I am Leila Johnston. I work with art and technology, and the fantastical ideas that emerge from them. I’ve been involved in quite a few things; for more about my work and interests, see this longer bio. I’m interested in putting people, tech and science out of context to highlight, and hopefully overcome, damaging assumptions and biases about what ‘should’ be done.
I was the first ever digital artist-in-residence at dance company Rambert, October 2015-February 2016. I’ve written a small book about my experiences, calling for a ‘Contemporary Creative Technology’ – linked here, along with other media from the residency.
I organise a regular experimental live show and magazine called Hack Circus which allows me to explore ideas around speculative science, subversive tech, psychology etc with others in a fun and unique way. This episode of BBC Click from March 2015 explains Hack Circus very well.
I have been a resident at Site Gallery in Sheffield (The Happenstance Project, 2012) and Lighthouse in Brighton (in 2014, I wrote about it). In February 2015, I was one of 10 innovators from around the world selected to take part in the Global Futr Labs at Future Everything in Manchester. My exploration of life extension was recently commissioned for the Brighton Digital Festival and British Science Festival, both of which took place in September 2015.
I give occasional talks on everything from boredom on the Starship Enterprise to creatives as outsiders, to creativity in the James Cameron Terminator films. I’ve spoken at two TEDx events, Ada Lovelace Day Live, The Royal Institution, The Royal Academy of Arts, and loads of other places.
Home is Sheffield, but I travel a lot and I’m always looking for people to connect with for my various projects. So, if any of that sounds interesting, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.