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ISEA2015: The 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art

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Friday, August 14


T00 Hacking the Knitting Machine

Textiles are the original digital medium. After all, the Luddites were named for artisans that protested against the mechanization of textile production in 17th century England. Unlike their predecessors, today’s Luddites are associated with a distaste for the virtuality of modern devices. However, with the arrival of the Internet of Things, ushered in by affordable 3D printing, it’s becoming clear that the technologist need not choose between digital and actual. Machine knitting is a great example of this overlap.

Taylor Hokanson and Dieter Kirkwood will demonstrate a useful modification, originally exploited by Davi Post and Becky Stern, to the Brother KH-930e knitting machine. These devices were originally released in the 1980s, so they are available relatively inexpensively on sites like eBay. The KH-930e features an early digital input capability, meaning that users could purchase patterns to communicate to the device via floppy disk. Hokanson and Kirkwood will demonstrate how to spoof this connection, upload custom patterns, and “print” them into actual knit shapes.

avatar for Taylor Hokanson

Taylor Hokanson

Assistant Professor, Columbia College Chicago
Talk to me about Art/Design, Computer-Aided Manufacturing and Fabrication, Open Source Software/Hardware, Distributed Authorship, Making/Hacking, New Media, and post-Bauhaus arts education... and knitting.
avatar for Dieter Kirkwood

Dieter Kirkwood

Assistant Professor, Columbia College Chicago
Fashion, Design, Patternmaking, Collaboration, and The Intersection of Craft and Technology

Friday August 14, 2015 9:30am - 5:30pm
Room 4945 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)


T01 Musical Metacreation
You need this ticket from Eventbrite to sign up: ISEA Registrants.
As regular music software adopts generative, autonomous and interactive capabilities, and an increasing number of practitioners involve metacreative processes in their work, musical metacreation has matured from an exploratory field to a more focused and applied one in which usability is a core issue. This tutorial will develop the core themes of musical metacreation in light of contemporary issues of system design from the perspective of creative practitioner, commercial developer and interacting musician. A particular focus will be on emerging applications of MuMe technology.
We propose to run an introductory tutorial on a range of MuMe topics that will introduce electronic art researchers and students to current issues in the field, and lead on to a structured discussion of current MuMe research questions, particularly those that exhibit a strong overlap with ISEA themes.
We also propose a series of three curated concerts featuring MuMe systems. We will  make available a collection of video and audio documentation of additional MuMe systems. The creators of some of these works will then contribute to the MuMe presentations during the tutorial.

avatar for Oliver Bown

Oliver Bown

Senior Lecturer, UNSW Faculty of Art & Design, Interactive Media Lab
I am a researcher and maker working with creative technologies. I come from a highly diverse academic background spanning social anthropology, evolutionary and adaptive systems, music informatics and interaction design, with a parallel career in electronic music and digital art spanning... Read More →
avatar for Arne Eigenfeldt

Arne Eigenfeldt

Professor, Music and Technology, Simon Fraser University|Vancouver|BC|Canada
Arne Eigenfeldt is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music, and is an active software designer. His music has been performed throughout the world, and his research in intelligent music systems has been published and presented in international conferences. He teaches music... Read More →
avatar for Philippe Pasquier

Philippe Pasquier

ISEA2015 Symposium Director, Associate Professor, Scool of Interactive Arts + Technology
Dr. Philippe Pasquier is Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology. He is both a recognized scientist and a multi-disciplinary artist. His contributions range from theoretical research in artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems... Read More →

Friday August 14, 2015 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Room 3420 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)
Saturday, August 15


T06 Introduction to Live Coding OpenGL Shaders
Live-Coding is a growing field of performance in Europe and North America. In both continents the primary focus of live-coding is audio. This tutorial will be an introduction/crash course into using OpenGL Fragment Shaders for live-coding graphics. We will be using a toolkit designed around WebGL and run in Google Chrome. The contents of the tutorial will be: a brief explanation of the tool, how it’s constructed, and how it works; a brief explanation of which parts of OpenGL will be used, how it works, and some basic functionalities; some simple hands-on coding examples; finally, adding in an audio source with some hands-on examples for some live-coding experience. Any programming experience is helpful but not necessary.

Please, bring your personal laptop! 


Saturday August 15, 2015 9:30am - 1:00pm
Room 2345 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)


T02 Constructing Microbial Fuel Cells, Mobile Bioenergy Lab
Mobile Bioenergy Lab (MBL) consists of a trailer-mounted mobile community research laboratory that invites citizens to explore the creative use of bioenergy technologies. MBL will be exhibited in ISEA 2015. This hands-on tutorial will introduce participants to the construction of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC) with easily attainable materials and organic matter, such as kitchen waste.
As we create MFCs, we will also lead participants through different forms of techno-microbial interactions. Through a combination of facilitation and open-ended studio, we will explore diverse topics such as microscopy, chemical sensation and sonification as means of establishing interactive projects involving microbial life. The tutorial outcomes will be used as a starting point for subsequent community-based tutorials and demonstrations at the MBL site on False Creek during ISEA2015.

avatar for Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes

Instructor I, University of British Columbia
avatar for Tyler Fox

Tyler Fox

Studio Director, IMD, University of Washington | Bothell
Tyler Fox is an artist, researcher and educator interested in posthumanism, relational ontology, process philosophy, assemblage, nonhumans, emergence, technology…and more. His work focuses on creating shared experiences between humans and nonhumans. He received his PhD from the... Read More →

