Ani Liu is a research-based artist working at the intersection of art & science. 

Her work examines the reciprocal relationships between science, technology and their influence on human subjectivity, culture, and identity.

Ani's work has been presented internationally, and featured on National Geographic, VICE, Mashable, Gizmodo, TEDCore77, PCMag, FOX and WIRED.  Her work has been shown at Ars Electronica, the Queens Museum Biennial, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Asian Art MuseumMIT Museum, MIT Media Lab, Mana Contemporary, Harvard University, and Shenzhen Design Society. 

She is the winner of the Princeton Arts Fellowship (2019-2021), the S&R Washington Prize (2018), the YouFab Global Creative Awards (1st place, 2018), the Biological Art & Design Award (2017). She is currently teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and is on critique panels at Harvard, Dartmouth, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, NYU, UNC Charlotte, Pratt, Parsons. At MIT, she is on the committee of Art Scholars.

Ani has a B.A. from Dartmouth College, a Masters of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Master of Science from MIT Media Lab.

Ani continually seeks to discover the unexpected, through playful experimentation, intuition, and speculative storytelling.  Her studio is based in New York City.

Artist Statement

The subjectivities of humans have long been influenced by scientific and technological breakthroughs. Subjective and objective realities rarely sit in a vacuum apart from each other- some scientific revolutions, such as those of Darwin and Copernicus had religious implications.  Other breakthroughs, such as that of synthetic biology and artificial intelligence 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 live in this plasticity, exploring the impact of technology on culture and identity.  Imbuing scientific processes with storytelling, narrative, and emotional expression, my work explores themes of the subconscious, longing, nostalgia, and memory-- exploring in this technologically mediated age, what does it mean to be human?



Human Machine: Festival of the Impossible
Chandran Gallery
curated by Joyce Grimm
San Francisco, CA 2019

Living Life: DaVinci Creative Festival
curated by Cheon Heahyun
Seoul ArtSpace Geumcheon
Seoul, Korea 2019

MOD Gallery
curated by Kristin Alford
Adelaide, Australia 2019

Kudan House
curated by YouFab Global Creative Awards
Tokyo, Japan 2019

Queens Museum Biennial
Queens Museum
curated by Sophia Marisa Lucas & Baseera Khan
Queens, NY 2018

ReShape: Mutating Systems, Bodies and Perspectives
MU Artspace
curated by BAD Award Committee
Eindhoven, the Netherlands 2018

Craft: The Reset
Shenzhen Design Society
Shenzhen, China 2018

A Glitch in the Stars
Ars Electronica
with MIT Space Initiative
Linz, Austria 2018

BioDesign: From Inspiration to Integration
RISD Nature Lab
curated by William Meyers
Providence, RI 2018

BioDesign Here Now
Open Cell
Curated by Helen Steiner
London, UK 2018

Please Touch: Body Boundaries
Mana Contemporary
April 2018- August 2018
curated by Ysabel Pinyol
Jersey City, NJ

Minding the Digital
Dec 2017 - June 2018
Shenzhen Design Society
Shenzhen, China

Mirror Mirror
Jan 2018 - 2019
Paul Robeson Gallery at Rutgers
Curated by Anonda Bell
Newark, NJ

Boston Center for the Arts (Solo Show)
Laboratory of Longings: The Experiments of Ani Liu
Mills Gallery, Boston Center for Arts
Curated by Ethan Vogt
Opens October 8 2017
Boston, MA

La Factoría Cultural
February 2018
curated by María Castellanos
Avilés, Spain

Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Summer Event: Hacking Perceptual Affect with the Hot Milks Foundation
Collaborative participatory installation
June 18th 2017
Boston, MA

Open Gallery
Body Politic
Curated by Laura Zittrain
Winter 2017
Boston, MA

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

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

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

Paper Curiosities
Wiesner Gallery
Fall, 2016
Cambridge, MA

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

SciEx Film Festival
MIT Museum, 2014
Cambridge, MA

Cultural Prosthetics
Solo Show
40 Kirkland Gallery, 2014
Cambridge, MA

GSD Platform 7
Harvard GSD Actar, 2014-2015
Cambridge, MA

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

Juried Show, Emerging Artists
ISE Cultural Foundation, 2009
New York, NY

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

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

A Melon Strolling on Two Tendrils
Spring  2007
Hanover, NH

Press & Links


New York Magazine, The Cut: This Artist Used Science to Replicate the Scent of People

Quartz: This Artist is Bottling the Scents of those She Loves

The Outline: Portrait of the Artist as a Microbial Growth

National Geographic: This Artist Managed to Bottle the Scent of a Person

Mashable: This artist made a perfume that smells like her husband after sex

LIFE Magazine (China): Mind in the Machine

CLOT Magazine: ANI LIU, navigating the divergent connections between art and science

On the Record: NY Artist’s Pursuit of Pleasure at MOD

Core77: Ani Liu Says Speculative Design Reveals Truths We Weren't Aware of but Have Been Right in Front of Us All Along

IDEO Blog: A Kiss from the Future and Other Biodesign That Will Blow Your Mind

MIT Media Lab: Inventing Smells for Space

DesignNews: ‘Hacking Manufacturing’ MIT Course Opens Manufacturing Techniques

CreativeApplications: Media Lab Hacking Manufacturing

FoxNews: Artist used tech to control sperm with her mind

Gizmodo: Scientists Made Music From the Human Microbiome, and It’s Seriously Cool

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

MIT Media Lab: Meet the Labbers- Ani Liu 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 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

Open Gallery: Body Politic

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+


Polemica! YouFab Global Creative Awards
February 2019
Tokyo, Japan

Primer: Speculative Futures, Keynote Speaker
May 2018
San Francisco, CA

Dense Emptiness: University of North Carolina
March 2018
Charlotte, NC

Beta-Real: University of Syracuse
March 2018
Syracuse, NY

Campus Party Brasilia
June 2017
Brasilia, Brazil

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



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




Washington Award in the Arts, S&R Foundation
The Washington Award has recognized talented artists in the fields of, music, dance and visual arts especially those who contribute to international cultural collaboration. 2019

Princeton Arts Fellowship
Awarded to artists whose achievements have been recognized as demonstrating extraordinary promise in any area of artistic practice 2019-2021

YouFab Global Creative Awards, 1st Place
Award for artworks that acutely question the current state of affairs and present alternatives to the status quo. 2018

Biological Art & Design Award
Winner of an international competition for €25,000 to complete a new work in collaboration with scientists. Award includes an exhibition in the Netherlands. 2018

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. 2017

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. 2017-2018

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. 2016

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.

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

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.

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

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




Princeton University
Courses: Reality R&D, Feminist Technology

Harvard Graduate School of Design
Lecturer, 2019
Courses: ADV 9151 Entanglement of Movement and Meaning: The Architect, Spatial Perception and the Technological Body

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Media Lab

Researcher in the intersection of synthetic biology and design.

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

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

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

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

Dartmouth College
Special Instructor
Studio Art



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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