Ani Liu is a transdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of art & science. 

A recent graduate of MIT Media Lab, she creates research-based art that explores the intersections between science, culture, & implications of emerging technologies.

 

Her work has spanned the scales of built installations, prosthetic wearables, virtual reality immersions, to synthetic biology, as she searches for the epiphanies linking technological innovation with emotional affordance.

Ani's work has been presented at the Boston Museum of Fine ArtsAsian Art MuseumMIT Museum, MIT Media Lab, Wiesner Gallery, Harvard University, multiple publications, VICE, TED.com, FOX and WIRED.  

She taught as an Associate Instructor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she co-taught an advanced-level architectural studio called Architecture of Cultural Prosthetics: Tools for Communication and Expression in the Public Space with Krzysztof Wodiczko.  She has served on numerous design panels at esteemed institutions including Dartmouth College, MIT, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.  She is on the committee of Art Scholars at MIT.

Ani continually seeks to discover the unexpected, through playful experimentation, intuition, and speculative storytelling.

 

Artist Statement

The subjectivities of humans have long been influenced by scientific and technological breakthroughs.  Some scientific revolutions, such as Copernicus’ model, which shifted the center of the universe from the Earth to the Sun had religious implications.  Other breakthroughs, such as that of synthetic biology, raise philosophical and existential questions on what life is.  With every technology and scientific development, our plastic subjectivity goes through modifications and expansions.

As an artist, I aim to highlight this plasticity, and the impact of technology on these subjective shifts-- all the while using the medium of science and technology itself, often employing them with storytelling, narrative, and the aim of emotional expression, exploring the themes of the subconscious, longing, nostalgia, and memory- but always returning to the question of, what does it mean to be human?


Exhibitions

 

Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Summer Event: Hacking Perceptual Affect with the Hot Milks Foundation
Collaborative participatory installation
June 18th

Open Gallery
Body Politic
Curated by Laura Zittrain
Winter 2017

Wiesner Gallery
Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize Exhibition
Curated by MIT
Spring 2017

Boston Museum of Fine Arts
MFA NOW series: Primordial Spoof with MIT's Hacking Arts
Collaborative participatory installation
October 14, November 4th, December 9

Asian Museum of Art
San Franciscio, CA
TAKEOVER series with The Perennial
Creative direction and execution for installation on behalf of IDEO
August 4, 2016

Grounded Visionaries
Exploring Artful Technology
Harvard Graduate School of Design, 2014

SciEx Film Festival
MIT Museum, 2014

Cultural Prosthetics
Solo Show
40 Kirkland Gallery, 2014

GSD Platform 7
Harvard GSD Actar, 2014-2015

A View On Harvard GSD Vol. 3
Tank Form Ltd., 2011

Juried Show, Emerging Artists
ISE Cultural Foundation, 2009

Between You and Me
Barrows Rotunda
Hopkins Center, NH, 2009

Invitational Show, Emerging Artists
New Hampshire Arts Association Gallery, 2008

A Melon Strolling on Two Tendrils
AREA, Hanover, NH, 2007


Press & Links

 

FoxNews: Artist used tech to control sperm with her mind

VICE: This Woman Just Figured Out How to Control Sperm with Her Brain

ArtFCity: In “Mind-Controlled Sperm: Woman of STEAM Grabs Back” Ani Liu Flips the Script

PCMag: This Artist Used Tech to Control Sperm With Her Mind

Adafruit Blog: Mind-Controlled Spermatozoa

Entrepreneur.com: Transdisciplinary artist Ani Liu uses cutting-edge technologies to create new, weird, fascinating art

infomag:  La artista Ani Liu ha creado una interfase para controlar el esperma con su cerebro

WIRED: Designer Creates Blooms that Smell of Humans

CCTNews: Smelfies And Other Experiments In Synthetic Biology

PijamaSurf: MUJER CONTROLA ESPERMA CON SUS PENSAMIENTOS

TED.com: Smelfies and Other Experiments in Synthetic Biology

Scent Art News: Smelfies, and other experiments in synthetic biology

Cloud Inc News: Smelfies and other Experiments in Synthetic Biology

El Diario: 'Smelfies', los autorretratos olorosos que capturan la fragancia humana en una flor

Interview: On Science, Design, and Optimism

TEDx Beacon Street

A+T Design Techniques (Authoring contributor and on the Cover)

