Sarah W.


I am Director of Art & Education at metaLAB at Harvard and Co-Founder of the The Data Nutrition Project. My work explores the interrelations between complex systems, and the social implications of artificial intelligence through teaching, research, and interactive art.


AI Pedagogy Project Invisible Waves
How the Light Gets In The Shell Garden The Moral Labryinth The Future of Secrets





The Myth of Agency

"Ultimately, nothing or almost nothing about what a person does seems to be under his control." -Thomas Nagel, Moral Luck

The Myth of Agency is an interactive installation that explores human and non-human agency, whether and how we make choices, and what implications this has in an increasingly complex technological world. Installation elements include sound, video, photography, participant interaction, moving objects, and water.

The work calls into question some basic assumptions about human agency. Machines, for example, are causal, mechanistic, bound by their programming. Yet we see ourselves as different. What forces guide our actions? As our machines become more intelligent and we ourselves become more networked, what does it mean to have agency? Is it merely a useful myth, or is there something particular - even if inscrutable - about what it means to be human?