Our History


High tech marketing pioneer Andy Cunningham, who had been instrumental to the success of companies such as Apple, Cisco, and HP, was inspired to bring artists and technologists together to explore and incubate art and ideas that would change the world. Five years later, ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network was born.


Founded: Andy Cunningham, launched the organization to encourage creativity at the intersection of art and technology and to produce a major festival celebrating this creative intersection. Public Launch: In November the organization launched with a two-day international conference hosted at SRI (Stanford Research Institute) in Palo Alto, CA. The event included two evenings of performance organized and produced with the venerable New York City new media arts organization, the Kitchen, which had received funding from the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation to co-produce the conference. Stanford University was an additional conference partner.


Dancing on the Web, Dancing over the Ocean: A pilot project that brought young people in Silicon Valley together with youth from Joko Clubs (computer access and training centers providing Senegalese people access to the Internet to form community) to teach each other dances and create new dance forms inspired by each others culture. It culminated in a three-day series of performances at the Tapestry 2001 Festival in San Jose and was hosted by The Tech Museum of Innovation.


Festival Feasibility Study: Packard Foundation awarded Arts Council Silicon Valley (a ZERO1 partner) $10,000 grant to study the feasibility of producing a festival. The Art of Extreme Robotics: Presented in partnership with Rhizome and hosted at the Sony campus, San Jose, California; this performance featured Survival Research Labs of San Francisco.


Games, Video Games, and Babylon: This panel discussion was about the outcomes from the 2002 Ars Electronica Festival and its theme UNPLUGGED; featured participants included: Gerfried Stocker Artistic Director, Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria; Lisa Goldman-Carney the Co-Founder and Director of Joko International SARL, Senegal; and Joash On, Interaction Designer, member of Futurefarmers and Winner of the Ars Electronica Net Excellence Golden Nica 2002. The event was hosted at the SGI campus, Mountain View, CA.


ZERO1 in partnership with the “San Jose 7” Awarded ISEA: The City of San Jose’s Office of Economic Development, Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley, San Jose Convention Center, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose State University’s CADRE Laboratory for New Media, The Tech Museum of Innovation, and ZERO1 were awarded the right to host the 13th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2006). Artists of the West Coast: A DVD created with Aspect magazine featuring the work of digital artists Anthony Discenze, Carole Kim, and Jesse Gilbert, Scott Snibbe, and filmmaker Brent Watanabe. ZERO1 HOTSPOTS: a nomadic series of discussions on hot topics in art and technology co-hosted with SF Camerawork, The Computer History Museum, and Leonardo/ISATS tackling topics ranging from convergence of VJ and DEMO Culture to artworks realized at Burning Man.


1st ZERO1 Biennial / ISEA2006 Symposium. The inaugural Biennial held in conjunction with the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts brought over 20,000 people to San Jose to celebrate seven days of art and interactivity. It featured 250 art installations representing 40 countries generating more than $9 million in new economic activity for the city of San Jose, and it yielded nearly 100 media stories including a full-page spread in the Sunday New York Times, and established itself as North America’s newest and largest digital arts biennial.


2nd ZERO1 Biennial: From June 4-8 over 25,000 attendees, visited 100 art installations, 25+ performances, workshops, and public talks by over 100 artists from more than a dozen countries at exhibitions held throughout downtown San Jose; students from seven continents participated in a global youth digital arts exhibition designed to enable them to examine critical issues, share their views, and take action; the biennial commissioned over 19 new works, of which three were the result of a FUSE: CADRE/Montalvo Artist Research Residency Initiative, and supported an additional 29 projects.


2010 ZERO1 Biennial: From September 16-19 over 47,000 visitors engaged with over 100 artists, designers, engineers, filmmakers, musicians, architects and avant-garde creators from 21 countries, as they proved that art can be more than merely aesthetically pleasing, but rather a tool with which to Build Your Own World. “The future is not just about what’s next. It’s also about what we can build to ensure that what’s next matters …”. This was the call to action that prompted an international array of artists to submit proposals to participate in the 3rd iteration of the 01SJ, a Biennial at the nexus of art, technology, and digital culture. Lead by ZERO1 Artistic Director, Steve Dietz, in his third and final year with the Biennial, and ZERO1’s Executive Director Joel Slayton, the 2010 ZERO1 Biennial featured works by art and design luminaries David Rockwell and The Lab, Brody Condon, Natalie Jeremijenko, Rigo23, Todd Chandler, Blast Theory and many more. Highlights of the Biennial included a digital art collector’s panel, Still Life with Banquet, the City’s first zipline over a man-made marsh, a drive-in theater fashioned out of salvaged cars, and AbsoluteZERO an evening 01SJ street fair.


The 2012 ZERO1 Biennial re-imagined the idea, the place, and the experience of Silicon Valley under the thematic of Seeking Silicon Valley. Using Silicon Valley as a physical backdrop, the exhibitions, performances, events, public art, and installations in the Biennial transformed a region synonymous with technology into a publicly accessible network of activity, exploration, and provocation. The 2012 Biennial represented a significant place-making opportunity that galvanized community engagement through collaboration and partnerships not otherwise possible.  It allowed for the presentation of groundbreaking work by local and international artists and provided access to innovative, world-class art for an audience interested in the sandbox where art and technology meet. Attendees of the Biennial experienced public art, interactive digital media, moving images, and performing arts. We invited more than 150 artists from over 13 countries, the presented works at the forefront of media art – collaborating with local, regional, national and international cultural institutions and iconic Silicon Valley companies to showcase three months of exhibitions, events, and performances. The core Biennial exhibition, also entitled Seeking Silicon Valley, was collectively curated by five international curators and commissioned 24 international artists from 11 different countries, including 18 original commissions. 51 Biennial projects were installed in public space, 28 of those public art projects were for (e)MERGE, the ZERO1 Street festival, that engaged 86 collaborating artists.