Portrait of Robert Twomey

Website: roberttwomey.com

Robert Twomey

Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Arts

Robert Twomey is an artist and engineer exploring poetic intersections of human and machine perception, particularly how emerging technologies transform sites of intimate life. He integrates traditional forms with new technologies to examine questions of empathy, agency, and desire in human-computer interactions.

He has created a computer simulation of a grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease, a body of work exploring the fantasy of an imaginary daughter, and recreated John Searle’s Chinese Room as an exchange between synthetic child voice and robotic child drawing. His dissertation, A Machine for Living In, embeds machine observers in domestic space to study the home as a complex system and intimate site.

He has been an Artist-in-Residence at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry (Carnegie Mellon University), Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination (UCSD). Twomey has worked in a variety of research labs throughout his career, notably the Center for the Study of Learning, the Experimental Design Lab with Natalie Jeremijenko, the Center for Research and Computing and the Arts with Sheldon Brown, and the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media.

Twomey has presented his work at SIGGRAPH (Best Paper Award), CVPR, ISEA, CHI, NeurIPS, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Athens Digital Arts Festival, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the California Arts Council, Microsoft, Amazon, HP, and NVIDIA.

He received his BS from Yale with majors in Art and Biomedical Engineering, his MFA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego, and his PhD in Digital Arts and Experimental Media from the University of Washington. He is an Assistant Professor with the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a visiting scholar with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, UC San Diego.