Background

I’m Allison Leigh Holt, an artist / scholar based in Oakland, CA. I teach at the university level, in arts organizations, and independently, and I have been designing and teaching media art to neurodivergent and autistic people since 2013. Guiding my clients’ creative evolution– exploring our world and our interrelationship with it through the process of working together on art– is my briar patch. I am patient, experienced, and ethical; I have a down-to-earth humor and deep appreciation for unorthodox thinking; and I myself identify as neurodivergent. These things combined help my clients blossom.

I’m a Fulbright scholar, and I speak on my research-based art practice internationally. I recently wrote an article in PUBLIC Journal, The Conversation: Feedback Structures, Ways of Knowing, and Neurodivergence, that I presented at the 2020 College Art Association Conference in Chicago; at After Agency, a 2019 post-humanism conference at Mickiewicz University, Poland; and UN/GREEN: the 2019 Open Fields Conference in Riga, Latvia. I’ve been a keynote speaker at Stanford University’s Cosmology in Art + Science Symposium: Imagining The Universe; the 20th Annual Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference at the University of Arizona; and the University of North Dakota Writers Conference: The Art of Science, with sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson and theoretical physicist Brian Greene.

For nearly three decades, I have been deeply involved in experimental media arts communities in the US and beyond. The autism / neurodivergence related aspects of my CV are below, and you can find my full CV right here.

I look forward to hearing from you. 

EDUCATION

2007
  • MFA, Studio for Interrelated Media, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
1996

BFA, Focus: Visual Art, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA

SELECT TEACHING

2019

Visiting Faculty, Advanced Video Practices, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

2013 – pres.

Neurodivergent Media Art Mentor / San Francisco Bay Area, CA

RELATED PUBLICATIONS

The Conversation: Feedback Structures, Ways of Knowing, and Neurodivergence, Holt, Allison Leigh, PUBLIC Journal: Interspecies Communication, Intellect Publishing, Volume 30, Number 59, June 2019, pp. 104-112(9)

SELECT AWARDS

2018

Artist-In-Residence / Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science + Technology / Santa Barbara, CA

2016
  • Resident Researcher, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA
2009-10

J. William Fulbright Scholar, U.S. Department of State, Indonesia

SELECT EXHIBITIONS | SOLO

2017
  • Neurodivergent Media, Shapeshifters Cinema, Oakland, CA

SELECT EXHIBITIONS | GROUP

2021
  • Support Structures: After the ADA / Into a Pandemic | Ford Foundation Gallery | New York, NY
2020
  • RECODING CRIPTECH | SOMArts Gallery | San Francisco, CA
2018
  • TR*MP TH*S! | Experimental Response Cinema @ Museum of Human Achievement | Austin, TX
2017
  • 100 Days Action | Shapeshifters Cinema | Oakland, CA
2015 - 17
  • Autism Social Connection Film / Video Booth | Bay Area Maker Faire | San Mateo, CA
2014 - 17
  • Autism Social Connection Annual Film Premiere | Electronic Arts | Redwood City, CA

SELECT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS + PRESENTATIONS

2020
  • Lecture, 108th Annl. Conference: College Art Association, Chicago, IL
  • Workshop, Recoding Crip Tech, SOMArts Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2019
  • After Agency Conference, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Cntr, Mickiewicz University, Poland
  • UN/GREEN: Art/Sci/Tech Conference, RIXC Center for New Media Culture, Riga, Latvia
  • Art-Based Research Symposium, California NanoSystems Institute, UC Los Angeles
  • Art/Sci Talk, INSEEC University, San Francisco, CA
2018
  • Artist Talk, Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science + Technology, Santa Barbara, CA
2014
  • Poster Session, 20th Annl. Conference: Toward a Science of Consciousness, U. of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ
  • Lecture, 34th Annl. Conference: Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, Portland, OR

PROFESSIONAL

1996 - pres
  • Professional artist
2013 - pres
  • Developing curricula and teaching experimental media classes to autistic adults and teens
2013 - 2018

Media Art Educator, Autism Social Connection, Redwood City, CA

2015 + 14
  • Social Thinking Conference, South San Francisco, CA
2013

Media Art Educator, Youth Auxiliary Board, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

Ongoing
  • Research and scholarship in neurodivergence, media art, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind
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