The Culture & Technology podcast 020 | April 27, 2024

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Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne: Eccentric Engineering

Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne are artists whose work subverts dominant power structures and explores alternative systems that work in harmony with their surrounding environments; such as a smell-based dating app, solar powered computer networks and sleeping pods that explore dreaming as a potential climate engineering technology.


Tega Brain (she/her) is an artist and environmental engineer exploring issues of ecology, data, automation, and infrastructure. She is an Industry Associate Professor of integrated Design and Media at New York University and co-author of ‘Code as Creative Medium’ (2021). You can find more information on Tega and her work here

Sam Lavigne (he/him) is an artist and educator whose work deals with data, surveillance, cops, natural language processing, and automation. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Design at UT Austin. You can learn about his work here


Severin Matusek is a cultural theorist and founder of co—matter, a creative studio exploring the cultural and societal impact of new technologies.


  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Capitalism (IPC) recognizes the problem of adequately addressing climate change as the problem of addressing deregulated capitalism.
  • Smell Dating is the world’s first smell based dating service that invites people to find new connections using only their noses.
    Solar Protocol is a network of solar-powered servers that collectively host a web platform. The platform is then served from wherever there is the most sunshine in the network.
  • Synthetic Messenger is a botnet that attempts to artificially inflate the value of climate change news.
    Fragile States is a funding project and archive of interviews with former political prisoners who have been incarcerated for climate activism.
  • Perfect Sleep investigates sleep and dreaming as a potential climate engineering technology.
  • Code as Creative Medium (2021) is an essential guide for teaching and learning computational art and design: exercises, assignments, interviews, and more than 170 illustrations of creative work.


The Culture & Technology Podcast is a long-form interview podcast produced by the Vienna Business Agency @wirtschaftsagentur_wien that aims to establish a long-term perspective on the ways emerging technologies impact cultural production.

Editorial Team (in alphabetical order): Carina Dala, Kesia Inkersole, Severin Matusek, Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör, Theresa Reimann-Dubbers, Alice Smith, Heinz Wolf

Theme Music by Hell Mutang.

S4E2 is now out and available wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Management Board: Severin Matusek
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Last updated: May 14, 2024 ■ 17:35pm