Artist in Residence

Artist in Residence

Microsoft Research’s Artist in Residence (AIR) program aims to introduce artistic perspectives, processes, and values in the work of our organization. AIR seeks to build collaborations between researchers, engineers, and artists/designers to create beautiful and innovative experiences that inspires new ways of thinking about existing and future scientific challenges. Research has also hosted a number of artists including Jason Salavon, Helene Steiner, Maja Petric, James George, Cristina Sirbu, Erin Smith, Sang-won Lee, and Aduen Darriba Fredericks.

The Oregon Project is an installation by artists Keith Salmon, Daniel Thornton, Graham Byron, and researcher Neel Joshi. It provides alternative insight and exploration of a landscape for those with limited sight and is centered around three large format, abstract landscape drawings of the Oregon wilderness. This project builds on the research done at Microsoft by Kyle Rector, Neel Joshi, and Meredith Ringel Morris that addresses the challenges of visual arts access for people with visual impairments.

Image of the The Oregon Project


FoodFutures is a triad of Art, Science and Technology that speculates on the future of our food production, consumption, and distribution models by 2050. This exhibition was inspired by the notion that humans and plants could communicate to one another through enhanced sensing technologies, and features a live broadcasting aquaponics and hydroponics system that is monitored by sensors and cameras to relay real-time tank and health analytics.

We believe that the future of food will be supported by the infrastructure of the information age paired with new agricultural movements like aquaponics and urban farming. A world of connected devices, made intelligent and efficient through computational algorithms and cloud applications is already being constructed on our platforms. FoodFutures is the collaboration of Asta Roseway, Paul Johns, Ranveer Chandra, Helene Steiner, and Spencer Fowers with Microsoft urban farmers, Jessica Schilke and Steven Jacobs.

FoodFutures eco system

FoodFutures eco system


A Panorama of Skies is a prototype of an immersive audiovisual installation created in collaboration between Maja Petrić, an artist, and Hrvoje Benko, a human-computer interaction researcher at Microsoft Research. Together they have been researching possibilities of immersive technologies through which a space can be experienced emotionally.



Project Florence is a speculative glimpse into our Future where both our Natural and Digital worlds could co-exist in harmony through enhanced communication. Combining Natural Language Research, Biology, Design and Engineering, we have created the first instantiation of a plant to human interface through the power of language. Project Florence is the creation of Helene Steiner (Artist in Residence), in collaboration with Paul Johns (Software Engineer), Asta Roseway (Research Designer), Sidhant Gupta (Research Scientist), Chris Quirk (Natural Language Researcher) and Jonathan Lester (Research Scientist).



The Skies Epitomized is a series of artworks exploring the essence of the sky from the perspective of humans gazing at it. The works were created in collaboration between Maja Petrić (Artist in Residence), and Nebojša Jojić, a machine learning researcher. The artwork is derived from big data through a machine learning algorithm that is used to create visual summarizations (epitomes) of sky images people posted on the Internet.

Epitome of Skies


Disparity is the creation of artist in residence, Aduén Darriba Fredericks, with the assistance of visualization researcher Steven M. Drucker. Disparity explores the discrepancies in data through physicality. Large discrepancies are often difficult to fully comprehend, for example, looking at a skyscraper vs. standing next to one gives the viewer two very different senses of scale. Data that exists digitally can therefore fail to demonstrate this viscerally. This installation displays data in a volumetric sense, covering dimensions beyond human size.



Remnance of Form is an interactive installation, by the artist Sang-won Leigh, that explores the dynamic tension between an object and its shadow. By fusing light, projection and motion technologies, the shadow can now detach itself from its former role. This creates a new narrative that challenges our perception of reality, what’s real and what’s not.



A Thousand Snowflakes is a digital artwork created by artist Jason Salavon crafted specifically for the video columns in the Microsoft Research space. Using real-time web-scraped source code as raw material, it visualizes the 100-most-visited websites in the U.S. as idiosyncratic, interconnected particle systems.