New York, NY…The New Museum and Nokia Bell Labs today announce a new partnership to support art and technology through a collaboration between technologists at Bell Labs and multidisciplinary artists and designers at the New Museum’s incubator, NEW INC. Bell Labs has a long and distinguished history of supporting the creation and production of new art by leveraging its in-house technological skill and innovation, beginning with the pioneering E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) project initiated by two Bell Labs engineers, Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer, and two artists, Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman. Last year marked the fiftieth anniversary of this unique collaboration, which aimed to foster meaningful exchange between fields and to explore the human condition at the beginning of the electronic era.
The partnership between Nokia Bell Labs and the New Museum, an arts institution with an unparalleled commitment to art and technology, will support cultural practitioners working with cutting-edge tools and techniques. Starting in February 2017, three artists from the NEW INC community will work with Bell Labs engineers, who will consult and collaborate on performative projects that engage emerging technologies including robotics, machine learning, drones, and biometry. The resulting projects may be showcased in non-traditional arts venues, with a goal to explore platforms beyond the museum gallery.
Marcus Weldon, President of Nokia Bell Labs, stated, “Bell Labs is known for shaping the state of the art and creating pioneering technological solutions for over ninety years. We are continuing this tradition by exploring new sensory dimensions and examining motion and emotion in order to try to discern current and future human needs and desires. We are also working on methods to help people think more efficiently, using a combination of machine learning and new graph-based mathematics to augment human intelligence and perception. I believe that Bell Labs working together with NEW INC will create a new frontier in multimedia sensory art experiences.”
Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum, stated, “The New Museum has long been at the forefront of art and technology; this partnership with a legendary research lab will help us continue to push boundaries of cultural expression and possibilities of interdisciplinary collaboration. The NEW INC community embraces an untapped demographic of practitioners.”
The three NEW INC members chosen for the 2017 partnership are:
HAMMERSTEP is a collective that uses choreography, technology, and nontraditional audience engagement to tell new stories through theater and dance. They are currently developing an immersive theater production called Indigo Grey that invites the audience to become a part of the action.
Lisa Park is a performance artist who strives to create intimate environments and experiences that trigger emotional states and meditative reflections in viewers. She has explored themes of vulnerability, self-control, and confrontation by integrating biometric sensors, such as heart rate and brain wave sensors, into her work.
Sougwen Chung’s artistic practice spans installation, sculpture, still image, drawing, and performance, informing her multifaceted approach to experiential art. Her ongoing collaborations with a drawing robot, begun while at NEW INC in 2015, explore the difference between handmade and machine-made marks as an approach to understanding the interaction between humans and computers.
About New Museum
The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas. For more information, visit newmuseum.org.
About NEW INC
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. NEW INC’s Director is Julia Kaganskiy. For more information, visit newinc.org.
About Nokia Bell Labs
Nokia Bell Labs, Nokia’s research and innovation arm, creates the disruptive technologies that are shaping the way the world communicates and connects. With expertise in analytics, cloud, fixed, optics, and wireless, and by collaborating openly with the global innovation community, Nokia Bell Labs is seeking the technology solutions that will transform the connected world, enhancing the speed, capacity, efficiency, and reliability of data, as well as the increasing automation and digitization of our lives and entire industries. For ninety years, scientific breakthroughs at Nokia Bell Labs have fundamentally transformed the ICT industry and won eight Nobel Prizes.
Nokia is a global leader in creating the technologies at the heart of our connected world. Powered by the research and innovation of Nokia Bell Labs, we serve communications service providers, governments, large enterprises, and consumers with the industry's most complete, end-to-end portfolio of products, services, and licensing.
From the enabling infrastructure for 5G and the Internet of Things, to emerging applications in virtual reality and digital health, we are shaping the future of technology to transform the human experience.