Hacking Arts 2016


Hacking Arts 2016




Our mediatized culture invites us to access and interact with artistic productions and technological objects through play, performance, and participation. This panel looked at how these practices overlap in public, private, and virtual spaces.

The panel was moderated by multidisciplinary strategist Rachel Ginsberg. The panel consisted of Tau Zaman from Liminus, Theo Watson at Design I/O, Rachel Chanoff, founder and director of THE OFFICE performing arts + film, and Daisy Nam, Assistant Director at Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. 


Our film screening and panel discussion explored how intangible physical environments and the imaginative can be expressed through new media and innovative choreography. Callie Chapman, Artistic Director of Zoe Dance Company, moderated a panel including Christian "Mio" Loclair, Creative Director of Waltz Binaire, André M. Zachery, Director of Renegade Performance Group, audio-visual composer Maria Takeuchi, multimedia artist Maziar Ghaderi, and Sidra Bell of Sidra Bell Dance New York. 




This panel examined the future of the music industry as new technology, such as blockchain, comes into play. The panel was led by Cherie Hu, music and tech writer at Forbes, and featured Glenn McDonald, Data Alchemist at Spotify, Jean Cook, musician and co­director of FMC’s Artist Revenue Streams research project, co-founder at Mediachain Labs Jesse Walden, and musician and multimedia artist Ryan Holladay. 


This panel sought to call attention to the amount of customization now available in clothing and accessories due to wearable technology and innovation in production tools. While traditional apparel companies create for mass production, each of the panelists featured use technology and the customer’s hand to make clothing unique. Janett Martinez, Director of Operations at Loomia, led the panel which also featured Jessica Rosenkrantz, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Nervous System, Amy Winters, Founder and Fashion Designer at Rainbow Winters, and Martijn van Strien, Founder of the Post-Couture Collective.

Biotech and art

This panel brought together biologists, technologists and artists to discuss the fascinating technologies, applications and philosophies this micro-scale world can offer us. David Sun Kong of MIT Lincoln Laboratory moderated a panel made up of Troika Ranch’s Artistic Co-Directors, Dawn Stoppiello and Mark Coniglio, Motion Bank’s Director, Florian Jenett, the Director and Professor of Deakin University’s Deakin Motion Lab, Kim Vincs, and Brooklyn Ballet’s Founding Artistic Director, Lynn Parkerson.



This panel explored how artists and companies are building or leveraging augmented/mixed reality technology to alter how we experience each other and the real world around us. The panel was moderated by Jacob Loewenstein, co-founder of VR@MIT, and featured Peter Wittig, co-founder of Motive.io, George Fifield, director at Boston Cyberarts, Allison Wood, founder and CEO at REIFY, and MIT Media Lab researcher Judith Amores


This panel focused on new techniques and technology that make storytelling more immersive and interactive. Moderated by Alex Lian, Director of Release & Tooling at Unity R&D, the panel consisted of virtual reality film director Samir MallalMatheus Barros, Cheif Strategy Office of CUBOCC, Novysan of MIT Media Lab, and Shannon Ryan, Head of Development at Oculus Story Studio. 


This panel focused on how we build tools with communities of creatives, makers, and entrepreneurs in mind. Mickey McManus, visiting research fellow at Autodesk, moderated this panel along with panelists Mark Rupert, Senior Director of Education at Adobe, Jenny Farah, founder and CEO of SproutsIO, Julio Terra, Director of Design and Technology Outreach at Kickstarter, and Saba Ghole, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Director of NuVu Studio.

Hackathon 2016 Winners

Hackathon 2016 Winners

GRAND PRIZE: Harmony Space

Harmony Space is a musical thinking tool that remaps our spatial sense to our auditory sense with the help of Hololens. Your position X (left,right), Y (up, down) and Z (forward, back) become pitch-shifting controllers of 3 separate musical notes that enables you to hear space and see harmony. Harmony Space consisted of Max Harper, Matthew Seaton, and Evin Huggins.



Team Revive created a VR experience that guides the user through the moves of tai chi and also helps illustrate the abstract concept of chi. It provides tactile feedback on intentional movements and synthesizes cues from the real world environment to help with better concentration and to strengthen the effects of practice. Team Revive consisted of comprised of Paul Reamey, Tim Gallati, Luna Yuan, Jiabao Li, Qi Xiong, and Jingchen Gao. 



möbel is social furniture designed to bring people together in public spaces. The furniture is intentionally annoying to construct and is built around the people who construct it. Only when at least two people work on it, does the furniture light up and activate. The chair is designed to also literally bring people together - when two people are enclosed in this furniture, they must face each other in a constrained space, exaggerating this experience and forcing people to literally break down barriers and build something from them together. Team möbel was made up of Hacking Arts veterans Kiran Wattamwar and Christina Sun. 


Hacker's Choice: Inkfinity

Inkfinity won this year's Hacker's Choice award for creating a VR poetic journey inside ink paintings. The team consisted of members Lei Xia, Daisy Zhuo, Yaqin Huang, and Sharon Yan.



Sponsored Challenge: Adobe

Adobe charged Hacking Arts participants to use Adobe XD Experience Design CC to create a unique app or website to make the world a better place. Team ART1ST won, and was made up of members Jenny Liu, Jenna Tishler, David Schurman, Ellen Jiang, and Gloria Feng.

Sponsored Challenge: Autodesk

Autodesk challenged teams to make something (design, 3d-printed object, or idea) with their Fusion 360 software. The winners of this challenge, Sounditure by Overtones, created a tool that utilizes recorded music data from the Spotify API to generate 3D furniture design in Autodesk Fusion 360, which can eventually be manufactured via 3D printing. The team was made up of members Kumaran Chanthrakumar, Thomas Chardin, Leyla Novini, Jakub Florkiewicz, and Alyssa Gerasimoff. 

Tech Expo

Tech Expo

2016 Tech Expo was an art and fashion gallery, a game room, an interactive performance, and a social scene full of new ideas and engaging conversations all at once.

It was built around a vision as an interactive playroom featuring work from artists and products from start-ups and companies across all eight of our focus industries - design, visual arts, virtual reality, music, film, dance, fashion, and gaming.

Click here to check out the exhibitors from Hacking Arts 2016.

Around the web

Around the web

On Twitter

find a lot more about #hackingarts2016 on twitter by searching for the hashtag here


On Instagram



In the press

Harmony Space wins top prize at MIT Hacking Arts for music learning app that feels like Pokémon GO

In Boston this weekend, software developers, hardware engineers, artists and entrepreneurs gathered for the Hacking Arts 2016 conference and hackathon at MIT. Of twelve finalists, the following teams took top honors.

What Happens at an MIT Hackathon

On a Saturday night in Cambridge, students can choose from any number of activities. At MIT, Hacking Arts-whose mission is to "ignite entrepreneurship and innovation within the creative arts"-is one of them. In this short film, The Atlantic followed students at the all-nighter as they tried to improve the arts through technology.

2016 Sponsors and Partners

2016 Sponsors and Partners

Click here to check out more about the sponsors from Hacking Arts 2016.