About the speaker

Robert Twomey (b. 1979, Washington, DC) is an artist exploring the intersection of machine perception and human desire. Trained as a painter and engineer, he integrates traditional forms with advanced techniques to create hybrid interactive artworks. He builds on traditions of systems art, surrealist collage, and site-specific work to explore issues of empathy, agency, and perception at the human-machine interface. His projects have taken the form of an interactive simulation of a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease, a body of work exploring the fantasy of an imaginary daughter, and a recreation of John Searle’s Chinese Room as a transaction between synthetic child voice and robotic child drawing.

Beyond his studio practice, Twomey has worked in a range of research centers throughout his his career, notably the Center for the Study of Learning, the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts, and the Experimental Design Lab with Natalie Jeremijenko. He has used neuroimaging to explore the basis of reading and language perception, built pollution-hunting Feral Robotic Dogs, created experimental game interfaces and 4K stereo animation, and is currently completing his dissertation on the home, A Machine for Living In, at the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington.

Twomey received his BS from Yale University with majors in Art and Biomedical Engineering and his MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and currently is a PhD Candidate in DXARTS at the University of Washington. He has shown his work in the US and abroad.

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