Culture for what’s coming.
Our work combines cultural research and prototyping with immersive compelling experiences for audiences and the public. Our research looks into the role of culture in dealing with present and future technological, social, and ecological volatility. Our artistic interventions and infrastructure offer a sense of wonder and mystery in a range of contexts both online and offline. We show possible futures so that we might find ways of stepping into them.
We realize these intentions by occupying and experimenting with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, extended reality, projection, additive manufacturing, and more.
UKAI is globally recognized for our work in exploring how the moral assumptions of technological development shape our culture and how different positions can generate other choices and better conversations.
We have worked with partners across Canada, in Egypt, Mexico, Malawi, China, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Nigeria, Hong Kong, and in partnership with Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. We are committed to occupying technologies and turning them toward other values and goals.
UKAI’s work involves both research and application:
Research: Our research questions the assumptions on which society operates. Most technologies are deployed in service to the moral positions of capitalism (bigger and/or faster). We then blame the tools rather than how they are being used. Our research explores what happens when we turn these tools over to other values and assumptions.
Application: Cultural prototyping allows us to imagine multiple possible futures. UKAI works with diverse creators to prototype potential pathways forward based on our research-based work. We are less interested in finding the “right” approach, and more interested in ensuring that there are an abundance of paths available to us as we navigate a complex and volatile future.
This work also provides creators that face barriers to access with opportunities to work with emerging technologies and imagine worlds that otherwise would remain hidden. We bring these same intentions to internal and partner projects – users of all ages and backgrounds will engage with visually compelling experiences that invite them into conversation with broader changes in our society and culture.