DLI Research Associate
Biography: South African born Michael Byrne is the Creative Lead for Tech, Arts, and Culture at Cornell University’s technology campus in New York City, where he is inspired by the critical intersections between digital and embodied creative practices. He is also a Research Associate for the Digital Life Initiative, investigating the ways in which mixed reality and dance can redress historical asymmetries in urban and rural environments. His current project unites leaders from the fields of performance, tech, museology, and architecture to illuminate the histories of marginalized communities through movement and computational design.
Creative highlights for Michael include collaborating with New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute (NYCI) to activate two commissions by Sophie Laplane and Alysa Pires on the Cornell Tech campus, as well as a cross-disciplinary partnership with Ballet Hispánico using dance, drones, and robotics. Michael also co-leads the Milstein Summer Program in Technology and Humanity, which encourages students to respond critically and creatively through emergent forms of interactive media, and to prototype new artifacts using the latest digital fabrication technologies.
Affiliations: In addition to being a proud member of the Digital Life Initiative, Michael is affiliated with the XR Collaboratory (XRC) in Cornell University's Department of Computer and Information Science (Cornell Tech). He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Partnership, an organization dedicated to illuminating Eleanor's legacy of social justice at her home in Hyde Park and beyond.
Education: Undergraduate Studies (South Africa) – Vega School of Design and Branding. Graduate Studies (United Kingdom) – Royal Academy of Music, King's College London, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and University of Cambridge.
Performance: In parallel with his studies, Michael acted within the following narrative repertoire of The Royal Ballet: Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote (USA Tour), The Firebird, The Winter's Tale (Australian Tour), Manon, Ondine, Mayerling, Anastasia, Prince of the Pagodas, Strapless, Sylvia, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Other credits: performing at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in King Lear, As You Like It, Anne Boleyn, and The Merry Wives of Windsor (UK Tour); travelling to Tokyo and Yokohama in The Royal Opera's production of La Traviata; joining the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballet companies during their respective Covent Garden seasons; and singing as a Royal Academy of Music backing vocalist for Elton John at Wembley Stadium.
Design: Michael worked as an Art Director for Network BBDO (South Africa), as well as Citigroup Investment Bank and Kramer (United Kingdom).
Computational Histories Program: www.dli.tech.cornell.edu/computational-histories