2023 Mellon Faculty Grant

Judith Barry, Hardcell in Video Spaces: Eight Installations at MoMA, 1995.
Judith Barry, Hardcell in Video Spaces: Eight Installations at MoMA, 1995.
Judith Barry, Hardcell in Video Spaces: Eight Installations at MoMA, 1995.

Exploring the life, death, and afterlife of technology


A wooden crate has seemingly fallen from the sky, breaking slightly apart to reveal a mass of “dead” technology. The damaged crate, full of holes, moves and shifts slightly as you approach. Repeatedly peering inside the crate’s holes results in increasingly frenetic activity in the crate’s interior. It senses your presence and reacts to your observation of it.

First exhibited in Crash: Nostalgia for the Absence of Cyberspace at Thread Waxing Space in 1994, and included in MoMA’s 1995 landmark exhibition, Video Spaces: Eight Installations, Judith Barry’s HA®DCELL explores the life, death, and afterlife of technology. With support from CAST and a team of MIT artists, technologists, and tinkerers, Barry is reimagining and reanimating HA®DCELL for the present. As society grapples with Artificial Intelligence and ubiquitous “smart” technology, the dead tech of HA®DCELL reawakens.


Judith Barry, Professor of Art, Culture and Technology at MIT, is an artist and writer whose research-based practice combines multiple disciplines and forms of artistic production to question technologies of representation. These include cinema/media, exhibition design, performance, architecture, sculpture, and photography. 

Judith Barry spatializes the language of cinema and media both as form and subject matter. Transforming exhibition spaces through installation into experiences, Barry uses media projection, built elements, and sculptural forms to produce inhabitable spatial constructions.

Biography: MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology
Website: Judith Barry Studio


Felipe Jannarone, Studio Assistant, Fall 2023
Reina Suyeon Mun, FlowIO Implementation, Spring 2023
Jesus ‘Chucho’ Ocampo, Project Manager, Spring 2023
Hyun Woo Park (Hyun Parke), Designer/Fabricator, Spring 2024
Diego Yanez-Laguna, Designer/Fabricator, Fall 2023/Spring 2024
John Z Zhang, Project Manager, Fall 2023/Spring 2024

With support from Ali Shtarbanov of Responsive Environments.

Thanks to Alfonso Parra Rubio, David Preiss, and Neil Gershenfeld of the Center for Bits and Atoms and Skylar Tibbits of the Self-Assembly Lab for their consultation on the project.

Supported by a Mellon Faculty Grant from the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST).

In the Media

Read more about the first life of HA®DCELL, including press coverage, on the Judith Barry Studio website.