Kate Hartman

Social Prosthetics: Technology and the Human Form

Date 2/4/13

Affiliation Artist


Co-presented with Dept of Art Practice

What gizmo can we use to read our minds, expose our hearts, or settle disputes? What gadget can improve our communication with house plants or buildings or glaciers?

We are rapidly reinventing the ways in which we relate to each other and the world around us. Working with communication and body-centric technologies in the creative context enables artists and designers to ask questions, tell stories, and predict possible futures. The projects they create can speak to needs, longings, and desires not currently attended to by existing devices and systems.

In this talk Kate Hartman will present a collection of prototypes, tools, and methods that allow us to reconsider the ways in which we relate and communicate and discuss the challenges and opportunities for work that sits close to the skin.


Kate Hartman is an artist, technologist, and educator whose work spans the fields of physical computing, wearable electronics, and conceptual art. She is the co-creator of Botanicalls, a system that lets thirsty plants place phone calls for human help, and the Lilypad XBee, a sewable radio transceiver that allows your clothing to communicate. Her work has been exhibited internationally and featured by the New York Times, BBC, CBC, NPR, in books such as “Fashionable Technology” and “Art Science Now”. She was a speaker at TED 2011 and her work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hartman is based in Toronto at OCAD University where she is the Assistant Professor of Wearable & Mobile Technology and Director of the Social Body Lab. She is also the director of ITP Camp, a summer program at ITP/NYU. Hartman enjoys bicycles, rock climbing, and someday hopes to work in Antarctica.

-- As of 2/4/13