Karen Palmer


Karen Palmer is the Storyteller from the Future. An Award Winning International Artist and TED Speaker. She creates immersive film experiences that watch you back using Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition, that enables participants to experience the future today! Immersing them in a near future world of Bias A.I. and surveillance. As an international speaker she highlights the potential impact of Artificial Intelligence from a social justice perspective and the necessity to Democratise AI.

Her recent commission by the BFI Consensus Gentium recently was awarded XR Experience Winner 2023 at SXSW. It is a powerful exploration into the implications of today’s AI technology. It is an interactive film that integrates cutting-edge facial detection and AI, which transports audiences on a unique quest to discover what could come about if we succumb to unchecked surveillance. Using various tests, their dissidence or compliance is calculated, by monitoring data by the devices’ front-facing camera.

There have been numerous articles and interviews in Wired Magazine, Forbes,   PC Mag, CBS TV , Fast Company , Engadget, Big Think,The Guardian “ It leapfrogs over VR”..

Karen has been described as a Thought Leader in the realms of Immersive Storytelling, Futurism and Tech and featured in innumerable interviews and events. Ranging from The Future of Storytelling Festival NYC to The Big Think. She has been opening Keynote speaker at AT&T Shape Conference, L.A, Wired for Wonder Festival Australia, Sydney & Melbourne, MIT and TEDx Australia Speaker at the Sydney Opera House. 

Delivered keynotes and workshops to corporate clients and Leadership Summits include Microsoft Seattle, Vertex Berlin, ThoughtWorks Toronto and Google Cultural Institute in Paris. International Film and Storytelling events the Netherlands Film Festival to the Future of Storytelling in NYC. Worked closely with prestigious organisations such as the British Councils in Canada, Western Balkans, South Africa and Peru. Invited to speak,ZKM Living Amongst Intelligent Machines AI Conference in Germany. IFA+Summit Innovative Summit Berlin, Silbersalz Festival, was keynote speaker, Future, Science & media Festival, Halle Germany, Strategic Storytelling Seminar NYC Lincoln Centre. CPH:DOX, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival under the theme, Art, Technology & Change to name a few.

She has exhibited at The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum NYC, the V&A London, PHI Centre Montreal, Sensory Stories Exhibition, Armoury Arts Week NYC, Museum of Modern Art Peru, and Sheffield International Doc Festival etc.

2020 she received Honorary Mention for the STARTS Prize ARS Electronica for Perception iO, the future of law enforcement. This is A.I. Law enforcement training simulation which will watch you back. Perception iO will enable participants to experience how easily human bias can be intergraded into networks by humans and therefore understand the necessity for Transparency and Regulation in AI.

In 2017 her installation RIOT was acknowledged as one of the Digital Dozen Award for break throughs in storytelling. RIOT makes the player aware of their subconscious behaviour and enables them to consciously build new neurological pathways in their brain. Her work is at the intersection of Neuroscience, Behavioural Psychology and the Parkour philosophy of moving through fear.

Exhibitions & Festivals

  • Consensus Gentium SXSW XR Experience Winner (World Premiere)
  • ARS Electronica The Artist Vanguard Artist Film 2021
  • Perception iO ARS Electronica STARTS Prize honorary mention
  • Perception iO Cooper Hewitt Design Museum NYC 2019
  • RIOT 2.0 SXSWAustin 2018
  • RIOT 2.0 ThoughtWorks Paradigm Shift Toronto 2018
  • RIOT 2.0 Microsoft Storytelling Summit Seattle 2018
  • RIOT 2.0, Spring Break Art Show NYC 2018
  • RIOT 2.0 the V&A Museum London 2017
  • RIOT the PHI Centre Montreal 2017
  • RIOT Demo Museum of Modern Art Peru Lima Peru 2017
  • RIOT The Future of Storytelling Festival in New York 2016
  • RIOT The Festival of The Mind.2016
  • Invited to present RIOT at IDFA International Documentary Festival Amsterdam Cross Media Forum 2016
  • Syncself 2 at Fak’ugesi Festival South Africa within The Market Hack Event and Soweta Pop Up Event.2016
  • Power to the Pixel invited presentation at The Pixel Market-2015
  • SYNCSELF 2 was a key exhibit at the prestigious Sheffield Film Festival 2015 as part of Sheffield Interactive.
  • SYNCSELF 2 was first exhibited at the iconic V&A Museum as part of their distinguished Digital Design Weekend -2014
  • The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea commissioned Syncself 1. This was exhibited as part of the Intransit Festival -2013.
  • Syncself 1 went on to be exhibited at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery. 
  • Syncself 1 went on to become nominated for an HBO Award at the Filmteractive Festival in Poland 2013.
  • Evolution exhibited at The Tricycle Theatre as part of the Cultural lead up to the Olympics 2012
  • Solo exhibition for The Way interactive film at Westminster reference library gallery . 2011
  •  ‘Mental Block’  January 2010 screened as part of the Olympic Torch ceremony in Cananda.
  • July 2009 Screened at Chialma Gallery Miami
  • August 2008 Finalist at Globian Festival Germany. May 2008’ featured on
  • June 2008 Finalist in the Hollywood Black Film Festival Hollywood
  • March 2008 Finalist in the Very Short Film Festival Hollywood March
  • April 2008 Wins Filmmaka Film of the Month Award
  • February 2008 Wins Ice whole Short Film Award judges.
  • January 2008 Short listed for the Jerwood Moving Image Awards.

