About

I am an anti-disciplinarian who works across a number of areas, like programming, games design, ethnography, ethics, user experience and HCI, and applied cognition. Mostly, I’m a creative thinker who enjoys new and meaningful challenges. I have worked primarily in education for the last 16 years, but I am always interested in new opportunities and projects outside academia, time-permitting.

Experience with “new” technologies

As a freelance developer and practicing digital artist for over 20 years, I’ve worked on a number of interactive experiences, both self-initiated and for other artists and companies. I use all kinds of technologies and programming languages — physical computing and electronics (Arduino and other platforms), JavaScript, Java, C/C++, Python, and some lisp-based languages like Scheme and Clojure (barely!) when I get the chance.

I have to support the never-ending curiosity of my post-graduate and undergraduate students, so I am least familiar with whatever is new and shiny: AI art, ML,VR, game engines like Unreal and Unity, bio-sensing, and even biodesign.

Interactive experiences

I’ve worked with interactive sensing technologies for the past 20 years to build installations, interactive movies, games, and live performance tools.

In 2005 I co-developed what might have been one of the first “interactive movies” called Year of the Motorcycle. This system used OpenCV, JacaScript, and MaxMSP/Jitter to track audience participants’ movements and influence the abstract narrative of a film as part of an installation at the Progressive Art Collection in Mayfair, Ohio. Later on, in 2010, I was an early adopted of ArtToolkitPlus on OpenFrameworks and LibCinder (C++) and developed one of the first AR plugins for LibCinder. Using AR, and tools such as the Kinect sensor, I helped the creative studio SDNA.tv create a few AR experiences to make people dance using bespoke-animated “puppets”, with an accompanying iPhone app prototype.

I also developed a framework for 3D projection mapping in Processing (now defunct) around 2010-12, and taught workshops to artists and designers around the same time.

Fine art

In the past, I’ve notably collaborated with the artist Robert Whitman on a series of video sculptures and projections showcased in New York City gallery Pace-Wildenstein, and also at DIA. I’ve created music videos, concert visual and more for various artists and with visualist Marcus Lyall (1/2 of the visuals team for the Chemical Brothers, as well as with Metallica, The Eagles, Bon Jovi).   I also worked with Marcus on a projection mapped choral instrument called “Pitch Control” using video clips of amateur singers. Most recently I did some work last year on interactive cruise ship experiences for guests using the Kinect, again with SDNA.

In 2012 I led artistic explorations of robotic and emergent behaviour with a grant from the London-based arts charity SPACE Studios. In 2014-15 I displayed my computational 3D printed sculptures at Bournemouth’s Museum of Plastics Design, EVA London, Ravensbourne and then some newer computational 3D printed work at the Expressive ’19 exhibition in Genoa, Italy, at EuroGraphics 2019. I showed some further explorations on generative sculpture at the 2019 London Design Festival as part of the Design for Change pavilion, which will be included in a future book on the topic.

Since 2014 I have been working towards a PhD in Arts and Computational Technology at Goldsmiths, supervised by Profs. Mick Grierson and Rebecca Fiebrink (both now at UAL). This involved research into augmented manufacturing (3D printing) using new computational tools such as developing a new interactive programming and livecoding system for Interactive 3D printing. the system, LivePrinter, allows people to control 3D printers with code to experiment and make things that were previously impossible.  It has taken about 2 years to develop and over 70,000 lines of asynchronous JavaScript, Python, and GCode.

Speculative writing and game design

More recently, I’ve designed the graphics, packaging and content for a speculative fiction novel/card game called Peek which debuted in original form at the V&A Digital Weekend 2018 and has since been played at events in San Francisco, New York, Switzerland and London. This grew out of experiments in games and teaching that I trialed in class over the years. You can buy it now!

Teaching and project planning

I have a depth of experience teaching, developing and managing taught programmes across undergraduate, post-graduate and foreign student cohorts. I ran or partially-managed programmes in Product Design, Interaction Design, Video Games and Video Art. Currently I am running the physical computing curriculum at Goldsmiths and developing online courses at both Goldsmiths and with SIA, a Chinese educational institution validated by Pearson. Course planning and writing is a transferrable skill towards spec and proposal writing. It involves a similar style of describing project intentions as well as laying out some firm boundaries in a readable format.

From 2016-18 I was Year 1 Tutor for the flagship MA Design Products and Design Interactions at the RCA. This was a large programme with a diverse body of demanding, world-class students who needed help with portfolios and mentoring in their creative development. I developed assignment briefs and worked with industry towards partnership projects.

In other roles I managed budgeting and equipment purchasing, as well as hiring, timetabling and paying staff and student recruitment.  That sometimes meant directly managing more than 18 members of staff across 3 courses (at one point) and around 90 undergraduate students. With experienced, talented, and often specialist staff, I had to be a respectful listener as well as decision-maker. I appreciated the chance to learn from my colleagues and encouraged them to think and work independently within the frameworks set out by the course documents and the Quality department.

Communications

I have excellent communication skills in a range of situations, not only in my daily teaching but also in print works and public speaking. I have written peer-reviewed articles, been quoted in print in the Guardian and New York Times, taught and practiced marketing, been active on Twitter and spoken at several public events from small festivals to large TEDx international audiences. Notably, I spoke about Art & Technology in teaching at TEDx Kids in 2011 to a worldwide audience from Brussels, and more recently gave talks in China at SIA, a Chinese university accredited by Pearson, across 3 major cities and spoke about my augmented manufacturing practice at the Open Source Hardware Association conference at MIT in 2018. This year I presented work on livecoding instruments at a New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) conference workshop, wrote about Speculative Game Design and will be giving a workshop in that topic at the Reclaim Futures conference on 18 September to give a few examples.

Areas of of Interest

  • Computer programming and education (especially games and web media)
  • DIY hardware and the hacker ethos
  • Creative collective conscious in the modern age
  • Open source art and culture
  • Using software to create art
  • Crowd sourcing in modern art
  • Alternative days out, summer festival features and contemporary art
  • Live performance using digital tools