Barry Threw cultivates forward-looking, impactful, boundary-blurring projects integrating culture and technology. He drifts fluidly between roles, collaborating as an executive, curator, technologist, designer, community organizer, cultural producer, and strategist. His previous leadership positions have generated innovative & influential platforms, products, teams, and businesses spanning art, music, internet, built environment, and experiential & immersive media. He is convinced that integral approaches combining art, technology, and the humanities are necessary for economic, social, and ecological regeneration.
He is currently the Executive Director ofGray Area — a San Francisco non-profit institution focused on creative action for social transformation through public events, incubation, and education. He is also a founding partner at Fabricatorz — a distributed technology studio for cultural projects with nodes in Hong Kong, St. Louis, and Berlin. He advises institutions, corporations, and organizations globally.
He organizes the #NEWPALMYRA project, an online community platform focused on the virtual reconstruction and creative reuse of cultural heritage. He developed and runs the Bassel Khartabil Fellowship, which supports outstanding people under adverse conditions developing free culture in their communities.
Threw has over a decade of experience producing projects integrating art, technology, and culture: as Software Director with Keith McMillen Instruments, developing advanced technology to bridge traditional string instruments with computers; as Technical Director with Recombinant Media Labs, presenting surround cinema at installations and festivals around the world; on the Board of Directors for the BEAM Foundation, seeking to spark a Western new classical music movement based on the technologies and aesthetics of the 21st century; and as Director of Software with Obscura Digital, a San Francisco-based creative technology studio specializing in the design and execution of immersive and interactive experiences worldwide, acquired in 2017 by the Madison Square Garden Company.
He played a key role in developing and operating the Vatican Arts and Technology Council, a non-denominational external advisory body for the Vatican, which advanced Pope Francis's goals of environmental stewardship, humanitarian compassion, and spreading experiences of spirituality worldwide through an experimental art and technology lab.
Threw has contributed to projects presented internationally at festivals including the Venice Architecture Biennale; ORF Musikprotokol, Graz, Austria; Club Transmediale, Berlin, DE; Mutek, Montreal, CA; Cynetart, Dresden, DE; Siggraph, San Diego, US. He has collaborated on installations at significant sites including St. Peter's Basilica, UNESCO headquarters, the Empire State Building, the United Nations Headquarters, Beijing 2008 Olympics, the Sacramento International Airport, CalIT2 at the University of California San Diego, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He has worked on audio/visual performances by artists including Jay-Z, M.I.A & Jenelle Monae, Kronos Quartet, Oval, Florian Hecker, Biosphere and Egbert Mittlestadt, Morton Subotnick, Herman Kolgen, Signal, Robert Henke, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Jon Rose, among many others.
Threw earned an undergraduate degree with a dual major in Music Synthesis / Production and Engineering from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College in Oakland, CA.