Partner Event

A Day Ends / A Day Begins: Technology as a Language for Empathy

January 28, 2021
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Samara Golden, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Upstairs at Steve’s (installation detail), 2020. Photo credit: Carlos Avendaño.

During this interactive, cross-disciplinary event, presented by Fleisher Art Memorial as part of their Fleisher From a Distance series, learn about The Fabric Workshop and Museum’s current exhibition, Samara Golden: Upstairs at Steve’s. Led by FWM Museum Tour Manager Katie Parry and University of Pennsylvania Computer and Information Science doctoral student Ajay Patel, this event will examine a defining characteristic of our current cultural moment: an overwhelming feeling of isolation coupled with a pervasive, wired connectivity. Katie will give a short presentation about Samara Golden’s collaboration with FWM that coincided with the unsteadiness 2020 presented, inviting us to wonder: How can we reflect on our days? How can we understand this moment with empathy? Can technology help us?

The events of 2020 impacted the installation of Golden’s work and called for FWM staff to imagine new ways to connect to the public using technology as a tool and a companion. Ajay Patel will discuss the creative process of developing an interactive Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform in response to Golden’s work and its potential to generate empathy, inspire action, and conjure hope. Visit to learn more about and participate in the project. (Please note that A.I. responses may take some time to generate after you submit your reflections. Thank you for your patience as the A.I. program is learning!)

This event is open to the public with a suggested donation of $10. Advanced registration is required; limited to 100 participants. The event will be hosted through Zoom, which can be accessed on desktop and laptop computers, as well as mobile devices. We highly recommend downloading the Zoom app to your device in advance. A URL to join the event will be sent upon completion of the registration process.

About the Participants

Ajay Patel is currently a Ph.D. student in Machine Learning at the University of Pennsylvania and the founder of Plasticity, an AI startup. Recently, Ajay helped build an AI project for Samara Golden’s exhibit at FWM.

Katie Parry is a practicing artist with 20 years of experience in arts education. In her current role as Museum Tour Manager at FWM, she imagines tours, workshops, and programs to engage all ages. She works in the community to build partnerships that become bridges, connecting contemporary art to all ages. Parry believes that art can serve as a mirror in which concepts such as identity, loss, violence, injustice, nature, and love can be reflected within ourselves while we are looking and creating.