Kate Umnova is a multidisciplinary artist and curator who works across artistic↗, curatorial↗ and pedagogical↗ boundaries, exploring the subject of human machine interaction. With background in both science and art she explores the difference between the discreteness of the digital and the integrity of human experience. Her practice employs computer vision, neural networks and data visualisation to question the shifting nature of human perception in the technological realm.

07/2023 current
Computer Vision Software
TEAM: Kate Umnova, Artem Konevskikh, Maria Korolkova
'Cloud Data' is the project dedicated to collaborative machine-human imagination, represented as a thousand-year-old guessing game of cloud watching and the resemblance of cloud forms. The project aims to explore the intersection of associative intelligence and creative thinking in neural networks and uses machine vision to conduct visual analysis of physical clouds in the sky. The software analyses cloud shapes and the associations they evoke through the lens of AI and human imagination. By combining human-made and machine-generated object guesses, we aim to create a new perspective on the art of cloud watching and to question the relationship between human and machine imagination.
Series of Images
10/2018 now
Series of panoramas captured on a phone from moving vehicles: airplanes, ferries and trains. In this project I wanted to create averaged images of roads I travel, using a DIY approach to movement documentation. I let two machines (a vehicle and a camera) communicate with each other and remove my viewers' agency from the process.

Series of Images
A diffusion model generates images by finding familiar patterns within a latent noise. Human perception works in a similar way: we compare perceived information with models that emerge from our memory. To build a projection of the world at any given moment we divide incoming signals into segments that make sense to us. For this series, I produced a dataset of images in Sims 4 and used them to train a diffusion model. Understanding Sims as a digital projection of living experience I wanted to enclose the gap between the technology and a material it processes. I was interested to see into simulated imagination of a model, namely, what it 'sees' when it is able to 'close its eyes' and mark up an internal latent space without particular image or text instruction.

Series of AR Filters
Hair begins to grow under the skin and releases the obsolete body to the surface. With the visible, dead, part of the hair, we perform the rituals of washing, combing and shaping. A series of AR filters 'Hair Pins' turns my head back to the viewer and weaves the projection of the face into different hairstyles. Hair can feel the movement of air and touch. Nerve receptors in the roots create a sensory map of tension that is unique to each hairstyle. AR medium allows one to combine a live experience with a non-living layer of a digital mask. Through a series of relationships between hair and fictitious hair clips, I wanted to give shape to my sensory states.
Virtual Exhibition
Selected Publications: bbe↗
Virtual Opening↗
ARTISTS: Dina Salqin, Natalii Center, Kristina Komarova, Lisa Tukacheva, Natasha Savinova

CURATOR: Kate Umnova

VIRTUAL SPACE: Anna Novikova
In this virtual exhibition, aspiring artists take advantage of their own amateurism in mastering the digital instruments. They perceive technology not as a tool for the creation of digital products, but as a breaking point that opens up new visual and poetic possibilities. The focus of the exhibition is set on the discrepancy between reality and a model which represents it. This ever present gap ignites the creative search of the artists who playfully investigate how and when the border between simplicity and complexity, shell and code, procedure and error, shifts. Artists use popular software as an instrument for self-reflection and observation, and invite the spectator to join them in this insightful adventure.
12/2019 2/2020
Exhibition @ Hse Art Gallery
Selected Publications: DTF↗, INGAME↗
ARTISTS: Akihiko Taniguchi, Pippin Barr, Dmitry Kavka, Bram Ruiter, Chris Collins, Petri Purho, Angela Washko, Ksenia Mikhailovskaya, Ilya Rodin, Ilya Grigoriev, Mit Game Lab

CURATOR: Kate Umnova
'What time are you?' is an exhibition, gathering games, machinimas and installations in simulated time modalities.
The concept of time is not material, it reveals itself through changes of variables. With the advent of new media and computer games we got an opportunity to fill physical time with virtual space and edit digital time according to our will: pause, accelerate, slow down. Control over the speed of changes turned the temporal variable into an applied parameter. Game timescale allows overpassing boundaries of possible: influence memory processes, connect different meanings through historical layers, stretch the intensity of personal comfort and have countless tries in search for alternative scenarios.
4/2018 7/2018
Exhibition @ Solyanka State Gallery
Publications: Afisha Daily↗ , gendai talk↗

ARTISTS: Haruyuki Ishii, Takashi Makino, Soichiro Mihara, Yuko Mohri, Ryo Orikasa, Aki Sasamoto, Akihiko Taniguchi, Sayaka Shimada, Lyota Yagi, Jinichi Yamaoka, Onishi Yasuaki, Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi, exonemo, SHIMURAbros

CURATORS: Kate Umnova, Margarita Osepyan, Johan Rijpma
A group exhibition of Japanese new media art. Contemplation is one of the key elements to eastern philosophy, taking its origins in Zen culture and writing traditions. At the same time, observation allows one to investigate the laws of the physical universe. The term 'Observer Effect' implies an influence that a scientist has on the subject of their observation. Gathered projects turn hidden forces of nature (gravity, kinetic tension, electromagnetism, radiation and more) to the tangible, hearable and visible forms, allowing a viewer to become an observer himself and spend time contemplating.

