Category Archives: News

Worlds in Play at ASU MIX 2024

Together with Ash Eliza Smith, I’m playtesting a new interspecies theater piece at Worlds in Play! Join us this January 3-7 at ASU Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center in Mesa, Arizona and step into the artist’s studio as they experiment with adventurous participatory projects at various stages of development, including immersive theatre, XR, Alternate Reality Games, Table Top Role Playing Games, social practice, food experiences, collaborations with AI, parties, and larps.

Worlds in Play is a five-day gathering of play practitioners—game and theatre artists—exploring new forms of agency in storytelling and experience. Learn more and register at

#worldsinplay #mixcenter

Ag4Space Symposium at UNL Nov 30

I’m pleased to be presenting at the Ag4Space symposium we are hosting this Thursday/Friday in the East Campus Union at UNL. This is part of our Grand Challenge project SPACE2 (Space, Policy, Agriculture, Climate, and Extreme Environment)

I’ll be speaking on the role of speculative design and experimental arts practices in developing space science: “Ag4Space: Speculative Design, Demos + Installations – A Primer”.

Thursday noon-5pm. Friday 8-4pm.
Arbor Suite
3rd floor of UNL East Campus Union
1705 Arbor Drive, Lincoln, NE 68503

View the agenda here.

SPACE2 Website:

Performance-Lecture on Embodied Interaction at SLSA 2023

I gave a performance-lecture with Hortense Gerardo and CRANE, the co-robotic arm, for SLSA 2023 at ASU. Our talk discussed perceptions of embodied intelligence and trust in human-robot interaction. This piece builds off of our previous work Dances with Robots, for Heidi Latsky’s ON DISPLAY GLOBAL 2020, and leads towards our IDEAS performance “Beyond the Black Box” at the Qualcomm Institute in May of 2023.

Beyond the Black Box: A Performance-Lecture on Embodied Interaction in Human and Machines

Beyond the Black Box is a performance and lecture on embodied interactions in humans and machines. Over the course of 30 minutes, three human and robot participants unpack the ways that intelligence and creativity require a body. Through a mix of spoken text, collaborative movement, and embodied interaction—the performance explores elements of intimacy and play in human-robot interaction, and ultimately wrestle with who (and what) might properly be considered an embodied intelligence.

Our three presenters are Hortense Gerardo (movement), CRANE (co-robotic arm with Twomey as operator), and Pepper (humanoid robot with Eguchi as operator). Collectively, this group has deep prior experience in performance and movement (Gerardo), creative robotics (Twomey) and human-robot interaction (Eguchi and Twomey). The proposed work builds on our 2022 performance (Dances with Robots) to create a standalone performance-lecture for SLSA.

PERFORMANCE-LECTURE (artwork and presentation/performance)

Real Time AI Paper SLSA 2023

I presented a paper “The Future of Real-Time AI: Liveness, Co-Creation, and Participatory Play”—written with Ash Eliza Smith—for SLSA 2023 at ASU. This was part of a tremendous panel on “Contacting, Playing, and Designing with Aliens”, with a lively discussion.

Yanai Toister (Shenkar College of Engineering, Art and Design) and Nimrod Astarhan (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) – Speculative Antennology
Ash Eliza Smith (University of Nebraska) and Robert Twomey (University of Nebraska) – Real-Time: Liveness, Co-Creation, and Participatory Play
Ben Gansky (Arizona State University) Detecting the Alien: poetic, pharmakoic, and forensic object modes
Elpitha Tsoutsounakis (University of Utah) Ochre Alien: Iron Body

Atlas of Imagination Workshop at Clarke Center

I had a blast participating in the Atlas of Imagination workshop at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination October 20 and 21. It was thrilling to spend two days with the experts Cassandra Vieten and Erik Viirre gathered—some familiar faces and many new ones—to flesh out a rich, multi-disciplinary perspective on imagination. Developing both metrics for assessing imagination, and maps (it’s an atlas) for situating efforts in the field of imagination. I am honored to have been part of the conversation, and look forward to continuing development at the next gathering.

Speaking on AI at SD Innovation Day

I was honored to speak on an AI panel with these luminaries (Yusu Wang, David Danks, Pelin Thorogood, and Greg Horowitt) for San Diego Innovation Day, September 14 2023. This was an excellent event. I also got to experience my second Craig Venter talk of the past month.

AI Explored: From Healthcare Innovation and Artistic Quests to Ethical Quandaries

September 14, 2023
1:05 – 1:35 PM

Venture into the vast implications of AI with insights from diverse disciplines. Explore philosophical dimensions and ethical dilemmas posed by AI’s integration into society. Uncover its transformative potential in healthcare, revolutionizing outcomes. Delve into the poetic interplay of art and technology, examining human-AI perception and the nuances of empathy. Discover cutting-edge methods to decipher and navigate the complexities of contemporary data. This panel illuminates AI’s multifaceted influence, spanning ethics, art, medicine and innovative analytical paradigms.

Link to session


My SIGGRAPH paper, “Communing with Creative AI” was published in the Proceedings of the ACM on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. Download it here:

Twomey, R., “Communing with Creative AI”, SIGGRAPH 2023 Art Papers, Proceedings of the ACM on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques — Volume 6, Issue 2, August 2023. Article No.: 28, pp 1-7

Robert Desnos photographed by Man Ray (source)