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Artist working with computation as a medium, exploring collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion. Doing PhD at Goldsmiths UoL in artificial intelligence / machine learning and expressive human-machine interaction, exploring collaborative co-creativity between humans and machines.


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Statement

(actually more of a work-in-progress brain dump than a statement, but you get the idea)

My practise has traditionally been inspired by nature: the nature of the universe (physics), the nature of life (biology, abiogenesis, evolution), the nature of the mind (neuroscience, psychology, philosophy), and the nature of our lives (sociology, anthropology, religion). I study the hidden processes that shape our world, and develop systems that abstract behaviour hoping to create unfamiliar familiarities and encourage new perceptions.

Alongside my practice, I’m working towards a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, or to be more precise: Deep Learning, and expressive human-machine interaction. While the PhD is a technical one (Computer Science), I’m equally (if not more) interested in the cultural, social, ethical, legal, philosophical and religious implications of the recent – and future – developments of AI.

These days I’m mostly thinking about machine learning algorithms as a means to reflect on ourselves and how we make sense of the world; what (and who) we choose to value and why; our own self-affirming cognitive biases and prejudices; our inability to see the world from others’ point of view and empathise with those that we disagree with; and the resulting social polarisation and gaping wounds in our societies.

 

 


Bio (354 words)

Memo Akten is an artist from Istanbul, based in London, UK. His work explores the collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion. Combining critical and conceptual approaches with investigations into form, movement and sound he creates data dramatizations of natural and anthropogenic processes. He studies and works with complex systems, behaviour, algorithms and software; and collaborates across many disciplines spanning video, sound, light, dance, software, online works, installations and performances. Alongside his practice, he is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in artificial intelligence and expressive human-machine interaction, exploring collaborative co-creativity between humans and machines. Fascinated by trying to understand the world and human nature, he draws inspiration from fields such as quantum mechanics, astrophysics, molecular & evolutionary biology, ecology, abiogenesis, neuroscience, anthropology, sociology and philosophy.

Akten received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in 2013 for his collaboration with Quayola, ‘Forms’. Since 2009 his works ‘Body Paint’ and ‘Gold’ have toured with the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Decode’ exhibition. In 2014 his work as Marshmallow Laser Feast ‘Laser Forest’ was part of the Barbican’s ‘Digital Revolutions’ exhibition. Other exhibitions and performances include Royal Opera House (London UK), Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow RU), La Gaîté lyrique (Paris FR), Holon Museum (Tel Aviv IL), EYE Film Institute (Amsterdam NL), STRP Biennial (Eindhoven NL), FILE Festival (Sao Paolo, Rio, BR) and Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Lisbon PT). His work has also been featured in books, academic papers, magazines and websites such as Wallpaper*, Dazed, Eye magazine, Guardian, BBC, Financial Times, Wired and Dezeen.

Akten is a strong supporter of open-source software and many of his open-source tools and libraries are used globally. He is one of the core contributors to the openFrameworks project, and he gives lectures and workshops around the world. In 2007 he founded The Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company (MSA Visuals), a creative studio spanning art and technology. In 2011, with two new partners this evolved into Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). In 2014, after a string of hugely successful, influential and large scale projects, Memo left MLF to focus on personal work, collaborations and research.


Bio (179)

Memo Akten is an artist from Istanbul, based in London, UK. His work explores the collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion. Combining critical and conceptual approaches with investigations into form, movement and sound he creates data dramatizations of natural and anthropogenic processes. He studies and works with complex systems, behaviour, algorithms and software; and collaborates across many disciplines spanning video, sound, light, dance, software, online works, installations and performances. Alongside his practice, he is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in artificial intelligence and expressive human-machine interaction, exploring collaborative co-creativity between humans and machines.

Akten received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in 2013 for his collaboration with Quayola, ‘Forms’. Past exhibitions and performances include the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Royal Opera House, London; Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; La Gaîté lyrique, Paris; Holon Design Museum, Israel and the EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam. His work has also been featured in books, academic papers, magazines and websites such as Wallpaper*, Dazed, Eye magazine, Guardian, BBC, Financial Times, Wired and Dezeen.


Bio (97 words)

Memo Akten is an artist working with computation as a medium, exploring the collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion. Combining critical and conceptual approaches with investigations into form, movement and sound, he creates data dramatizations of natural and anthropogenic processes. Alongside his practice, he is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in artificial intelligence and expressive human-machine interaction. His work has been shown and performed internationally, featured in books and academic papers; and in 2013 Akten received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for his collaboration with Quayola, ‘Forms’.