Keynote Speaker at PRIMER Conference on Speculative Futures


PRIMER was created to prepare you for the future, and to equip you to help shape it. 

In 2018, we are inviting an even wider range of speakers from the design, strategy & futurist communities. We are still loyal to the core of our offering which is Speculative Design; so you can be sure to hear some amazing talks from Speculative & Critical Designers from around the world, as well as student work from top design schools in the US.

Speaking at Dense Emptiness Symposium at UNC



Organized by School of Architecture professor Rachel Dickey, Dense Emptiness is a symposium on the impacts of digital culture on design and architecture. Antoine Picon, the G. Ware Travelstead Professor of the History of Architecture and Technology and Director of Research at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, will deliver the keynote. 

Dense Emptiness is an event of experiential exhibitions, compelling performances, and radical speakers intended to excite, challenge, and evoke discussion about the impacts of digital culture on design and architecture. The title represents the density of information in a society driven by metrics and data, and the great threat of emptiness, which occurs when all meaning is lost in the absence of the qualitative and the immeasurable. Similar to Reynar Banham’s plea for a serious approach to technology, Dense Emptiness calls for an exploration of the potential impacts on the built world, which result from our fixed relationship with technology. It questions if a day might come “when we turn off our target ads, navigational prompts, Tinder match notifications, and status updates to find a world stripped bare, where nothing is left but scaffolds and screens” (Young). The symposium is intended to provoke ideas which address the challenges imposed by today’s digital culture.

Speaking at Beta-Real Symposium



I am delighted to be part of a panel that tests the multilayered and superpositioned space between two states: fiction and reality. Drawing from literature, art, politics, technology and science, the panel looks for ways in which, as William Steward aptly framed it, “nothing is real...that isn’t a fiction.” This contradictory structure is precisely the structure of the inbetween, of the Beta-Real, we explored in the first panel. It is the structure of the doppelganger which is at once you and at once not you. It is not simply ambiguous, but rather ambivalent, a superposition: it is precisely both opposing things at the sametime. Just as in the first panel, the point is not to try to resolve these tensions and oppositions or even to explore their liminality, but rather to understand the superposition of their difference as constitutive elements of reality, and to see them as an invitation to dwell within the space of ambivalent impasse.

(From symposium organizer and Boghosian Fellow Linda Zhang:) Ani Liu amplifies while simultaneously undermining sensual experience. Her work explores the ways in which scientific and technological revolutions shift and shape the experiences of longing, nostalgia, and sexuality. She uses the tools of science and technology in her artistic practice to turn so-called objective truths on their heads by injecting biological impulse with affect.

Opening of Mirror Mirror at Paul Robeson Galleries


Mirror Mirror presents works in a variety of media from thirty-two international emerging and established artists and one artist collective: Manuel Acevedo, Zoë Charlton, Paolo Cirio, David Antonio Cruz, Kevin Darmanie, E.V. Day, Leah DeVun, Nona Faustine, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Anne-Karin Furunes, Phyllis Galembo, Chitra Ganesh, William Kentridge, Riva Lehrer, Ani Liu, Jessamyn Lovell, Hyphen-Labs (Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, Ashley Baccus), Peggie Miller, Anna Ogier-Bloomer, Polixeni Papapetrou, Patricia Piccinini, Wendy Red Star, Faith Ringgold, Kevin Blythe Sampson, María Verónica San Martín, Leo Selvaggio, Laura Splan, Dread Scott, Beat Streuli, Arne Svenson, Shoshanna Weinberger, Deborah Willis, and Martha Wilson.

Mirror Mirror plumbs the relationship between identity, cultural norms, and representation. In the most abbreviated of forms, a portrait is a depiction of a person, usually a face, occasionally a torso, sometimes more of the body, or even a symbolic presentation of an aspect of an individual’s character. The artists in the show have approached the subject of portraiture in a multitude of ways. Historically, portraiture was utilized in service of the ruling classes, and some of the works in the exhibition explore the machinations of the powerful, touching upon the fraught histories of colonialism, slavery, American inference abroad, and eugenic practices. Photography is presented in both documentary modes and as a means to deconstruct representations of femininity, adolescence, and motherhood. Other artists work in non-traditional media, exploring the portrait painted by our data and bacteria, and radical possibilities of self-invention through new virtual and bio technologies. Taken as a whole, the works in Mirror Mirror communicate the connected nature of representation and self-determination.


Jury Captain for Core77 Design Concept Awards


I am pleased to announce that I am serving as the Jury Captain in for the Core77 Design Concept Awards this year.   

The design concept category includes all conceptual or proposal designs, whether self-initiated or created for a client or educational institution, which have been fully developed, but not yet brought to market or made available for pre-order. Due to the conceptual nature of the category, effective writing and visuals are critical, and entries should be fully described and illustrated to clarify the intent as much as possible.

I deeply encourage everyone to apply!

Teaching Workshop "Between Matter, Time, & Energy" at Syracuse University

Workshop Objectives:

Students will take a form they have developed in the studio and transform it into a living object.  Often forms are conceived and created in the vacuum of software and deployed through the precise mechanical arms of machining.  The world that these designs are deployed into are never so simple- the living, entropic forces that disobediently mold, stain, and contaminate are inherent in the fabric of any site.   Layering growth, decay, (and thereby time) into the formal dimension, we will investigate the operation of co-creation within different processes.  This exercise will be a launching point into taking into account a building as a temporal, living entity.

Febrauary 2018

Rhapsody in Zero G: Reimagining research for life in space

I had the pleasure of participating in the inaugural Zero Gravity flight of the Space Initiative at MIT Media Lab.  My research was a speculative design object for the emotional strains of future space travel.  You can read the full article here:

"The projects aboard the flight all represent potentially groundbreaking research; they’ll go on to become peer-reviewed research, models for further iterations, and/or design challenges for others to explore. But the meta goal of this flight speaks to something beyond specific projects and results: it speaks to the broader implications of humanity’s efforts in and around space... Ani Liu created Smells for Space, a project playing with how scent might help spacefarers stay connected to places and people on Earth."

Featured in Dartmouth Alumni Magazine


"She blends art with science, technology and politics to explore what it means to be human in an increasingly virtual world. “I bring very disparate ideas together to reveal aspects about how technology frames our reality,” says Liu"