Harvard News: Architects in the Supermarket

The Bostinno: Harvard Students Take a Behavioral Look at ‘The Innovator’s Practice’

The Dartmouth: Designing Foundations

How To Make Almost Anything

Paper Curiosities

Exploring Artful Technology

Hacking Arts

Triangle Arts Residency

Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities

Architecture of Cultural Prosthetics Course, Harvard Graduate School of Design


Selected Talks+
Lectures

 

Harvard Digital Arts and Humanities presents: ArtTechPsyche
April 2017
Cambridge, MA

Dent the Future
March 2017
Sun Valley, ID

TEDx, Beacon Street
November 2016
Cambridge, MA

Hacking Arts Conference
BioTech and Art
Co-Curator and Panel Lead 2016

Speak the Small Truths
IDEO Food+Futures CoLab
Storyteller, 2016

TEDx, Estée Lauder
Museum of Modern Art, NYC, 2016

Alumni Lecture, Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH, 2016

Tech Poetics
NuVu School, Boston, MA 2016

Embodied Potentials
MIT Media Lab, Boston, MA 2016

Powerhouse Alliance Conference
Harvard, Cambridge, MA 2015

Buildings as Cities Inaugural Conference
Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities, Boston, MA, 2014

Alumni Lecture, Harvard University
Graduate School of Design, Boston, MA 2014


Publications

 

See Yourself X: Human Futures Expanded
Contributing Artist.
Book by Madeline Schwartzman
Black Dog Publishing, 2016 

Design Techniques
edited by Aurora Fernandez Per
& Javier Mozas
Contributing writer and cover feature
A+T Architecture Publishers, 2015

GSD Platform 7
Harvard GSD Actar, 2014-2015

A View On Harvard GSD Vol. 3
Tank Form Ltd., 2011

Undergraduate Thesis at Dartmouth College

 


Awards+
Honors

 

The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts, 1st Prize
This award is presented annually to MIT students who have demonstrated excellence in a body of artistic work. The award is received at the Institute Awards Convocation and includes an exhibition at the Wiesner Gallery.

MIT Arts Scholar
Fostering an active community of MIT students with an exceptional interest in the arts. The community’s resultant role is that of an arts leadership group, cultivated through events and mentorship.

International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM)
The iGEM Competition is a competition in Synthetic Biology, where students work together to solve real-world challenges by building genetically engineered biological systems with standard, interchangeable parts.  My team, EMW StreetBio, won honorable mention for our project, BiotaBeats.

Wellington and Irene Loh Fund Graduate Fellowship
Nomination on behalf of MIT Media Lab, 2016

Alfred K. Priest Fellowship
Awarded to individuals who have demonstrated unusual promise, enabling them to study in any graduate program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
2010-2013

Wolfenden Fine Arts Prize
Awarded to two graduating students for excellence in the Arts
2008

Class of 1960 Office of Residential
Life Art Acquisition Award
Awarded to graduating students whose art is purchased into the permanent collection of Dartmouth College.
2008

Robert Dance Arts Initiative Award
A proposal-based award that provides monetary grant towards completing an installation.
2007

Melissa Brown Hurlock-Hobson Award
Awarded to two sophomores are Dartmouth College annually who show exceptional promise in the Arts.
2006

 


Teaching+
Research

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Media Lab

Researcher in the intersection of synthetic biology and design.
2015-2017

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Media Lab

Teaching Assistant, Courses:
MAS.863: How To Make Almost Anything
MAS.s56: Speculative Design: The Future of Empathy
2015-2017

Harvard Center for Green
Buildings and Cities
Research Director: Sensory Mediation
HCGBC Research Associate
2014-2015

Harvard University
Graduate School of Design
Teaching Associate
Course Title: Architecture of Cultural Prosthetics: Tools for Communication and Expression in the Public Space.
2014

Harvard University
Graduate School of Design
Teaching Associate
Course Title: Projection/ Installation/ Intervention
2013

Dartmouth College
Special Instructor
Studio Art
2008-2009
 


Education

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Media Lab 2017
Master of Science, 5.0/5.0 GPA

Harvard University
Graduate School of Design, 2014
Master of Architecture, Thesis Distinction

Dartmouth College
B.A., High Honors, 2008

 

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