Joel Slayton

Joel Slayton is the inaugural winner of the SVNexus Award, which recognizes pioneering artistic achievement at the intersection of art and technology. Slayton’s 40-year career has taken him from the Visual Language Workshop at MIT to San Jose State, where he founded the CADRE Laboratory for New Media. He served as the Executive Director of San Jose’s ZERO1 Biennial and now teaches at Stanford, where he curated the art-and-technology-focused LAST Festival. He’s a curator and visual artist whose works include multimedia, print, and performance pieces that have been displayed around the world. His “next big thing” is a new platform called L&J Ranch, which will fuel new creative research, support art and science initiatives, and more.

“I am very proud to have fashioned a career that combines art practice, academics, and curatorial work. I’ve never viewed these as separate activities but rather both complementary and necessary. My interest is in provoking our understanding of the relationship between emerging technologies and their impact on contemporary culture. I am not interested in making things for creation’s sake but rather as a way of researching and provoking ideas. I suspect that I am a hard target to track as an artist, since I don’t fit into categories easily. That is certainly not unusual in the arts, especially for those whose work is more conceptual than media specific. Silicon Valley is full of possibilities, extraordinarily open to new strategies, and accepting of experimentation. It is not the art capital of the world, [but] this is more than made up for in terms of the freedom that comes from being in a place where reinvention is a constant.”

Joel Slayton
twitter: joelslayton

Written by Nathan Zanon
Photography & Videography by DSOTM

This article originally appeared in Issue 10.3 “Profiles”

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