Diana Thater, ArtCenter alumna, core faculty member and former chair of the Grad Art department, was one of four artists awarded a 2018 Art + Technology Grant from LACMA’s Art + Technology Lab. Inspired by the spirit of LACMA’s original Art and Technology program (1967-1971), which paired artists with technology companies in Southern California, the Art + Technology Lab at LACMA supports artist experiments with emerging technology.
Thater will develop a new body of work that is focused on bio-inspired and bio-mimetic robots. Working in video, the endeavor will investigate how these machines adapt the neurophysiology and behavior of their animal models. Thater’s project is called The Zeroth Law.
The grant awards include monetary and in-kind support for projects that engage emerging technologies. LACMA issued the 2018 Request for Proposals in December 2017, and the museum received over 430 submissions. The four grant recipients selected for 2018 will work with neural networks, genetic engineering, navigation systems, and bio-mimetic robotics.
The Art + Technology Lab and its artist projects enjoy the support of an advisory board composed of the leading innovators across a variety of technological industries. Advisory board members lend their experience and expertise and help drive the conversation around how museums will use new technology in the future. Members of the advisory board come from Accenture, DreamWorks Feature Animation Group, Google, Hyundai, Snap, Inc. and SpaceX
An exhibiting artist since 1992, Thater has received international acclaim for her groundbreaking film, video and installation-based works. A writer and curator as well as an artist and educator, she is known for exploring the unpredictable relationships between culture and nature, human and animal, and science and magic. Her film Welcome to Taiji with T. Kelly Mason and Ric O’Barry served as the basis for the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove. Her work is in LACMA’s collection and was the subject of the major exhibition Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination (November 22, 2015–April 17, 2016).