The School for Poetic Computation (SFPC) is an experimental school in New York founded in 2013. Our school
supports interdisciplinary study in art, code, hardware and critical theory. It is a place for unlearning
Our programs challenge the capitalistic, heteronormative and patriarchal canon of social and computer sciences. Participants are treated as collaborators and we formally encourage the power they have to determine their experience and education. The special culture of our institution is one grounded on communal care and solidarity across social differences.
Our school is a platform for people who are Black, Indigenous, of color, trans, gender non-conforming, queer, disabled, survivors, living with and/or from low-income backgrounds, and oppressed to feel empowered that their ideas are important, necessary and central.
Note: Our school has been undergoing significant transformation since 2020. Learn more about SFPC's recent history here, here, here and here.
We intentionally assemble a cohort of people with diverse backgrounds and interests who have a lot to offer to each other as peers. We center people from identities and backgrounds that are often excluded from art, technology, and continuing education spaces, and look for a cohort with a wide range of passions, skills, experiences, and technical abilities. Above all, we look for people who are open to building a shared experience around learning, critical theory, political education, art, and technology.
SFPC does not currently have a physical location. Since Spring 2020, we've been online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2015 to 2020, we were located in the Westbeth Artists Community in the West Village of New York City, on the unceded land of the Lenape people. We studied within the computational and historical lineage of Bell Labs which occupied that space many years before. We’re in search of new temporary and permanent space. Contact us if you have any leads!
All members and guests of the SFPC community agree to uphold the Community Agreement when entering community spaces, both in person and online. We commit to actively participate in the social material of our learning and work together to create boundaries that help everyone feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
Our school is cooperatively stewarded by artists, teachers, and creative practitioners who are engaged and self-motivated in communities of practice spanning art, computation, poetry, critical theory, publishing and community organizing. Every co-director was once a lead teacher, assistant teacher, student-participant, or a combination! We continue to occupy those roles as we direct our school.
Zainab 'Zai' Aliyu is an artist and cultural worker whose work contextualizes the cybernetic and
temporal entanglement embedded within societal dynamics to understand how all socio-technological
systems of control are interconnected, and how we are all materially implicated through time. She
often dreams, experiments and inquires through built virtual environments, printed matter, video,
archives, writing, installation and community-participatory (un)learning. Zai is currently a fellow at
NYU Tisch's Future Imagination Collaboratory, design director for the African Film Festival at the
Film at Lincoln Center in NYC and a co-director of the School for Poetic Computation. Her work has
been shown at Lincoln Center (NYC), Museum of Modern Art Library (NYC), Miller ICA (Pittsburgh), the
Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile (Hong Kong) among others.
she/her · email · website · instagram
Todd Anderson is a digital poet, software artist and educator interested in building machines to
deliver creative language, experimental internet performances and computer viruses as an art form. In
addition to organizing with SFPC he helps out with Babycastles and The Illuminator projection
collective. He is perhaps best known as the host and curator of WordHack, the monthly
language+technology talk series every third Thursday at Babycastles (now online).
he/him · email · website · twitter
American Artist makes thought experiments that mine the history of technology, race, and knowledge
production, begiing with their legal name change in 2013. Their work engages anti-Black state
violence, surveillance, and criminalization, such as predictive policing. Artist is a 2022 Creative
Capital and United States Artists grantee, and a recipient of the 2021 LACMA Art & Tech Lab Grant.
They have exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; MoMA PS1; Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum
of Contemporary Art Chicago; Kunsthalle Basel, CH; and Nam June Paik Center, Seoul. They have had solo
museum exhibitions at The Queens Museum, New York and The Museum of African Diaspora, California.
Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, and Huffington Post. Artist is a
part-time faculty at Parsons, NYU and UCLA and a co-director of the School for Poetic
they/he · email · website · instagram · twitter
Neta Bomani is an abolitionist, learner and educator who is interested in parsing information and
histories while making things by hand with human and non-human computers. Neta’s work combines
archives, oral histories, computation, social practices, printmaking, paper engineering, zine making
and workshops to create do it yourself artifacts. Neta received a graduate degree in Interactive
Telecommunications from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Neta is currently an
Instructor in the Collaborative Arts Department at New York University. Neta is also a co-director of
the School for Poetic Computation. Neta has studied under Mariame Kaba, American Artist, Simone
Browne, Ruha Benjamin, Fred Moten and many others who inform Neta’s work.
any pronouns · email · website · instagram · twitter
As an artist, educator, and organizer, Melanie studies the role that technology plays in social
organization and in reinforcing hegemonic structures. As co-director of the School for Poetic
Computation, Soft Surplus, and the Cybernetics Library, Melanie strives to cultivate spaces of
learning and feeling that encourage honesty and permit people to overcome divisions created by systems
of gender, racialization, and class and by the trauma that these systems inscribe upon our bodies.
they/them · email · website · instagram · twitter
Galen Macdonald is an artist and arts organizer based in Tkaronto/Toronto whose work currently
straddles hand craft, kinetic sculpture, poetry, and new media. He uses whatever tools are available
to make delicate and limited tools for communication.
