Code for Artists Invites to You Try Ideas Using Web Technologies

In a growing number of resources on art and tech education, one really stand out with its statement that creating problems is at least as interesting as solving them.

Code for Artists is a bunch of files created to try out ideas and techniques using various web-related technologies. Some were created to solve specific problems, others just explore what can be done with some bits of code. As this is a website, most of the samples are built around HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP.

Lehigh Valley Hackathon 2014 PhotoBot Code for Artists
Lehigh Valley Hackathon 2014 PhotoBot sample from Code for Artists

Miles DeCoster, Code for Artists creator, tried to put all of the necessary code for a sample in the same document, so if you view source you will find the HTML, CSS and JavaScript, or JQuery code. That does not work so well for PHP so there are generally some code snippets on the page or in a separate file to document the PHP code. PHP, of course, needs to be run through a server to function. Also, some examples require multiple documents due to the nature of the projects.

And there is also WordPress version searchable with categories to explore:

Block’hood Embarks a Story of Ecology in the Form of a Video Game

Block’hood is a neighborhood-building simulator that celebrates the diversity and experimentation of cities. You will have full access to 90+ building blocks to combine and create unique neighborhoods, and discover the hidden inhabitants of each combination. The game will embark in a story of ecology, understanding how resources are needed to unlock new configurations and allow prosperous neighborhoods. You will need to avoid the decay of your city block by making sure each unit doesn’t run out of resources.

Just as Minecraft has inspired kids to become architects, Block’hood is aims to do develop a generation of urban planners.

Consider what Blocks are necessary for your neighborhood to thrive. There are no boundaries of what you can create! Block’hood has a library of 96 blocks currently, and more are being added constantly.

Each Block you create has Inputs and Outputs. For Example, a tree might need water to create oxygen, and a shop might need consumers to create money. By understanding how each block is dependent on other blocks, you can create a productive network. The game has 20+ resources that are specific to every block, so the amount of relations are enormous!

Block'hood game screenshot

Block’hood has been conceptualized as a collectible card game, where each block introduced to the game affects every other, creating new relations and rendering other blocks more beneficial or obsolete.

Created by Jose Sanchez from Plethora-Project Block’hood now available on Steam Early Access:

Brain Music with the World’s First Neural Synthesiser

CellF is the world’s first neural synthesiser created by Guy Ben-Ary. Its “brain” is made of biological neural networks that grow in a Petri dish and controls in real time it’s “body” that is made of an array of analogue modular synthesizers that work in synergy with it and play with human musicians. It is a completely autonomous instrument that consists of a neural network that is bio-engineered from my own cells that control a custom-built synthesizer. There is no programming or computers involved, only biological matter and analogue circuits; a ‘wet-analogue’ instrument.

There is a surprising similarity in the way neural networks and analogue modular synthesizers function, in that for both, voltages are passed through components to produce data or sound. The neural interface we developed juxtaposes these two networks and in a sense creates a continuum that creates one unified network. With CellF, the musician and musical instrument become one entity to create a cybernetic musician, a rock star in a petri dish.

Premiering on October fourth, 2015, in Perth, Western Australia, CellF performed a live set with Tokyo based Australian musician Darren Moore. Sound from Darren’s drums was fed as electrical stimulations into CellF’s neural network which then responded through the modular synthesizers, its ‘body’, to create an improvised post-human sound piece. During the performance there was a clear sense of communication and responsiveness between the 2 musicians.  CellF represents a radical new way to think about what a musical instrument can be and how music can be made.

The development of cellF posed enormous technological challenges. Establishing unique publishable biological protocols for differentiation and electrophysiology, developing a custom made all analogue neural interface that allows interaction with the neurons through simulations, building the biological lab that is embedded into the sculptural object and contains DIY high precision tissue culture incubator and a DIY certified class 2 laminar flow biological safety cabinet to work with human genetic modified material and more…

FutureFest Art Prize: Call for Artists

Nesta and Sedition invite international artists and creatives to submit work to the 2016 FutureFest Art Prize. FutureFest is a weekend festival of radical ideas, compelling talks and interactive experiences designed to inspire people to question and shape the future. The third edition of the festival takes place at Tobacco Dock in London, 17-18 September 2016, and will be programmed around four themes: Love, Play, Thrive and Work.

