Difference Machines Resources

Here you will find interactive guides and other resources that will take you on deep dives into the ideas behind Difference Machines.

  • DM User Guide Cover

    User Guide

    The Difference Machines User Guide for the exhibition features a map, glossary, curatorial essays, selected bibliography, and a note from our curators.

  • DM Family Guide Cover

    Family Guide

    The Difference Machines Family Guide features an interactive game to guide users of all ages through the exhibition and to build their own imaginary worlds and technological marvels.



Curator-Led Tour of Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art

October 17, 11 am • Albright-Knox Northland

Explore Difference Machines with its curators, University at Buffalo Professor Paul Vanouse and Albright-Knox Assistant Curator Tina Rivers Ryan.


UB Department of Art Visiting Artist Speaker Series with Sean Fader

November 1, 6:30 pm • Center for the Arts Room 112, UB North Campus

Artist Sean Fader, whose work is featured in Difference Machines, presented an overview of his artistic practice as part of the University at Buffalo Department of Art Visiting Artist Speaker Series.

This event was presented via Zoom.

Virtual Film Screening and Panel with Buffalo International Film Festival: Coded Bias, with artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Squeaky Wheel Curator Ekrem Serdar

November 5, 6 pm • Virtual

Join us for a free virtual screening of the award-winning 2020 documentary Coded Bias, which surveys the fight to ensure that artificial intelligence (AI) systems don't infringe on our civil rights. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Difference Machine artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, whose works consider the politics of facial recognition technologies, and Squeaky Wheel Curator Ekrem Serdar, who organized the recent exhibition Johann Diedrick: Dark Matters, which explores how AI systems underserve Black communities. Watch a recording of the discussion below.


UB Department of Art Visiting Artist Speaker Series with Stephanie Dinkins

November 8, 6:30 pm • Virtual

Artist Stephanie Dinkins, whose work is featured in Difference Machines presented an overview of her artistic practice as part of the University at Buffalo Department of Art Visiting Artist Speaker Series.

This event was presented via Zoom.

NFTs and the Future of Digital Art with Assistant Curator Tina Rivers Ryan

December 10, 6 pm • Virtual

Albright-Knox Assistant Curator Tina Rivers Ryan, who co-organized Difference Machines, gives an introduction to NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and the recent emergence of new markets for digital art. An art historian who has written extensively about the development of digital art since the 1960s, she also sketches how NFTs relate to digital art's past and future. Watch a recording of the talk below.


Albright-Knox in Conversation with Palah Light Lab

January 7, 6 pm • Virtual

Dr. Margaret Rhee and Dr. Cody Mejuer presented about the work of the University at Buffalo–based Palah 파랗 Light Lab, a collective of transdisciplinary artists and scholars who explore the intersection of social justice and technology. They will be joined by Difference Machines co-curators Paul Vanouse and Tina Rivers Ryan to discuss common themes between the Lab's work and the exhibition, and how we can use art and technology to advance social justice locally. Watch the presentation below.


Musical Performance by Mendi + Keith Obadike: Difference Tones

January 14, 6 pm • Virtual

This special live virtual performance was given by Difference Machines artists Mendi + Keith Obadike, who are known not only for their early internet–based art projects, but also for their pioneering work as sound artists.

Difference Tones was a sound and video performance presented via the virtual space of Zoom and a meditation on the idea of difference. It centered on the play and interactions between two channels of sound and two images in a single channel of video. The title is taken from the field of acoustics: when two notes are played simultaneously, a third “difference tone,” or imaginary note, is faintly heard.


Sunday Insights at Albright-Knox Northland

Buffalo Game Space • November 21, 2:30 pm

Buffalo Game Space member Joan Nobile led a conversation about how the organization strives to create a place for the community to learn and explore technology and game development.

GLYS Western New York • December 19, 2:30 pm

Visitors joined members of GLYS Western New York for a conversation about their work providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth and their relationship to technology.

Devonya Havis • January 16, 2:30 pm

Dr. Devonya Havis, University at Buffalo Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar, 2021–22, discussed her research exploring the intersections of race and technology.


Family Funday at Albright-Knox Northland

Made-to-Order Poems with Just Buffalo Literary Center • November 14, 10:30 am–3 pm

Join Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology • December 12, 10:30 am–3 pm

Drop-in art activity by Squeaky Wheel • January 9, 10:30 am–3 pm




Difference Machines is a "Must See" exhibition, according to ARTFORUM's art guide.

The Brooklyn Rail

"Nostalgic desires for a world before computers or the internet don’t help us address the social and political effects of increased reliance on them. Difference Machines demands that audiences take seriously the presence and effect of these technologies," writes The Brooklyn Rail's Charlotte Kent.

Buffalo Spree

"The show’s basic premise is this: technology is informed by the biases and assumptions of its creators and the society in which they operate.  It should come as no surprise that facial recognition systems, search algorithms, and databases reflect existing prejudices," writes Buffalo Spree's Elizabeth Licata.

Cornelia Magazine

"Survey exhibitions foregrounding technology at major museums are quite rare and are often self-reflexive—speaking to the medium’s functional features like interactivity, connectivity and coding, or situating its art historical context. That is why an exhibition like Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art at Albright-Knox Northland (October 16, 2021–January 16, 2022) looks so exciting," writes Cornelia Magazine's Farah Yusuf in an interview with Difference Machines co-curators Paul Vanouse and Tina Rivers Ryan.

Informer Podcast

"There is so much to chew on in this groundbreaking, co-curated exhibition and much brilliance in their approach to highlighting emerging and established work that has been burrowing into the realities we all face in our relationships to technology and identity. I'm especially appreciative of a veteran artist combining forces with an art historian and curator: the results were ambitious, profound, and timely."


Rhizome's Charles Eppley interviews the co-curators of Difference Machines, Paul Vanouse and Tina Rivers Ryan.


Difference Machines "delivers a strong critique on the troubling trends related to our current digital reality. Comprised of the works of 17 international artists, the exhibition offers subtle and not-so-subtle messages on the many ways we interact with technology."