MIT Hacking Arts, one of the largest student-run festivals of its kind, to explore where art and technology will intersect in future artistic co-creations


Weekend-long event and hackathon to delve into how emerging tech is transforming the role of art, artist and the audience

Slated speakers include Ed Bilous, Founding Director of Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts, and Alex Sarian, Acting Executive Director at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., October 2, 2018–What is the future of co-creation in the arts? How are artists and entrepreneurs harnessing the power of blockchain? How is the role of art, artist and audience changing? What new business and finance models are available to “artpreneurs”?

Find out at the 6th annual MIT Hacking Arts festival taking place October 13-14, 2018 at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As one of the largest student-run events of its kind, over 500 attendees including 200 hackers will focus on igniting cross-disciplinary innovation, bringing together arts professionals, engineers and entrepreneurs to take on challenges at the intersection of the arts and technology.

The festival comprises a 24-hour hackathon, an arts and tech expo, performances and panel discussions. Speakers include Alex Sarian, Acting Executive Director of the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, Ed Bilous, Founding Director of Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts, Angie Kim, President of the Center for Cultural Innovation, and Eli Clark-Davis, Chief Partnerships Officer at Daybreaker, among others.

Panel discussions will revolve around these themes:

  • Art in the Age of Blockchain: Blockchain technology is already changing the way we create and consume visual arts. Hear from the artists and entrepreneurs who are mining its cultural value.
  • Arts Accessibility: Explore how thought leaders in accessible practices are using digital docents, tactile printing, design thinking, and other ideas to cultivate diverse audiences and artists from all walks of life.
  • Interactive Art and the Modern-Day World: The role of the artist has changed dramatically and new tools put creative control in the hands of audiences like never before. Meet thinkers and tinkerers who are putting users at the center.
  • Financing your Artistic Venture: Join a panel of “artrepreneurs” to uncover how innovative, sustainable financing models are bolstering the new creative economy and the role of impact investing.

This year, the roughly 200 hackers will take part in their choice of one out of five challenges that will be announced on Saturday, October 13. Hackathon registration is open until October 5. The winning hacks that won $4,000 cash prizes at last year’s hackathon include:

  • A service that uses Perception Neuron motion capture inputs to run spatial analysis and generate immersive experiences that can be viewed in any VR headset.
  • An application that creates a virtual avatar based on your activity data
  • An immersive grape-eating experience that lives between the human and the digital world

At Hacking Arts 2017, MIT Media Lab students worked with CAST Visiting Artist, Agnieszka Kurant, on the “signature hack,” a feature of the festival that pairs artists with student collaborators. The project, The Animal Internet, is now featured in SFMoMA’s Heavy Machinery publication. Keeping with the theme of this year’s festival, the 2018 signature hack will explore wearable sound and new forms of listening.

“We are hoping to enable the cross-pollination of creativity, skills and ideas among a diverse community to collectively hack the future of collaboration,” said Kaavya Gupta, a 2019 MBA Candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Nicholas Medvescek, a Creative Producer in Boston—co-directors of MIT Hacking Arts 2018.

This year’s sponsors include Wayfair, Google Cloud, Velodyne LiDAR, Fritz, VIVE, Leap Motion, Clover and Red Bull.

To learn more about MIT Hacking Arts 2018 and to register, visit:

About MIT Hacking Arts:

MITHacking Arts is a festival held at the MIT Media Lab, fostering community and celebrating innovation in the creative industries: Design, Fashion, Film/Video, Gaming, Music, Performing Arts, Virtual/Augmented Reality and Visual Arts. MIT Hacking Arts is organized by the MIT Sloan School of Management in partnership with MIT's Center for Art, Science & Technology and MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship. Learn more at

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Burgos, Assistant Director of Media Relations, MIT Sloan | 617-324-2434 |

Leah Talatinian, Communications Manager, Arts at MIT | 617-253-5351 |

Kaavya Gupta, Co-Director, MIT Hacking Arts 2018 | MIT Sloan MBA Candidate '19 | 857-225-9326 |

Abigail Taylor, Marketing Lead, MIT Hacking Arts 2018 | 617-480-8279 |