Artists and Hackers: Ep. 15 – Duct Tape Hacking and Joyful Resistance

KT Duffy likes to say they conjure entities into existence via code-based processes and digital fabrication. They consider themselves a ‘duct tape programmer’ and have a background in DIY community, which is evident in their many collaborations and their fondness for projects using 1990s green slime.

This season we’ve partnered with the New Media Caucus, an international non-profit formed to promote the development and understanding of new media art. We’re interviewing five new media artists working today, both individually and at a live in-person event we held in February. This season of the podcast is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts grants for arts projects.

One of the topics that unites together all of our guests on this season of the podcast is that they are active as new media professors. KT Duffy comes from a family of teachers from the Chicago Public School system. From a young age they were active as an artist, with a passion for social justice work. They also realized they didn’t learn in a “traditional” way. Rather than follow someone else’s system they had to craft their own methods in order to be able to learn, and this influenced the way they teach and work with their own students.

As we’re seeing tech, you know, put more into our culture, just thinking about AI right now, these are the things that the students are up against. Right? And it’s not just technology. It’s capitalism. It’s racism. It’s the environment. It’s environmental racism, like all of these things are so heavily tied to the tech stacks that I teach. And it feels really irresponsible to not focus on that just as much as I focus on the technical tooling and training.

KT also shares their approach to building and problem-solving when working in art and technology. From their background in artist communities they bring the DIY mindset of using the tools you have in whatever way possible to accomplish a task, an idea that they say has led them to being labeled a “duct tape programmer” by their friends, which they jokingly embrace.

Aside from their art practice and teaching, they’re involved with a number of collaborative projects and groups, including a queer, collaborative design agency Mx. Studio, and CQDE Lab, which recently published their feminist manifestx of code-ing.

Link to the podcast

image description: KT wears a white hoodie, looking to the left, in clear glasses with lip piercing and earrings and close cropped hair.

KT Duffy is a new media artist from Chicago’s southwest side and is currently an Assistant Professor in Art, Technology, and Culture at the University of Oklahoma. They received their MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. They live between Chicago, IL, and Norman, OK, with their partners and dogs.
Duffy conjures entities into existence via code-based processes and digital fabrication. As a Neurodivergent-NonBinary person, the normative modalities of learning and making were not designed for them. To move through these structures, they made their own systems, glitching and patching and breaking the entanglements of binary logic. Their work manifests infinite possibility, translating the immeasurable interconnection of transcendent sentience, and examining the impending demise of binary systems.
This season of the podcast is produced with the New Media Caucus for New Rules: Conversations with New Media Artists. You can find out more by visiting This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit
Special thanks to Jessye McDowell, Rebecca Forstater and Nat Roe.
Our audio production is by Max Ludlow.
Our music on today’s episode is:
HoliznaCC0 – AgorophobiaXylo-Ziko – Last NightDaniel Birch – Brushed Bells in the WindMeydän – Away and Kirk Osamayo – (Ambient) Fight.