New York Site Visit - Long Walk

Between December 6 and 9, 2018, UKAI Projects visited numerous organizations and individuals grappling with the question of how to translate analog practices, often drawing on different ways of being and seeing the world, into digital environments.

Key Visits

Institute for Public Knowledge, 20 Cooper Square, New York City

The Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK) brings theoretically serious scholarship to bear on major public issues. Located at NYU, it nurtures collaboration among social researchers in New York and around the world. It builds bridges between university-based researchers and organizations pursuing practical action. It supports communication between researchers and broader publics. And it examines transformations in the public sphere, social science, and the university as a social institution as these change the conditions for public knowledge.

Marco Castro Cosío is a curator and innovation consultant of art exhibitions in New York and Mexico. He was MediaLab director at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His project as an artist, Bus Roots, has gained recognition worldwide. Marco contributed to the Rio +20 series and spoke at TED as a TED Resident and is a member of the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership and a Philips Innovation Fellow. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and currently an artist in Residence at the NYU Digital Future Labs.

Jigsaw Films

Jigsaw Productions is helmed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, considered one of the most prolific and thought-provoking documentary filmmakers of our generation. Founding Jigsaw Educational Productions in 1978, Gibney set out to make the company an incubator for diverse filmmakers, giving each the opportunity as part of the Jigsaw team to explore and refine their talent in the art of producing documentary films. In 2012, Gibney founded Jigsaw Productions and partnered with Kew Media (formerly Content), a global entertainment corporation, allowing Jigsaw to further expand into feature films and the scripted and unscripted television series arena.

For a decade Josh Adler has worked to tell stories that create common ground, while exploring our world’s most inspiring questions. Along the way he’s developed and produced dynamic projects for major networks, news publications, conferences, arts programs, music festivals, cultural and educational institutions, academia, online platforms, public programs, and more. Recent highlights include projects for Netflix, Vice, and National Geographic Television, and documenting Brooklyn Raga Massive. Past credits include directing at La MaMa ETC, joining arts and meditation at NYC’s Interdependence Project, producing for National Geographic Channel’s Emmy-nominated series “Brain Games,” presenting at SAND 2017 and Science of Consciousness in 2016.


Prime Produce Site Visit / 424 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019, USA

The Prime Produce Apprentice Cooperative operates 424 w 54 Street as a legally incorporated and wholeheartedly organized co-op supporting entrepreneurs, educators, and artists who share values of service and hospitality. Here, they work to design experiences, build companies and organizations, practice crafts, cultivate relationships, and grow as people.

C24 Gallery / 560 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011, USA

C24 Gallery was established in 2011 in Chelsea, New York, and is committed to showcasing contemporary art with an emphasis on a plural program exhibiting established artists. C24 Gallery artists regularly participate in museum exhibitions and biennials and are included in leading institutional collections worldwide. In addition to an ambitious exhibition program, which includes collaborations with renowned curators, C24 Gallery regularly hosts artist talks and lectures, and produces catalogues and artist books. Each year the gallery participates in major art fairs all around the world.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a 16.3-acre (6.6-hectare) complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It hosts many notable performing arts organizations, which are nationally and internationally renowned, including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.

Jennifer Edwards is a creative, a holistic process designer and an entrepreneur focussed on how good work gets done and how healthy, successful projects / businesses / programs are made. Her past experiences include facilitation and design of programming at New INC. She is passionate about the intersections of the future of work, the future of learning, and the future of living, as they pertain to and engage with the larger social and economic ecosystems at play and in flux.

Jennifer also knows what it takes to keep the hustle going and turn dreams into reality, through intuitive and calculated decisions. When her interests shifted from ‘woman preaching to the choir’ to ‘woman working to shift culture’ - she went back to school to study organizational development and change management. Over the last ten years, she has built two consulting practices, an app, a large community building and storytelling initiative, and several courses in entrepreneurial practice.

Noah Levenson is a writer, director, software engineer and former TV executive. Noah researches and develops big ideas for the future of entertainment. In 2018, he was awarded Mozilla’s $50,000 grant for art and advocacy exploring artificial intelligence. His proposal, Stealing Ur Feelings, is a forthcoming interactive film that uses augmented reality to reveal the scary science of facial emotion recognition. In 2017, he made Weird Box, a viral interactive film that was called “delightfully disturbing” by Fast Company, “strangely fascinating” by SFist and “awesome” by Boing Boing. Before that, he created Chillr, a Vimeo Staff Pick-awarded transmedia prank about an imaginary iPhone app. He won a PromaxBDA Gold Award for directing Key & Peele’s Social Influencers sketches for the MTV Video Music Awards. Previously, he served as Editorial Director of MTV2, where he oversaw the reinvention of the channel and helped break records for ratings, revenue and growth.

Mridu Chandra is a New York based producer of award-winning documentaries and independent feature films. An alum of the CPB/WGBH Producers Academy and the Tribeca Film Institute’s All Access Program, her films have premiered at the Sundance, SXSW & Hot Docs Film Festivals, aired on PBS and HBO, screened for members of US Congress & the United Nations, and showcased at Museums & film festivals worldwide. Specialties include story development and grant writing, line producing, editorial and archival research, rights and clearances, and post production supervising.

A/D/O / 29 Norman Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11222

A/D/O is a creative hub that is built for designers but open for all. It is part of the Innovation practice at MINI and represents the company’s core belief that designers hold the keys to progress.

EVENT: Slow Factory’s Holiday Pop Up Experience: Beirut > NYC invited 5 Lebanese designers to showcase their work at A/D/O as part of their holiday pop up and share their perspective from their city. Featured were traditional dress, cool t-shirt designs, design journals, handmade purses that empower women in prison, cool street-modest apparel freeing the modern day Muslim teen, and Slow Factory #fashionactivism classics. Slow Factory will also be soft launching their latest collaboration with Iranian artist Taravat Talepasand, their collection is titled “Decolonize”. Slow Factory is a Fashion Activism design studio based in Brooklyn, the founder and designer Céline Semaan is Lebanese-Canadian advocate who’s work focuses on Human Rights and the Environment.


The Recurse Center is a self-directed, community-driven educational retreat for programmers in New York City. They believe people learn best when they take control of their own education and are free to explore what they’re interested in. RC is heavily influenced by unschooling. RC doesn’t end after you leave. They have a diverse, active, and engaged alumni community of over 1,300 smart, enthusiastic, helpful programmers all over the world.

Sonali Sridhar is the cofounder of the Recurse Center. Over the past ten years, Sonali has worked on several hardware and software projects. Her past work includes interaction and user experience design for sites like Charlie Rose, Panasonic, and Nike. She also spent two years with OpenPlans, an open source organization, building mapping tools for the Department of Transportation of New York City and the bike advocacy network, Transportation Alternatives.

Sonali was the recipient of the Art Matters grant for a wearable technology piece called “Odhni,” a garment worn by South Asian women when they go on long walks to gather water, which gathers energy through solar panels and a battery pack. She has also served on the board of directors for the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC), an NYC-based art non-profit. Sonali received her bachelor’s in fine art from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), followed by a master’s in professional studies from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU. She is interested in designing interactions and environments that are immersive, playful, and ubiquitous and that explore the connectivity and psychology of learning.

Jerrold McGrathComment