Jas Brooks is a PhD student at the University of Chicago, where they are advised by Assistant Professor Pedro Lopes. For their doctorate, they design and study wearable devices that interface directly with our chemical senses (smell, taste, chemesthesis). Alongside the Community-Based Olfactory Research Group, they believe that smelling has been a historically overlooked way of experiencing intimacy and understanding the world.
Jiaqi Zhang is a Chinese-born interdisciplinary artist who creates interactive installations and gamified experience as a way to bring art into general public. Her practice focuses on exploration of human interaction and engagement in the scope of the ever-changing social dynamics, with the assist of technology as a means of communication with the audience. Through the integration of various media such as experimental games, interactive installations and kinetic sculptures, with playfulness and humor, she seeks to investigate a wide range of curiosities in the areas of social cognition and behavior, with a particular focus on human sensory perception, emotion experience and collective intelligence.
Li Yao is an VR/XR artist currently based in Chicago. He received his MFA in Art and Technology Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2018, and earned his BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in 2016. Li’s VR architectural installation, Bunker was included in SAIC’s exhibition in POSTCITY, Ars Electronica 2018. In the same year, Li’s animation Swimming Lesson was included in Mykonos Multimedia Festival.
Ashlyn Sparrow is the Assistant Director of the Weston Game Lab at the Media Arts, Data, and Design Center of the University of Chicago. She has worked on serious board, card, and digital games, and public health apps. She works closely with researchers, faculty, and students to support and develop games, interactive learning experiences, and digital media art.
Snow Xu is an artist & technologist who creates experiences of comfort, pleasure, and accessibility for more human beings. She explores how human’s masochistic-sadistic relationship with technologies affect our sense of self and psycho-physical vulnerability. Her artworks exhibit at venues including Ars Electronica and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Currently, Xu works as a Researcher at a New York-based non-profit, Open Style Lab, to develop fashion-assistive products and educational tools for people with disabilities.
Insun Kang is an intermedia artist who generates immersive experiences to explore social relations through a complex system of interaction, embodiment, and materiality. She creates installations incorporating gamification to mimic the structure of social interactions whereby the audience engages their perception and bodies in their process of decision making, reasoning, and judgment. She holds a BA in French from UCLA and is currently a BFA candidate in Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has worked on developing user experience in virtual reality for the Learning Science Research Institute at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Minyoung Kang is a space designer and VR artist who specializes in physical space and object integration into virtual environments. Her research interests focus on understanding the impact of humans on the environment, in regard to materials, light, space, and design. In her current VR work, she is experimenting with the blend of physical and virtual spaces, while approaching environmental problems that are meaningful and artistic. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in Interior Design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She studied Visual Communication Design at Hongik University in Seoul and received her BFA in Interior Design from Kookmin University.