In conversation with Nadav Hochman, Experience Developer and Program Manager, Art & Technology at The Tech Museum of Innovation

Posted on August 17, 2017

"Reboot Reality" (c) The Tech Museum of Innovation

In conversation with… Nadav Hochman, Experience Developer and Program Manager for Art & Technology at The Tech Museum of Innovation – a family-friendly interactive science and technology center located in the heart of downtown San Jose, California. It has become a landmark for visitors seeking a glimpse of the most inventive place on Earth — Silicon Valley.

What inspires you about your work at The Tech Museum of Innovation?

The Tech Museum’s diverse communities of visitors and employees, unique location in the Silicon Valley, and perpetually optimistic experimental energy help make it a cultural landmark and symbol of innovation for the area. In the spirit of the Silicon Valley, working at The Tech requires you to constantly learn, relearn, and unlearn what you know through trial and failure. Every day is a an exciting opportunity to bring together our visitors, the tech industry, and research and creative communities in a joint effort to explore new technologies that change lives.

How do you think digital art has the power to change the world?

One of society’s great recent challenges is how our use of new technologies is causing increased detachment and disconnectedness from one another. It is thus of the utmost importance that contemporary media arts operate both as critical explorers of the menacing effects of technology as well as its humanizing potential. By exploring new technological tools from differing perceptions and enabling people to not only get to know and understand technological phenomena with their minds but to also feel it emotionally and viscerally, media arts encourage us to cherish intuition, uncertainty, and creativity. They create a point of view through which we can look at contemporary culture from a multitude of differing perspectives helping bring us closer to ourselves and others around us through contemplation and discussion.

What are your dreams of how emerging technologies can change the way we make and enjoy art?

To continue a similar line of thought, my hope is that we can utilize new technologies to achieve greater empathy toward ourselves and each other. The arts, paired with new technologies, are now equipped more than ever to evoke these feelings.

New immersive technologies, and more specifically virtual reality as a recent example, create an unparalleled sense of “being” in time and place. This enhanced sense of presence can offer participants a “lived” subjective experience rather than the more purely observational and contemplative experience of engaging with traditional arts. New technologies now allow us to be in a place, and to actually share this place with others. In this new state, art has the power to bring us so close to the metaphor that we might ourselves finally become the metaphor.