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Ari Melenciano has cultivated an expansive practice within and beyond the fields of art, design, technology, pedagogy, and culture. Her natural ability to combine many disciplines reveals both their interconnectedness, and reimagines their contemporary conventions introducing new possibilities. 

Photograph by Dom Ming Photograph by Dom Ming

As an artist, some of her explorations have included using AI as a tool to study society through her Computational Anthropology series, sonic abstractions of plant data to create bio-sonifications, and 3D designing multi-modal healing environments in webVR. Her work has been supported by a variety of institutions including Sundance, Museum of the Future in Dubai, MoMA, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works, New Museum, New Inc, Museum of Moving Image, The New York Times, The Studio Museum of Harlem, CultureHub, Nokia Bell Labs, Montclair State University Gallery, New York Magazine, Forbes, Pratt Institute, Deem Journal, Guild of Future Architects, New York Live Arts, The Laundromat Project, Onassis Foundation, and ONX.

As an academic and educator, she is invested in creating encouraging environments for her students to explore the most emerging technologies through imaginative, critical, and cultural lenses. She occasionally teaches at universities around New York City including New York University, Parsons School of Design, Hunter College, and The Pratt Institute. She has held academic residencies at Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Denver's Clinic for Open-Source Arts, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Future Imagination Fund, NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, and University of Maryland Arts-for-All. Melenciano was also a research affiliate at MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative. And, she consulted for New York City's Department of Education through their CS4ALL (computer science for all) initiative, where she designed human-computer interactive learning tools for culturally inclusive curriculum.

As a researcher and writer, some of her explorations have included cultural metacognition, consciousness, AI, alternative forms of intelligence, notions of design expanding beyond the Western canon, technoculture, and community building -- with commissioned writings done for The New School's Vera List Center, National Endowment of the Arts, and Carnegie Museum of Art.

As a designer, she has guest lectured extensively at universities around the country, including Parson's School of Design, ArtCenter's School of Design, SVA Products of Design, and Harvard's Black in Design conference.

While a graduate student at NYU, she founded Afrotectopia - a social institution that imagines new possibilities at the nexus of art, design, technology, activism, and culture. Afrotectopia has taken many forms, from festivals, to think tanks, summer camp, adult continued education programming, international residency, and incubator. Through her research affiliate role at MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration, and faculty role at New York University, she created an incubator to invite a handful of artists to collaborate in reimagining extraterrestrial space life through a cultural lens. The art and research developed through the incubator is being published in the form of an experimental art book titled, “Black Metal.” 

Previously, she was a creative technologist at Google within their Creative Lab. Some projects she developed while there included creating technologies using machine learning on hardware devices the size of a finger, contributing creative direction for the Google for Africa campaign, and creative strategy for generative AI development.

She is a frequent public speaker at insitutions worldwide, on topics ranging from expansive ideas of design, speculative futures, AI, emerging technologies, and culture. She has also consulted and juried for a variety of leading institutions in the arts, technology, and design fields including Apple, Ars Electronica, Magnum Foundation, The Knight Foundation, IxDA NYC, and Creative Capital.

CV + Headshots, here. 

Ari Melenciano

Artist • Technologist • Researcher • Theorist




[Studio Art,  Writing,  3D Design,  Performance,  Sound, AI/ML,  Photography,  Research,  Interactive Code,  Physical Computing]

Theater of Meta-Interiority, Ensemble

(Solo art exhibition + essay | 2024)

  •Diagrams of Otzkö Kazo’s ---  Philosophies

        •Htzioro’s Paintings | Htziara’s Paint


        •Supratemporal Sueños of Azueli

        •Oratori’s Symbols of Language

        •Anza’s Cosmogram


        •Soloro and Seira’s Symphosynthesis

        •Toiszo’s Time Dimensions

        •Gjzitiua’s Sonic Sculptures


        •Spherical Theater of the Subconscious Plasticity

        •Axzistoc’s Documentation: Process as Art


Sculpting Consciousness: Art as a Materialization of Research — and Vice Versa

(Essay | 2023)