Press Coverage

  • Forbes 2023 XR Experiences
  • XR Podcast Charlie Fink
  • Future of Storytelling Podcast
  • Goethe Institut Article
  • Folha de S Paulo Article
  • Wired Article
  • Big Think Interview Series
  • PC Mag In-depth Article
  • British Council Bosnia & Herzegovinovina Interview
  • Arts 21 Panel Interview National Arts Program Germany “Can AI be Creative”
  • Forbes In depth Article
  • CBS TV feature on RIOT
  • Neuro Storytelling the Future of Persuasion Interview
  • FastCompany Article When Fear is the Remote Control
  • Engadget Article The Outcome of this virtual riot depends on your emotions
  • In-depth Guardian Article on RIOT and A.I.Technology. “This has Leapfrogged VR”
  • NBC article on RIOT integrating cutting edge technology.
  • New York Times Features RIOT as one of the highlights to The Future of Storytelling Festival New York
  • CNN reviewed RIOT amongst the Future of Storytelling highlights
  • The Creator’s Project, Article entitled ” We’ve Seen the Future of Storytelling and it’s F@#%ing Awesome”.
  • Nieman,Interview with Karen Palmer and observations after experience RIOT immersive film… “I realized that the future of virtual-reality storytelling is not in just traveling through exotic or sci-fi locations to forget, but in being present in the reality of today so you could remember. Instead of merely receiving words, audio or visuals, each user is a co-pilot or co-author. We are not just a fly on the wall, but a participant.”
  • NY Theatre  In-depth article and photomontage of RIOT and Karen Palmer at The Future of Storytelling.
  • Canadian British Council  Digital Futures features emerging talent at the cutting  edge of Digital Media. The feature SPOTLIGHT, shines a light on Karen Palmer and her practise in this in-depth interview.
  • Sunday Morning Herald Australia TEDx Article and Parkour Photoshoot. Online frontage article and double page newspaper spread.
  • Fx Guide Extensive Article on Karen Palmer and her projects. Entitled ” Neuro-gaming: Focus or Fail”
  • Guardian newspaper in-depth feature and interview and interview with Karen while she exhibited at Sheffield International Documentary Festival, entitled “Playing mindgames in a neuroscience, art and tech vision of the future”
  • Daily Mail London Tweeted RIOT experience, after a good conversation interacting with the Police

