SXSW Art Program

The SXSW Art Program creates a platform for visual artists to connect with international leaders in the fields of music, film, and technology by showcasing innovative projects and hosting discussions during SXSW.

2023 Art Program

SXSW 2023 Art Program Installation – "Quantum Jungle" by Robin Baumgarten – Photo by Lauren Lo Smith

About SXSW Art Program


In 2023, you’ll experience one-of-a-kind art installations by both established and emerging artists throughout SXSW venues and the city of Austin.

Incorporated into the broader ecosystem of creativity at SXSW, The Art Program offers artists a unique platform to show their work within one of the most diverse, collaborative, and inventive communities in the world.

The SXSW Art Program curates from studios, designers, collectives, and individual artists. The work — either in medium or concept — is at the intersection of art and technology and creates an experience that provokes discussion around the role of visual and digital media arts in culture, technology, and the public realm.

Official selections of the program are chosen on the basis of their ability to enhance the landscape of SXSW and bring meaningful inspiration and discovery to attendees. We strive to showcase work from both emerging and established artists whose vision reflects the values of SXSW.

Applications are closed for 2023. Stay tuned for announcements coming later in the season.

See You in 2024

Get ready to experience more opportunities for discovery, networking, learning, and career-enhancing connections than ever before at SXSW 2024 from March 8-16. Stay tuned for announcements coming later this summer.

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2023 SXSW Art Program


Ancestral Archives

by Josie Williams, in association with EY Metaverse Lab and NEW INC [part of The New Museum]

Cultivating new connections between the revolutionary leaders of the past and a future generation of critical thinkers, Ancestral Archives brings historically significant Black leaders to present-day communities through a new dimension. This installation presents the manifestation of these leaders in chatbot form and blurs the line between the physical and digital as you step into their world. In collaboration with the EY metaverse lab, this work seeks to explore how AI can be enriched with the connections, experience, and knowledge of the past to build a better society. This project leverages learning capabilities of deep neural networks with Black culture to create a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind physical and digital experience that showcases the power of harnessing technology for positive human impact.

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by Meichun Cai & Yiou Wang

2023 SXSW Art Program, Mixanthropy by Meichun Cai and Yiou Wang

Mixanthropy refers to the capturing of a deity’s potential for fluidity and change. Transitioning between animal and human states, Mixanthropy explores the divine hybridity through body transformations based on anatomical isomorphism, with mimetic skin textures echoing different environments with dataset generated by AI. The hybrid mixanthrope morphs into other bodies with mocap retargeted on human and nonhuman bodies. This work synchronizes motion, as an externalization of the intrinsic psyche, with 3D body deformation and metamorphosis into humanoids, chimeras, and otherworldly beings. In the process of creation, Meichun and Yiou performed a series of different animist movements while imagining themselves transition between their original species, Homo sapiens, and another species. Using motion capture technology of MIT Immersion Lab, Meichun and Yiou choreographed and personally provided movements to the shapeshifting beings.

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Quantum Jungle

by Robin Baumgarten

Quantum Jungle is an interactive art installation that playfully visualizes Quantum Physics concepts on a large wall filled with novel touch-sensitive metal springs and thousands of LEDs. It calculates Schrödinger's Equation to model the movement of a quantum particle, and demonstrates concepts such as superposition, interference, wave-particle duality, and quantum waveform collapse.

The design and construction of the hardware is a deliberate choice to complement the quantum scientific content: On one hand the springs and lights correspond directly to the particle-wave duality of quantum particles, and on the other hand the immediacy and tactility of the spring input are an intentional antithesis to how mysterious and beyond human grasp quantum effects are.

The interactions have been designed from scratch over several iterations to create a positively playful audience experience drawing on Robin Baumgarten’s artistic and technical background in both game design and designing low-level hardware: satisfying and ‘juicy’ interactions meet extremely high refresh-rates and low latency inputs on bespoke hardware. Together with a scientifically accurate implementation of Schrödinger's Equation, Quantum Jungle becomes an innovative and unique art installation that makes quantum mechanics more approachable and entertaining than ever before.

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Stone Speaks

by Nancy Baker Cahill & Sophia the Robot

2023 Art Program - Stone Speaks

STONE SPEAKS is a monumental, narrative augmented reality artwork inspired by conversations between artist Nancy Baker Cahill and Sophia the Robot. Commissioned by Borderless Capital to reimagine climate crisis solutions, the artists exchanged thoughts about the accelerating climate crisis on our imperiled planet, and the adaptive potential of human-machine collaboration.

The work first appears as a massive particle field comprised of silicon and carbon elements. In a reverse Big Bang, the particle field contracts into a molten core, and then swells into a vibrant planet, textured with digital paintings created by Sophia as an extension of her conversation with Baker Cahill. The final resulting work speaks to the poetics of human-machine collaboration—what might be possible if they worked interdependently toward mutual survival and a robust restoration of the world’s natural ecosystems?

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