Byte-sized Encounters

Tanuja Mishra. Juried Artist
WebXR on the Styly platform

Artist Statement

My practice stems from my conflicted emotions towards technology, which swing back and forth between fascination and fear. I am lured by the promise of the new with all its possibilities of augmenting human capacities and the potential of democratic reach and cultural inter-change. At the same time, I am repulsed by the invisible technological intrusion into every little nook of daily life. There is a yearning for the old that is rooted in embodied ways of knowing, acting and relating. This tension situates my work in the in-between space of digital-analog, poetic-polemic and process-object orientation. The methods of working incorporate both the experiential techniques of craft-based traditions and the analytical modes of the hacker-maker culture.

The emergent actions and artifacts may surreptitiously sneak into the everyday or blatantly announce their presence as spectacles in the public sphere. In the former case, they act as interrogative probes to examine how culture in-turn is shaped by the technology it creates. Their behavior borders on the uncanny and may reflect through glitches, errors or outright defiance. In the case of the latter, these devices manifest as prosthetic extensions to give voice to the thoughts, feelings and emotions that have been suppressed. They intervene in a public setting to create spaces for agonistic debate and collective reflection. These works have taken the forms of sculptural installations, architectural projections, interactive visualizations, wearable provocations, performative enactments or some combination of the above.

Styly link: Byte-sized Encounters

About the artists

Tanuja Mishra is an Assistant Professor of Design at UC Davis where she directs the “AI Beings” Lab. She is a designer, artist and researcher who works at the intersection of critical and speculative design and social practice. She investigates historical, cultural, and aesthetic implications of technology to imagine futures that are both aspirational and equitable. Her current research focuses on questioning machine intelligence and building AI on the values of care, trust, and interconnection.

Her work has been presented internationally, at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, South Asian Visual Arts Centre in Toronto, Arthur M. Sackler Museum and Gallery 224 at Harvard University, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, National Institute of Design and CEPT University Ahmedabad, and USID (Universal, Sustainable, Inclusive Design for social change) India Foundation. Through her social practice, she has designed community-based interventions in collaboration with government organizations such as Uttar Pradesh Department of Tourism and City of Nanaimo.

Credits: Maria Alejandrina Coates


ISEA2024 acknowledges the Turrbal and Yugara as the First Nations owners of the lands where the symposium will be held. We pay our respects to their elders, lores, customs and creation spirits. We also acknowledge and pay respects to all First Nations peoples across the continent and beyond Australian shores.