Public Speaking

  • ARS Electronica Artistic Journalism Tour 2021
  • Future of Film Summit (Panelist) 26 Nov London 2019
  • Beyond Conference (Final Keynote Speaker) 19 Nov Edinburgh  2019Screen Forever (Opening Keynote) 12 Nov Melbourne 2019Next Museum (Opening Keynote) 7 Nov NYC 2019
  • Dangerous Futures AI+Bias Cooper Hewitt 1 NYC Nov 2019
  • Sarajevo Unlimited (Keynote) 23-24 Oct Bosnia & Herzegovina 2019
  • CILECT Congress (Keynote)  Moscow 10 Oct 2019
  • AT&T Shape Conference (Opening Keynote) 21-22 June LA 2019
  • NBC Digifest Conference (Closing Keynote)  London 13 June 2019
  • Sheffield International Doc Fest (Closing Keynote) 9 June  2019
  • Next Web Conference (Speaker)  Amsterdam  10 May 2019
  • TomTom Data and AI Summit (Keynote)  8 May Amsterdam 2019
  • INMA Media Conference (Keynote)  25 April Norway 2019
  • Stem Outreach Great Student Debate (Panel)  21 March NYC 2019
  • Vertex (Keynote) 17 Jan Berlin 2019
  • Nederlands Film Festival was keynote speaker and facilitating a storytelling workshop, the title of the event was Our Brave New World, Netherlands (29-30 Sept)
  • Wired for Wonder Festival, Opener speaker for theme was inspiration and wonder, Australia Sydney & Melbourne Wired for Wonder (11-13 Sept) 
  • Expanded Realties symposium  The future of Immersive Storytelling, London (7 Sept) 
  • IFA+Summit Innovative Summit in conjunction with the biggest Technology trade show in the world, Berlin (2nd Sept)  
  • Neuro-Hackathon  keynote speaker, Technology and Neuro Science, London (25 Aug) 
  • XConf  Technology Conference, NY (20 July) 
  • Silbersalz Festival, was keynote speaker, Future, Science & media Festival, Halle Germany (28 June)
  • ThoughtWorks European Technology Summit (23 June)
  • Strategic Storytelling Seminar NYC Lincoln Centre (14 June) 
  • ZKM Keynote speaker, AI Conference,Living amongst Intelligent Machines” Karlsruhe Germany (29 April)
  • MIT Special invited speaker, Sensory Storytelling (3 April)
  • Invited to deliver a talk on RIOT under the theme  Art, Technology & Change, that focuses on the rising political awareness and activism at the intersection of art, technology and social change at CPH:DOX, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival. 2017
  • Invited Creative Speaker at the Google Cultural Institute Lab Paris. For global summit / workshop for exclusive guests to explore Arts and Machine Learning. Consisting of Artists, Cultural Leaders, Google Scientists and Academics / Researchers to discuss machine learning as a tool to aid creativity.2016
  • Invited International Speaker TEDx Australia the Sydney Opera House- ‘Your Brain is a Remote Control’ 2016
  • Invited Speaker Future of Storytelling New YorkWomen in VR Presents: The Importance of Diverse Voices in Emerging Storytelling Technologies. Fellow Panel Speakers were Google and Oculus Story Studio. 2016.
  • Invited Creative Speaker Symposium of New Technologies for Mindfull Awareness and Wellbeing 2016
  • Invited Female New Media Storyteller to Mutek Canada to an international New Tech an Storytelling Female Creative International Think Tank development and talks event.
  • Invited Filmmaker  Bergen International Film Festival. National Documentary Seminar 2016. Can Virtual Reality Change Reality?2016
  • Invited Artist/ Filmmaker  by the British Council to South Africa for Fak’ugesi Festival. Africa’a Innovation Festival. To Speak as part of the Creative Hustle Panel and deliver Creative Consultations to emerging talent and industry experts.2016
  • Invited International Speaker Games for Change Conference New York – Neurogaming Panel 2016
  • Invited speaker at The World Congress of Factual Producers. Speaker on Panel To Boldly Go. To explore new forms of Storytelling. 2016
  • Invited Artist at Festival of the Mind- Panel Speaker Memories in the Digital Age: Project, Project and Preserve-2016
  • Keynote speaker at DiGRA 2015 The World’s leading Academic Digital Games Conference in Germany-2015
  • Karen was a Speaker on Neuroscience in Gaming Panel at Sheffield International Documentary Festival -2015
  • Invited Speaker The Watershed Bristol to discuss How Tech can enhance the Storytelling Experience -2015
  • Invited Speaker, Mentor and Judge of student work Uppsala University Sweden-2015
  • Invited Transmedia Speaker Conducttr Transmedia Conference-2014
  • Guest Speaker on Mindfulness and Digital Media at Second Home East London-2014
  • Karen spoke about my journey to the V&A at the WOW Talks series at the Apple Store Regent Street -2014
  • Presented her work at  Scamp She Says Media Conference -2012
  • Artist Talk at The Flagship Apple Store Regent Street 2012
  • Presented her interactive film The Way at the ICA and BAFTA-2009

Corporate & Creator Workshops Facilitator & Consultations Service

  • Microsoft Storytelling Workshop/ Voyage into AI (Seattle)
  • Vertex Corporate Narrative Workshop (Berlin)
  • ThoughtWorks Mastermind Summit (New Mexico)
  • The Future of Storytelling Festival Summit (Staten Island)
  • Strategic Storytelling Seminar (Columbia University NYC)
  • Neuro-Hackathon  Workshop (London)
  • Immersive Storytelling Workshop (Jamaica)
  • Brave New World Artist Workshop Nederlands Film Festival (Amsterdam)
  • Creatives Workshop & Consultancy Fak’ugesi Festival (South Africa) 
  • Artist Hack Workshop University Engineering & Tech (Lima)
  • Art & Gaming Students Workshop & Mentor Uppsala University (Sweden)
  • Radar Creativo Lima Peru Artist Hack Workshop. One day intensive workshop for  designed for Creatives new to working with technology 2017
  • Rome Capitol Theatre NY State. Creative Direction Company Consultation with the objective of expanding on their current demographic and attracting new audiences through film events and new media initiatives 2017
  • Fak’ugesi Festival South Africa, Creative Consultations with Institutions, Companies, Entrepreneurs, Creatives and Students 2016
  • 2012 London Olympic Cultural Lead: Evolution Workshop 6 week workshop consisting of teaching Filmmaking and Parkour skills. Targeting young inner city youth to encourage engagement in the local community. 2012

Additional clients and commissions include The Cultural lead to the 2012 Olympics, The Arts Council, Parkour Generations, Yogoloji, (Y.E.S.)Yoga Education in Schools, London Designer Outlet, Brent Sports Division,  Stephen King, Future Shorts, Hours Apart Productions, Channel 4, B.E.T, MTV. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Kilburn Public Art.