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Ari Melenciano
A light brown woman with medium-length wavy and dark hair, Ari Melenciano, sits in her studio in front of a few colorful and abstracted art hanging on the wall and a large painting leaning against the wall . Image courtesy of the artist

Image courtesy of the Artist, Ari Melenciano.

Date and place of birth
b. 1993, Miami, Florida
Current location
New York, NY
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
2020, Rapid Response Fellow

Ari Melenciano is an artist, technologist, researcher, and cultural theorist. Melenciano’s art and research practice explores computational anthropology, societal subconscious intellect, the ethnographical morphing of artistic expression across diasporas, speculative design, the formation and embodiment of mythology and rituals, and the materialization of omni-scoped research in the form of quasi-pseudosciences.

Melenciano has designed and taught courses at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Graduate Program (ITP), NYU’s Department of Photography and Imaging (DPI), The Pratt Institute, Hunter College, and The New School. She also guest lectures at universities around the world. Melenciano’s academic residencies have included MICA, University of Denver’s Clinic for Open-Source Arts, and NYU ITP. She is the founder of Afrotectopia, a cultural institution that is imagining, researching, and building at the nexus of new media art, design, science, and technology through a Black and Afrocentric lens. Previously, she was a technologist at Google’s Creative Lab.

Her work has been supported and published widely including by Sundance, The New York Times, The Studio Museum of Harlem, New Museum, New Inc, Nokia Bell Labs, MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative, New York Magazine, Forbes, The Ford Foundation, Pioneer Works, The National Endowment for the Arts, Museum of Modern Art, and more.

She has consulted and juried for a variety of institutions including Apple, NYC Department of Education, Magnum Foundation, The Knight Foundation, IxDA NYC, and Creative Capital.

She’s also published writing on A.I., Radical Technoculture for Racial Equity, Omni-Speciliazed Design Practices, Speculative Equitable Futures, Building Afrocentric Technoculture and Community, and more.

Rapid Response Project

For Rapid Response, Melenciano worked on a prototype for a 3D rendered online interactive environment via webex titled üT¨u that aims to use experimental pedagogy guided by biomimicry philosophy, indigenous ancestral intelligence, speculative design, and whole systems practices for new forms of gathering, exploring, and experiencing the web. üT¨u simulates a utopian society rooted in natural intelligence, and is designed to be a digital render of a potential future that advances society for more equitable, humane, and sustainable ecological orientations.


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