2024 CIRCA-IMET Artist-In-Residence: Eric Millikin

Visual Arts Professor Eric Millikin was awarded the 2024 CIRCA-IMET Artist-in-Residence Fellowship to pursue his project “Mecha/Magical Marine Materials.” Millikin plans to create a series of wearable animated robotic sculptures from marine bio materials. These are likely to be grown from such materials as barnacles and marine microorganisms. The sculptures will likely include exoskeleton parts to be worn for live animated performances by humans and robots, and sculptural VR headsets for viewing 360-degree videos based on these performances. They will be designed with the aid of artificial intelligence, with their facial features based on things like marine climate data.

His previous wearable bio art sculptures include masks and VR headsets made from mushrooms and their root-like mycelium, from vegan leather made from microbes, and from 3D-printed corn-based bioplastics. His robotic art installations include an autonomous video-projecting land rover.


Eric Millikin is an American artist based in Baltimore, Maryland, (previously in Detroit, Michigan, and Richmond, Virginia) exploring the intersections of advanced technology, American society, dark humor, and occult practices. He comes from a working-class family, growing up in a mobile home in the woods of rural Michigan. Millikin is a first-generation college student and a National Merit Scholar who earned his BFA from Michigan State University and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. His artwork has been featured in WIRED, USA Today, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and The New York Times, and included in recent exhibitions and screenings at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh, Charles University in Prague, and the Festival and Congress Centre in Varna, Bulgaria. Millikin has recently been awarded international residencies at Cow House Studios in County Wexford, Ireland, the Ayatana Biophilium Artists’ Research Program “Symbiosis,” hosted from Ottawa, Canada, and the virtual reality residency “Artist is Absent” hosted by Nazar Voitovich Art Residence (NVAIR) from Travneve, Ukraine as the Russian military invaded.