Synch Live

Hillary Leon

Conceived during and for this time of isolation and division, Synch.Live is a series of game-like events in which human players work together to solve a group challenge without using words. Synch.Live takes inspiration from emergent systems in nature—flocks of birds or swarms of ants—in which novel patterns emerge from a collective effort. In these self-organizing systems, no single agent can do alone what the group can do together. Using simple rules and nonverbal cues, Synch.Live sets into play the possibility of emergence (that is, where behaviors materialize when parts interact in a wider whole) and collective reward. In mobilizing our instinct to connect, Synch invites us to feel part of a greater whole, to pry open our limiting beliefs, and to experience the exhilaration of human connection for a glorious, transformative moment.

In the next phase of development, Leone will work with a team of U.K.–based neuroscientists, mathematicians, and technologists to develop and test the software and hardware that will work behind the scenes to support the game experience. The team will then design the player experience and run multiple pilots to learn, iterate, and refine. Although still in the early stages of imagining, Synch.Live team members feel optimistic players will be able to figure out—without using words—how to “act” as a group and create something new together. In this way, Synch.Live can show us that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, that we have what it takes to cooperate, and that we need one another.

Seagrass: Revitalizing our Waterways

Kayla Weisdorf

Undulating just a few feet beneath the surface of the ocean, right at our toe tips, is seagrass—a flowering marine plant and a natural solution to environmental problems of our own creation. Seagrass’s ability to capture and store carbon provides benefits beyond combating climate change, such as protecting against storm surges and providing a habitat for aquatic species. And it does this without any need for extraction of compounds or further manipulation.

Born of a desire to propagate and plant seagrass in New York City’s urban waterways, this project combines fieldwork, simple landscape design, and video documentation. It strives to create positive feedback loops between humans and subaquatic vegetation, opening up deep, haptic connections between New Yorkers and the estuary that surrounds us. In so doing, seagrass becomes a touchstone through which to probe and redirect humanity’s often violent relationship with (non-human) nature.

In advance of the fast-approaching seagrass "off-season" (approximately November through April in the northeastern U.S.), Weisdorf and collaborator Willis Elkins are planting eelgrass (Zostera marina) in the Newtown Creek Alliance's Living Docks in order to see how it responds to growing on an artificial base in adverse conditions. They will use the off-season to edit video footage, plan for larger collection and planting efforts in the spring and fall of next year, generate prototypes of park designs, and create tactile experiences for positive feedback loop mechanisms between humans and aquatic species.

Binary Calculations Can Not Assess Us

Stephanie Dinkins

Artist Stephanie Dinkins and collaborator Surya Mattu examine inherent biases in artificial intelligence. They aim to create interventions that challenge existing power structures and offer different models for building civic infrastructure. This project is a first step toward making resources that allow for care, meaningful engagement, and that redefine the dynamic between people and power.

Widely deployed technology can support bottom-up decision-making and empower the public to directly engage with the systems that govern and theoretically support them.

Datalougue Raisonne

Dena Muller

Datalogue Raisonné (a play on “catalogue raisonné,” an art-world term for a comprehensive listing of all the known artworks by an artist) is a universal, cloud-based, blockchain inventory tool that inventories the original provenance data of individual works of art. Its purpose is to facilitate inclusive documentation and expedite creative legacy planning by using artist-friendly technological innovations in image and data management.

Too often, identifying data about art objects (e.g., size, medium, year made) originate outside of the artist studio, often at the point of sale or exhibition. For artists who do not have a robust commercial support structure, a lifetime’s output cannot be easily organized, and that vital information will eventually be lost. As a result, intellectual property and creative ownership can often become ambiguous.

The Datalogue Raisonné, a project of The Living Trust for the Arts (LTA), a creative community trust collectivizing legacy planning and studio management for visual artists, provides a tool for permanent record-keeping. Its original image-recognition device, currently in development, allows for the potential for cataloguing all visual output anywhere in the world.

Technology as a Liberating Force

Moderated by Meredith Finkelstein

Featuring: Fab 5 Freddy, Susan Oh, David Passiak, Anna Waldman Brown

A.I, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and more.... are embraced by four visionary panelists as promising tools to help unleash productive forces for all — flipping the narrative from the human toll of automation to a vision of cooperation and empowerment.

What is an NFT

NFTs Are Fueling a Boom in Digital Art. Here’s How They Work

The Ideal Workplace of the Future

Moderated by James Andrews

Featuring: Brett Wallace, Gulnar Vaswani, Juliet Schor, Maurice Henderson

How can we ensure equity, access — and true leadership? An often moving conversation touches on everything from the gig economy to unions to the redefinition of distance, exploring not just how Zoom has affected office life, but also how the positive is possible.

New Economic Models

Moderated by Ravi Rajan

Featuring: Vaush, Matan Field, Susan Danziger, Yancey Strickler, Marcus Dowling

Will revolutions made possible through the blockchain create entirely new, collective, worker-defined employment, devoid of bosses? Will Universal Basic Income, combined with automation, ensure that only meaningful work will be necessary? Listen to this heady session and find out whether the DAO will rock your world.


By Visions2030/John Threat

A trailer for the Future Of Work discussions

Encompasses a visual treatise on the current state of work and our relationship to it and the transformation that Visions2030 hopes to spark. Represents metaphorical restrictions on citizens that do not allow them to participate in the profits for the labour they provide — echoing the past structures of slave and exploitative labor. The videos culminate in a transformation into the future where the worker is set free and their industry helps not only the organization they serve, but their community, their families, and themselves.

About Visions2030

Founded by Carey Lovelace, this collective initiative incubates transformative tools to “dream forward” scenarios of what the future may hold, and to unlock untapped aspirational potentials in individuals and society. Among our ever-evolving initiatives are artist-scientist collaborations; Collective Dreaming, envisaging where we want to move as a culture; Local Labs, bringing the power of invention to underserved communities. And convenings include the acclaimed 3-day December 2020 virtual conference, The New City, featuring 64 speakers ranging from Andrew Yang, to acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye, to sustainability pioneer Karenna Gore, to reimagine our urban spaces through lofty visions and on-the-ground solutions, and the May Day, 2021 Future of Work.