11/2017 1/2018
Exhibition @ Solyanka State Gallery
Selected Publication: Popular Mechanics↗
ARTIST: Stelarc

CURATORS: Katya Krylova, Kate Umnova
A documentary project that was dedicated to the work of Australian artist Stelarc. Being the initiator of the alternative anatomy laboratory at Curtin University (Perth, Australia) Stelarc prefers to see artificial intelligence and robotics as part of a person's personality and has been editing his own body for decades. The project analyses his extreme experiments with the body within the discourse of cyberutopia, a post-gender, post-class, post-racial world of hybrids, aimed at ending the practice of classifying and typifying people by race, age, IQ and other parameters.
6/2017 9/2017
Exhibition @ Solyanka State Gallery
ARTISTS: Lucette Braune, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukacs, Daniel Weissek, Wouter Venema, Douwe Dijkstra, Robbie Cornelissen, Evelin Lohbech, Johan Rijpma, Studio Smack, Wiep Teeuwisse, Tomas Schats, Fons Schiedon

CURATORS: Margarita Osepyan, Kate Umnova, Mette Petters

'Meta Matter' is a group exhibition of Dutch artists who use animation as a way to create meta reality. Within the context of latest technologies, contemporary understanding of material reality has become a subject for reconsideration. Ways, in which motion pictures establish their truth claims react to the progress of computer skills and provide animation with the indexical power. Not only animation questions the traditional means of representing the physical world, it also extends objective narration with an opportunity to convey the protagonists' subjective feelings and emotional states.

Education programmes with focuses on art and design practices correspondingly. Students create distinctive projects to reach different academic goals. Programmes are formed in a way that encourages participants to address global challenges by applying means of critical thinking, collaborative actions and new technologies. Programmes' skills include: critical and creative thinking, research, visual language, data visualisation, AR, VR, AI, web, game design, cross media storytelling.

By using common digital instruments – be it a popular computer software or a mobile app – we unavoidably sign ourselves up to the norms and patterns of thinking implied by these products. This narrows down our worldview and takes away from us an opportunity to be creative and curious. In my practice, I choose a deconstructive approach to the common digital instruments as a way of finding one’s agency and resisting the comfort of behaving and perceiving by default. I experiment with such technologies as computer vision, neural networks and data visualisation to explore the hidden opportunities of irrational choices and the unfamiliar sides of our reality. I collaborate with artists, scientists and engineers to create the spaces of experimental interactions with the digital. Through creating exhibitions, DIY-tools and participatory workshops, I strive to design experiences that widen our perceptions of the digital. I believe that nowadays it is important to develop 'a digital intuition' – meaning an intuitive way of navigating in the digital realm, driven by curiosity. I think it is crucial to make advanced technologies accessible to everyone. That is why I am committed to teaching and sharing my knowledge and pipelines with the art community. By introducing users to a DIY approach in their interactions with technology, I invite them to transcend the role of a conforming user and become co-creators of the world we all are living in.


HSE Garden Pavilion,
within Ars Electronica Festival, A New Digital Deal

HSE University, Cocurator of the Pavilion, 2021
an online platform for students
and alumni of HSE University

What Time Are You? A walk in game time
HSE Art Gallery, Curator, 2020
a group exhibition of new media and game artists

New Japan. The Observer Effect
Solyanka State Gallery, Cocurator, 2018
a group exhibition of Japanese new media artists

Stelarc's Postevolution:
Hybridisation rather than typization

Solyanka State Gallery, Production/ Visual Curator, 2018
a documentary exhibition dedicated to the work of Stelarc

Meta Matter
Solyanka State Gallery, Cocurator, 2017
a group exhibition of Dutch animation artists


Russian (native)


School of Creative Arts
of the University of Hertfordshire,

(BA Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration,
2012 2016

State Research Institute of Lobachevsky
(MA), Physics,
2006 2012


HSE University,
(BA) Media Art / (BA) Interactive Design

Senior Teacher, Course Co-author, 2019 current

Course Author and Teacher, Entrance to the Digital Art

Visiting Lecturer, DIY Thinking, 2021 current

Universal University
Module Leader, 2019 2020


Multimedia Designer, 2019 2021

Solyanka State Gallery
Exhibition Curator, 2017 2019

Solyanka State Gallery
Multimedia Designer, 2016 2019


Rovesnik (Moscow), Sverstnik (Moscow),
Noname Roasters (The Internet), Skola (Tbilisi),
Solyanka State Gallery (Moscow)