that emphasise social impact, addressing issues of racial equity, climate, access, education, and labour, among other pressing humanitarian concerns.

Among the class of 2020-21, 908A is a research initiative by E. Roon Kang and Andrew LeClair that focuses on constructing new algorithmic design tools in partnership with museums. Building on work for clients such as Google, MIT Architecture, and RISD Museum, alongside teaching at Parsons and RISD, 908A aims to build an intellectual framework and a community around the practice of design as the shaping of instructions rather than the manual composition of surfaces.

Noya Kohavi is a technologist, writer and independent consultant. Her work uses computer vision and computational linguistics to generate new narratives and insights, focusing on data ethics and a queer approach to computing. At NEW INC, she is developing Lineage, a visual discovery engine for museum databases and visual archives. Using artificially intelligent visual affinity and resonance algorithms, Lineage digitally mimics the human associative process, making large image databases usable and accessible, and allowing for emergent histories to surface.

Co-founded by Shihan Zhang and Qinqin Yang, is a multi-disciplinary research based studio working on the intersection of art, design and technology. It focuses on speculating possible futures to address unseen issues and opportunities. Through designed artefacts, scenario building and interactive experiences, aims to bring inspiration and reflection to drive better decisions. It takes design and imagination to nudge changes and collectively make impacts in larger systems.

GrowHouse NYC is an antidisciplinary organisation founded by Shanna Sabio and Warner Sabio whose work sits at the intersection of art and technology, activism and entrepreneurship, education and travel. “Through project-based learning, travel, and co-living spaces for Black, Indigenous, and non-white LatinX folks, we strive to create a community of lifelong and nontraditional learners who are looking for safe spaces to experiment with emerging art and technology,” the duo explain. 

Sue Huang is an artist working at the intersection of new media, installation, and social practice. Her current work investigates our complex techno-cultural relationships to nature, exploring the ways that tactile, sensorial experiences of nature are mediated through emerging technologies. These explorations interrogate the socio-political power structures that shape our environment, suggesting a way forward through collective imagination and action. Her current project uses clouds, poetry, ice cream, and extra terrestrial communications to explore grief for the nonhuman.

Also part of the latest cohort, Bhavik Singh is an artist and technologist focused on enabling people to better understand and express themselves. Motivated by his upbringing in the Sikh culture, he strives to create safe spaces for everyone to be seen and heard. He is currently working across the fields of new media art, interactive design and product development to explore new languages and build alternative futures for digital experiences. For the last few years he has led teams of artists, designers and technologists at Google to create products that encourage new forms of community and expression.

Feature image courtesy Jonah King

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