AI Self Portraits, Series

(AI Photo Series | 2023)

Computational Anthropology and Exploring Identity through Artificial Synthesis 

(Essay | 2023)

Paradoxical Intelligence

(Essay | 2023)

Symphosynthesis de Otzkö Kazo

(Performance at UMD | 2023)

Computational Anthropology

(AI Image Series | 2021)

Hues of Stzair Echology | 001

(Modular Synthesis Soundscape | 2021)

Finger User Interface (FUI)

(Interactive Code, Hardware Machine Learning | 2021)

Celestial Florilegia 

(3D Rendering, Speculative Botany | 2021)

Strawberry Sounds

(Biosonification | 2021)

Revel in the Minutae

(Video Art, Soundscape, Poetry | 2021)

Studio Museum’s Artists on Artists: Live Modular Synth Set

(Modular Synthesis | 2021)

Traveling the Interstitium

(WebVR | 2021)

National Endowment for the Arts: Building Afrocentric Technoculture and Community 

(Essay | 2021)

Electrocology of Sound Travel 

(WebVR | 2020)


(WebVR | 2020)

Notes on Omni-Specialized Design for Beautiful Futures 

(Essay | 2020)

Electro Negro Synesthesyo 

(Sound Sculptures | 2019)

Radical Technoculture for Racial Equity 

(Essay | 2019)

Ojo Oro

(Physical Computing, Product Design | 2018)

Building a Museum 353 Years in the Future 

(Essay | 2018)

Experiments + Research

Experimental Architectural Drafting (2020)

Recorded Talks

Women of Color in Engineering Collaborative

(Fireside Chat | 2024)

Sculpting Consciousness: Mythopoesis, AI, and the Symphony of Cultural Metacognition at WhatIf Summit
(Keynote | 2023)

MIT Media Lab‘s Lunch Lecture Series:
Generative AI and Artistic Practice

(Keynote | 2023)

Parsons School of Design’s Cloud Salon: Sculpting Consciousness

(Keynote | 2023)

Dubai Future Forum: Towards Other Futures

(Moderator | 2023)

Iterations.Online: Sentient Code

(Keynote | 2023)

AI & Art: Reflections on Language, Myths and Culture with Ari Melenciano at Montclair State Universities Galleries

(Discussion | 2023)

TheHost.Is: Afrotectopia Book and Computational Anthropology

(Keynote | 2022)

Carnegie Mellon University’s The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry’s Art && Code: Homemade | Electromedia, Design, Culture
(Keynote | 2021)

California College of the Arts - CCA: Speculating Futures Through Omni-Specialized Design

(Keynote | 2021)

MIT Open Documentary Lab: Design Fluidity and Black Radical Imagination
(Keynote | 2021)

ArtCenter College of Design: Critical Discourse in Design
(Panelist | 2021)

School of Visual Arts’ Products of Design Lecture Series
(Keynote | 2020)

Harvard’s Black in Design Conference: Black Power Meets the Digital: Equity & Justice in Technology and Media

(Panel | 2019)


Studio Visit Vlog with Dev Moore


Back to Listen: Forces of Thought


Caimpaign US: Black Artists to Watch


University of Maryland’s Inaugural Arts for All Residents


Oroko Radio’s Long Distance
With Dre Ngozi


Wired: How to Spot AI-Generated Art, According to Artists


Sundance Film Festival: AI


Technically Optimistic: On Strike! How will AI impact the economy, culture, and the future of creativity?


Forbes: Dispatch From A Black Future: An Interview With Ari Melenciano


Art as Social Practice: Technologies for Change


Gabriela Hirst x Pioneer Works


WIX: The sight and sound of Ari Melenciano


New York Magazine’s Curbed Feature




[Blog | Archive]

(Photographs, travels, process, etc.)