Galen has a Masters in Design from Goldsmith's, University of London, and is an alum of the School for
Poetic Computation intensive program. He has run community-facing work shops at Yestermorrow Design
Build School and InterAccess Media Art Centre in Toronto. His work has been shown at School for Poetic
Computation (NYC), Magic, the Gallery (Austin, TX), Long Exposure Festival (Toronto), Roundtable
Residency (Toronto), and Whippersnapper Gallery (Toronto).
email · website · instagram
Celine Wong Katzman is Curator at Rhizome and serves as one of seven co-directors at the School for
Poetic Computation. Previously she was a NYSCA Curatorial Fellow at the Queens Museum. Celine is
committed to supporting creative practitioners experimenting with new media, particularly those who
engage in a thoughtful and community-oriented approach. Her writing appears in publications such as
The Nation, Art in America, Rhizome, as well as in the New Museum's exhibition catalog, The Art
Happens Here: Net Art's Archival Poetics and Paper Monument's Best! Letters from Asian Americans in
the arts. She holds a B.A. in Visual Art with honors from Brown University.
she/her · email · website · instagram · twitter
Essie (Es) is here to be a listening ear, advocate, resource guide, mediator, & anything in
between. Please let us know if you need their services and we
will gladly connect you with them.
More about them:
Es is a second-gen, mixed race non-binary femme has had the privilege of dreaming & building in queer/trans, disabled movement spaces in NYC for the last decade-and-a-half. Es has also worked as a social worker for the last ten of those years utilizing their tendency for encyclopedic nerdism to build an extensive rolodex of accessible & queer-affirming programs, services, and community spaces throughout the city. Es has experience facilitating many'a community workshop; ranging from abolitionist sex education programming to art-alchemy empowerment groups. Es is a fervent believer in the power of human connection, resilience, & the sacred art of oral story-telling.
they/them · email
Sara Martínez is a writer, designer and interdisciplinary artist based in Querétaro, México. Her work
has taken different forms such as installation, digital mixed media, performance, essays, electronic
poetry and short fiction.
Her work explores themes such as poetic terrorism, poetic practices of intentional illegibility and
text corruption, the body and the avatar, and the question of the subconscious in computational
mediums and machines. Her practice also involves socializing her explorations through workshops, games
and materials such as workbooks and guided meditations.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Digital Media from Universidad Iberoamericana. Her
work has appeared in Mvseo Privado, Revista 404, Museo Cabañas and the gallery Rosario Sánchez.
she/her · website · instagram
Emma Rae Bruml, Luke Demarest, Nabil Hassein
CW&T (Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy), Sebastian Morales Prado, and Tiri Kananuruk
Amit Pitaru, Jen Lowe, Taeyoon Choi, Zach Lieberman; Casey Gollan, and Lauren Gardner
If you’re interested in applying to become a lead or assistant teacher at SFPC, but are unsure about how to proceed, the following are our current processes for hiring teachers:
We send invitations requesting class proposals by current and former lead and assistant teachers, in addition to friends and community members within and adjacent to SFPC twice a year. We also invite former participants and alumni who express interest in teaching in our final feedback form to apply to become an assistant teacher.
Teachers offered positions at SFPC are invited to choose their own assistant teacher from their own network, or from SFPC’s cohort of assistant teachers. While we’re a small organization of seven people who don’t currently have the bandwidth to facilitate a robust hiring process, it’s a long term goal for us to create and maintain clearer pathways to teach at SFPC. We appreciate your patience and consideration, as there’s limited time and space available to teach at SFPC.
We prioritize teachers from diverse backgrounds and interests historically excluded from and underrepresented within art, technology, and continuing education spaces. We look to assemble cohorts of teachers every season with a wide range of studies, disciplines, skills, experiences, technical abilities, and pedagogical offerings. If you have any questions regarding our hiring process, contact us. Please note: SFPC does not currently accept unsolicited class proposals.
Our programs are conducted in English with audiovisual materials such as automated live captioning, presentations, code examples and video recordings. Online programs are hosted on Zoom. If you have accessibility requests or need assistance, contact us. We’ll co-create an accommodating learning environment with you.
SFPC distributes scholarships via our scholarship fund under a pay-what-you-can model and an honor system. Our application asks how much you can pay. We offer subsidized positions in every class, once there are enough applicants in the prospective cohort to do so.
We believe no one should be denied an educational opportunity for financial reasons. We direct scholarship funds towards people who are Black, Indigenous, of color, trans, gender non-conforming, queer, disabled, survivors, living with and/or from low-income backgrounds, and oppressed.
We’re thankful for our generous donors, Withfriends members, and foundations for supporting scholarships directly. There’s enough wealth in our community to make SFPC the meaningful, imaginative, transformative center of poetry and justice that makes it possible for no one to be rejected because of their inability to pay.
We’re open to sharing our story with others. For press inquiries, please contact us.