Robert Thill

Picture of Robert Thill

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Media Arts and Technology



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Robert Thill is an artist, author, and independent scholar.

Robert Thill’s work examines the intersections of arts, technology, and social experience in cultural production; it is especially concerned with forms that arise from convergences of interests, with an emphasis on power, value, and trust. He graduated with a BA from California State University and with a MFA from Pratt Institute. Thill is a faculty member at the School of Visual Art’s Master of Fine Arts Visual Narrative program. He has taught contemporary art history at Hofstra University and co-created an undergraduate primary research project at Hofstra University Library’s Muriel and Howard L. Weingrow Collection of Avant-Garde Art and Literature. In addition, his work in higher education explores the formation and elasticity of professional identities through creative practice, experiential learning, and career development.

Thiill’s work has been exhibited at apexart, New York, NY; Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Good / Bad Art Collective, Brooklyn, NY; Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD; M.Y. Art Prospects / Miyako Yoshinaga, New York, NY; Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY; Nýlistasafnid / The Living Art Museum, Reykjavík, Iceland; Pamela Auchincloss Project Space, New York, NY, and Sperone Westwater, New York, NY.

Publications discussing his works include: Boehm, Gottfried, and Gerhard Seel, eds. The End of the Millennium—The End of Art? Basel: Schwabe AG for the International Academy for Philosophy of Art, 2006; Danto, Arthur C. The Madonna of the Future: Essays in a Pluralistic Art World. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000; Gills, Christina M., ed. “Anything Goes: The Work of Art and the Historical Future,” Occasional Papers of the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, no. 14 (Berkeley, CA: The University of California, Berkeley, 1998); Milant, Jean. Ghosting the Screen. Los Angeles, CA: Cirrus Gallery and Cirrus Editions Ltd., 2016; and Putnam, James. Art and Artifact: The Museum as Medium. London: Thames and Hudson, 2001.

His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Art Criticism, Flash Art, Leonardo, and sehepunkte. He has served as contributing editor of Transcript, a journal of visual culture published by the School of Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, Scotland, and Manchester University Press, and has written exhibition material for The Drawing Center in New York and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.


Creative practice, art criticism, portfolio development, experiential learning.


Courses Taught

Research and Projects

Work in Progress: Intersections: Contemporary Art and Utility Patents. The research speculates that a set of diverse intersections between utility patents and contemporary art reveal sociocultural concerns tied to expressing forms of invention and achieving contemporaneous and historical belonging.

The work expands on his prior research: “Intellectual Property: A Chronological Compendium of Intersections between Contemporary Art and Utility Patents,” by Robert Thill, was first published by MIT Press in Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Science and Technology

For more information, see Intersections: Contemporary Art and Utility Patents.


Alex Garcia Topete, Roger Malina, Carol Strohecker, and Robert Thill, “SEAD Exemplars: Evidence of the Value of Transdisciplinary Projects,” under “Report” at The exemplar project informed The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education: Branches from the Same Tree, 2018, a consensus study report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which was organized by its Board on Higher Education and Workforce.

Carol Strohecker, Carol LaFayette, Roger Malina, and Robert Thill on behalf of the SEAD network, SEAD Network 5-Year Snapshot Update to “Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation.” Draft was published online with the intent to refine and add as an addendum to the report Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation (MIT Press, 2015).

Robert Thill, Audrey Pic, and Roger F. Malina, “Creations of Many Minds: Contextualizing Intellectual Property Issues Arising from Collaborations Across the Disciplines of Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design,” SEAD White Papers. XSEAD,

Review of Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property: Creative Production in Legal and Cultural Perspective, Mario Biagioli / Peter Jaszi / Martha Woodmansee, eds., in sehepunkte 14, no. 10 (2014).

“Hideki Nakazawa: Art-Related Patent Inventions in the Framework of Identity, with Language as a Dividing Form and Subject Matter as a Connecting Form,” in Hideki Nakazawa, Art Patents, (Tokyo: 3331 Arts Chiyoda, 2011), 488–94.

Honors, Awards and Affiliations

Residency, UrbanGlass, Brooklyn, NY

Additional Information

LASER: New York City at LevyArts
Presenter, New York, NY, 2016
Presentations by Alastair Noble, Kathy Bruce, Robert Thill, Toni Dove, and Claudio Rivera Seguel.

College Art Association Annual Conference
Session Discussant, SEAD network, Washington, DC, 2016
Cultivating an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation through Collaborations among Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design, a panel discussion coordinated by the SEAD network.

apexart Franchise 2012–2013
Invited Juror, New York, NY, 2012
Based on an adaption of the business model of a franchise, apexart holds an annual worldwide open call for proposals for group exhibitions to be presented anywhere in the world other than New York City.