Saturday August 15, 2015 9:30am - 5:30pm
Room 4390 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)


T03 Lab@Lab: Media Lab Networks Disrupting the Politics and Economics of Digital Cultures
 “Lab@Lab: media lab networks disrupting the politics and economics of digital cultures” is a full-day unconference event around the theme of networking between media labs. Inspired by the experience of the organizers of LabàLab, a series of networking events between Quebec-based media labs, Lab@Lab will be an opportunity for representatives of North American media labs, artists, theorists, cultural workers, curators, and researchers to develop common tactics of solidarity, exchange, mutual aid, and networked collaboration in a context of increasing political austerity and economic uncertainty. Adopting the unconference format, organisers and participants will establish the groundwork for a North America wide network of media labs: a vibrant ecology of artist-run centres, university labs, hackerspaces, fablabs, artist collectives, and more. Through a horizontal, transversal approach, inevitably, a diversity of voices will emerge. Together, by sharing our common experiences and practices, we can take a collective, unified stand against the market economy logic driving contemporary digital cultural production and dissemination.

avatar for Eliane Ellbogen

Eliane Ellbogen

Artistic Director, Eastern Bloc
Eliane Ellbogen is the co-founder and artistic director of Eastern Bloc, an exhibition and production centre for the digital arts established in 2007. She completed her studies in Art History at McGill University and has since focused her curatorial practice in the fields of networked... Read More →
avatar for Isabelle L'Italien

Isabelle L'Italien

Executive Director, CQAM
Her passion for video and independent film was sealed with her participation in the Vidéo Femmes creation labs. She began her career at Spirafilm, working as a communications assistant in addition to writing and directing two short films. She was also involved in a number of independent... Read More →
avatar for Alexandre Quessy

Alexandre Quessy

New Media Art Consultant, Source Libre / Conseil québécois des arts médiatiques CQAM
Alexandre Quessy is a Montreal-based artist and software developer. He is much involved in creating and teaching free software for arts. He is the main author of the Toonloop live animation software, and one of the authors of MapMap, a free video mapping tool. His interests range... Read More →

Saturday August 15, 2015 9:30am - 5:30pm
Room 4945 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)


T04 Currency Concept Design – Warhols: A Currency Based on Obscurity & Fame

In this workshop, the participants will learn how different goals (ecological, social, geographical, etc..) can be translated into currency design. They will then create several versions of the Warhols currency, each with different characteristics depending on the goals they decide to aim for. The Warhols will be fictional currencies inspired on the inverse of fame, representing obscurity as something valuable.

To get acquainted with various currency designs and how these influence the way money is used, we will play a board game that draws inspiration from real historical examples of alternative currencies from the past and present (when we mention design, this doesn’t refer to the visual look of the currency, but to the rules and mechanisms by which it is created, given value and exchanged in the economy).

The idea is to test the Warhols currency by setting up a special marketplace during ISEA. The conference attendants are entitled to receive an amount of different versions of Warhols and can use them to buy and exchange items in this market. The performance of each currency version will be then measured and displayed in real-time graphs.

avatar for Lenara Verle

Lenara Verle

Lenara Verle researches media art, collaboration and alternative currencies. She's a PhD candidate at Frankfurt University in Germany and a lecturer at Unisinos University in Brazil. Her latest projects and artworks can be found at www.lenara.com

Saturday August 15, 2015 9:30am - 5:30pm
Room 4320 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)


T05 I-CubeX Sensor Integration with M+M and Creative Coding Platforms
In this tutorial, we present the integration of I-CubeX sensors with popular creative coding platforms such as openFrameworks, as well as the integration with the Movement+Meaning (M+M) middleware. In the first half of the tutorial, we introduce the I-CubeX sensor family as well as M+M, provide quick demonstrations followed by a hands-on session of connecting to and integrating with various kinds of sensor data. In the second half of the tutorial we combine use of creative coding platforms with the tools and techniques learnt earlier to build a small interactive application, followed by a showcase of the results.


Axel Mulder

President, Infusion Systems
May I-CubeX you ?

Johnty Wang

Input Devices and Music Interaction Lab, McGill University|Montreal|QC|Canada
PhD student from the Input Devices and Musical Interactions Laboratory, McGill University and software developer at Infusion Systems. Research on sensors and gesture mapping for new musical instruments, software systems and HCI

Saturday August 15, 2015 9:30am - 5:30pm
Studio T, Room 2240 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)


T07 The SoundWalk as Art Form


The Soundwalk as an Art Form presents an overview of the history of the participatory walk as an art form, including the soundwalk and its key concepts and development at Simon Fraser University, while providing a theoretical tool box for creating ones own soundwalk as a transformative art experience. When leading a soundwalk we are combining the perceiver and the perceived, the participant and observer in an improvisatory way in the physical environment. Soundwalks may disrupt a once familiar sense of place, and instead guide us on a path created by our ears rather than by the imposed visual cues of the urban environment. Sound artist, Andrea Williams, will lead a brief half-hour soundwalk around the still controversial Woodward Building to provide one of many examples of how one might begin to work within a community to create one’s own soundwalk. Following the walk, there will be an hour of break-out groups for discussion.

avatar for Andrea Williams

Andrea Williams

Ph.D. Candidate, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
soundwalks, environmental psychology, all things sound, teaching

Saturday August 15, 2015 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Room 2345 Simon Fraser University (Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada)