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Xiaowei Wang
Xiaowei Wang is a Chinese person (AFAB), with dyed blond hair, and dark brown/black roots. Xiaowei is wearing a cool funky, button-up blouse with yellow and black round patterns, and jade earrings. They are standing outside, smiling brightly in front of shrubs and trees in what seems like a sunny day.

Portrait of Eyebeam Democracy Machine Fellow 2024, Xiaowei Wang. Photo Credit: Chloe Jackman Photography. IG: @chloejackmanphotography

Date and place of birth
b. 1986, Tianjin, China
Current location
Between Taipei, Taiwan, Emeryville, CA, USA, & Guangzhou, China
Year(s) of residency and/or fellowship
2024, Democracy Machine Fellow

Xiaowei R. Wang, Ph.D. is a California-based artist, writer, organizer, and coder. They are the author of the book Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech In China’s Countryside, a 2023 National Book Foundation Science and Literature Award winner.

As of 2023, they are one of the stewards of Collective Action School (formerly known as Logic School), an organizing community for tech workers. They are also a Senior Civic Media Fellow at the University of Southern California Annenberg, a faculty member at ELISAVA’s Master in Design for Responsible AI, and for 2023-2025, a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center on Race and Digital Justice / UCLA Gender Studies. Their multidisciplinary work over the past 15 years sits at the intersection of tech, social, and environmental justice. Xiaowei’s work is shaped by their Buddhist spiritual practice, guided by the experiences of their ancestors and the care of the communities they are part of. A big influence on their work and how they see the world is their experience of ongoing vision loss due to their glaucoma diagnosis in 2017.

They are part of Collective Action in Tech’s Embedded Organizers community and serve as an advisor at Processing Foundation, an organization working at the intersection of open source, art, and social justice. They are a 2022-2023 Luminary for Omidyar’s The Tech We Want program. As of 2023, they’ve finished the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA) training and are working towards certification as a death doula and herbalist.

Their project FLOAT Beijing (in collaboration with Deren Guler), an Index Design Awards finalist, created air quality-sensing kites and public workshops to challenge governmental data censorship. Other projects — from art installations to a community-created radio for local bus lines in Beijing- have been featured by the New York Times, BBC, CNN, VICE, and others.

Their most recent new media work, The Future of Memory (in collaboration with Qianqian Ye), was a recipient of the Mozilla Creative Media Award and explored the creation of a new language to bypass online surveillance. Their previous individual and collaborative work has been exhibited at a number of venues, including Haus der Kulturen der Welt, MoMA New York, Taipei Design City Exhibition, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and have taught workshops and given talks at Asian Art Museum, SF MOMA, TED, Taipei Design & City Exhibition 2014, IAM Weekend, The Conference, Unfinished Live, Cornell University, Harvard University, CtrlZ.AI Zine Fair Barcelona and more. Their writing has appeared in TANK, transmediale, The Nation, and more.

They received a PhD in Geography with a Designated Emphasis in New Media, from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2023, supervised by Brandi T. Summers (chair), Clancy Wilmott, Desiree Fields, and Abigail De Kosnik.

In previous lives, they spent 7 years as the Creative Director at Logic Magazine, which they cofounded in 2016 along with Ben Tarnoff, Christa Hartsock, Jim Fingal, and Moira Weigel and left in 2023. Xiaowei has worked as an engineer at Mapbox, and a designer at Meedan, a global tech non-profit building open-source tools for journalists and activists, and at Situ Research.

Eyebeam models a new approach to artist-led creation for the public good; we are a non-profit that provides significant professional support and money to exceptional artists for the realization of important ideas that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Nobody else is doing this.

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