Mary Flanagan has a research-based practice that investigates and exploits the seams between technology, play, and human experience. She explores how data, computing practices, errors / glitches, and play reflect human psychology and the limitations of knowledge. Flanagan’s approach to art-making and games occupies both onscreen space as well as physical spaces and actions, moving away from the screen to foster reflection regarding familiar relationships to the everyday through playful approaches.
Her work has been exhibited at museums and galleries around the world such as The Whitney Biennial, The Guggenheim, Tate Britain, and institutions in Spain, New Zealand, South Korea, Mexico, Germany, Cyprus, China and Australia. Flanagan’s work is featured in public and private collections, including The Whitney Museum and ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Germany, and has been covered by Wired, MIT Technology Review, ArtForum, Neural and Mute Magazine as well as numerous books on art. Flanagan won the Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica in Interactive art+ and is the recipient of the American Council of Learned Societies Digital Innovation Fellowship, the Thoma Foundation Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, a John Paul Getty Museum Scholar, a Senior Scholar in Residence at Cornell, and Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Toronto. She has been awarded residencies with the Brown Foundation, MacDowell, Bogliasco, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Flanagan has lectured widely including MoMa, the World Economic Forum, Oxford, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, and the Sorbonne, and has published 6 scholarly books including Critical Play (MIT Press), as well as art books and poetry.