Dejha Ti and Ania Catherine
Dejha Ti and Ania Catherine are an award-winning artist duo based in Los Angeles. Their collaborative practice merges environments, performance, and technology, culminating in experiences that draw audiences into their idiosyncratic worlds. Both conceptual artists, their expertise collide—Ti with an extensive background in immersive art and human-computer interaction (HCI), and Catherine a recognized choreographer, performance artist and gender scholar. With no allegiance to any one medium, their output takes innumerable forms.
Their seminal interactive installation, ‘On View,’ commissioned by the SCAD Museum of Art, won the 2020 ADC Awards for Experiential Design (Digital Experiences and Responsive Environments).
Referred to as an “LGBT power couple” (Flaunt Magazine), Dejha Ti and Ania Catherine are recognized as “the two critical contemporary voices on digital art’s international stages” (Clot Magazine), focusing on how art and technology can be harnessed to reflect on, understand, and form broader social realities through new digital architectures. They’ve been commissioned by cultural institutions like SCAD Museum of Art, A/D/O, Trauma Bar und Kino, Art Basel Hong Kong, and brands like Adidas and Ableton. They’ve been invited to speak internationally at festivals and conferences most recently Christie’s Art and Tech Summit (Hong Kong), The Future of Experiential Technology Symposium (UCSD), the Contemporary and Digital Art Fair (NYC & Miami), and Tech Open Air (Berlin).
What is an Alternative Thinker for you?
Someone who isn’t afraid to think or create in the absence of reference.
What are you bringing forward in your work?
We would like what we do to lead to a rebirth of questioning, to enable people to feel supported in imagining a future different from what is prescribed to them, and to have a sense of agency. It also is important for our work to make room for conversations that may be difficult to manage without a specifically carved out space or accessible entry point. From data, to sexuality, to our relationship to technology, our subjects vary but our approach has a thread of continuity.
Why did you highlight this/these specific project(s) below?
In waiting advocates for doing nothing, yet staying home doesn’t necessarily imply slowing down; these conditions may even deepen the problematic relationship to devices and incessant virtual interaction. It is yet to be known what this forced isolation will have on our collective psyche. In the new world which is being crafted and shaped by our actions today, we are hopeful that design will foster a shift in our relationship to technology, and carve out more empty time as a matter of mental health and wellbeing. We believe In waiting can be part of that restructuring.
What would you like to see change in the current economy?
The world still seems geared towards a future defined by more and bigger. A look at the current state of our planet is just one example of how this mentality has served us thus far (not well). We feel that what we actually need is less and better; a shift from greed to equality, from entertainment to thoughtfulness, from spectacle to feeling, from shock to nuance. We’re trying to be part of crafting a future that represents those value shifts.
Tell us what your vision of the new world – post COVID-19 – is like?
Hopefully, different. This woke many of us up to the existing unsustainable and unfair realities of our economies that were present even before COVID-19 which may be a good thing. For example, there will definitely be a new tone to discussions in the U.S. about a living wage, universal healthcare, exploitation of artists and other freelancers whose income is so precarious and living expenses so high that surviving even one month without work is impossible. Also, we hope to see different kinds of people present at decision-making tables. Instead of a group of people with the same political science degree working on policy solutions for our most pressing issues (not anything against people with a political science degree, Ania has a masters in public policy!), why not a group composed of architects, artists, scientists, teachers, lawyers, domestic workers sitting at the table? How would that meeting of minds and perspectives not better tackle the challenge?
Lairs | Interactive Installation at Design Philadelphia Festival | Philadelphia, USA | 2014
“See me thru” Madame Gandhi | Music Video |
Los Angeles, USA | Jan 2020
Early dinner at EMPTY HOUR | Immersive performance installation at Trauma Bar und Kino | Berlin, Germany | July 2019