The Emergence of Hacker as Artist and Artist as Hacker

Presented at HOPE Number Nine (2012), July 14, 2012, 11 p.m. (60 minutes)

The new direction and emergence of hackers working like artists and artists working like hackers brings up a wealth of questions pertaining to these new mediums. How do the practices of “hackers” differ, if at all, from those of “artists?” Should we question when or how a hacker project falls between the lines of art, design, or hacking? The panel will discuss how their work bridges the gap between hacking, new media, and art. Their skills and interests vary quite a lot, but they all use technology to make a statement.


  • Andrew Cameron Zahn
    Andrew Cameron Zahn is a multimedia artist and designer living and working in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His most recent project, HackPhilly, was a juried design and art exhibition for hackers. HackPhilly took place during the 2012 Philly Tech Week festival. Andrew produces experimental interactive sites, applications, installations, and instruments that bridge the gap between art and design. His work was recently featured in the “Making IT” juried art exhibition in Philadelphia.
  • Chris Thompson / @retBandit as Chris Thompson
    Chris Thompson is a board member of Hive76 in Philadelphia. He is the head of Eagleapex LLC and designer of the math clock and wristwatch at He was principal of now closed, a site for laser-etched beef jerky business cards. He provides consulting for artists and others about technology and the Internet. He also uses technology to create digital art.
  • William Cromar
    William Cromar is an architect, animator, and musician who has exhibited his work nationwide since 1983. The recipient of a silver medal at the 1983 International Biennial of Architecture in Sofia, Bulgaria, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial Challenge Exhibition, and was a finalist for the Pew Fellowships in the Arts. He currently teaches at the Abington campus of Penn State University.
  • Katherine Bennett
    Katherine Bennett is an artist who widens notions of habitable spaces: involving the intangible spaces within the mind and the liminal spaces created by digital communities. Katherine uses sound and light as visceral material to foster relationships across these spaces, creating a presence across the trajectory of time. Her work studies the terrain of memory: its absence, degradation, and the new space that this loss provides for new experiences. Her latest environments investigate the development of social networks, and experiment with interaction thresholds. She uses sound and light, facilitated by programming, to create interactive and responsive installations.


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