Blind Robot by Louis Philippe Demers, FutureFest 2015
Blind Robot by Louis Philippe Demers, FutureFest 2015

Submit your digital videos and images through Sedition in response to one of the four programme themes. Twelve works (three for each theme) will be shortlisted and exhibited at the festival. A panel of judges will shortlist the best work for each theme and the final winners will be announced at FutureFest after a live public vote. Winners will receive a £500 cash prize and the opportunity to launch their work on Sedition with promotion to an international audience of art collectors and digital innovators.

Deadline to apply is: midnight GMT, June 10, 2016.

For more information visit

This Controller Lets You to Embrace Embodied Interaction from a Friend

The Controller by artist Diva Helmy features various experiments with The Human to Humans Interface (HHsI), a DIY neuroscience interface produced by neuroscientist Greg Gage. The HHsI allows one individual to wirelessly control the arms of mutiple bodies with their brain signal. Especially interested in intimate interactions between humans, the artist emphasizes our ability the evolution of technological fitness as the device forms a physical network of electrical discharge between humans, one that causes the controlled users to mirror the behavior of the controller.

The device consists of TENS unit nerve stimulators, electrodes, radio frequency modules and custom hardware from the team from Backyard Brains to transfer the brain signal of one person to the ulnar nerves in the arms of several individuals. The first human’s EMG signal (neurological activity in muscle cells) is recorded as they move their arm. The value of the signal activates the nerve stimulators via radio frequency which then sends an electrical sensation through the arms of the controlled bodies forcing them to move based on when the first individual sends a brain signal to move their own arm. All arms move simultaneously based on the brain signal of the first individual, the controller. The film presents a collaboration between the controller and the controlled to perform certain tasks. Controlled users were asked to perform an activity such as writing, playing a harmonica and touching the hands of other users. The objects and the way in which their function and products are affected by the interface serve as evidence of this biological experience in which loss of control causes products such as handwriting to change.

App Goes Art When Art Goes App: AppArtAward 2016

AppArtAward 2015 Photo

After five successful competitions, the 6th AppArtAward is ready to honor apps that represent advanced artistic applications. The ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Cyberforum e.V. and their partners are looking again for the best artworks in app format.

Submitted applications must be run at Apple or Android device. Besides artistic aspects the creative integration as well as the use of options offered by new technologies is important.

AppArtAward 2015 Special Prize Borderlands Granular, a futuristic musical instrument for exploring sound with granular synthesis, a technique that involves the superposition of small fragments of sound, or grains, to create complex, evolving timbres and textures

Application deadline is May 23, 2016.

The award ceremony takes place at ZKM | Karlsruhe, July 15th 2016, at 8 pm.

More information at

Notes on Blindness: A VR Journey Into a World Beyond Sight

Notes On Blindness: Into Darkness is a VR and interactive experience produced by Ex Nihilo, ARTE France, and the French startup AudioGaming, in co-production with Archer’s Mark. It uses new forms of storytelling, gameplay mechanics and VR to explore John’s cognitive and emotional experience of blindness. Each scene addresses a memory, a moment and a specific location from John’s audio diary, using binaural audio and real time 3D animations to create a fully immersive experience in a world ‘beyond sight’.

This interactive experience complements the story world of the feature film, but aims to open up a public discourse about blindness, allowing audiences to understand and ‘feel’ their way into that discussion.

Made with Unity, the experience will be released on Samsung Gear, Cardboard and Oculus for the VR, and on all IOS and Android devices for the 360° version.

Digital Traces I: Meta-Morphologies of St. Petersburg with Lev Manovich

The Science and Technology Studies (STS) Center at European University at St. Petersburg, Russia is announcing a call for participation in a series of three international collaborative summer schools. The first school will take place at European University at St. Petersburg. The second school will be held by Sciences Po Medialab in Paris. The third will take place in a university in New York City (final place will be announced later).

The 2016 summer school will combine lectures by participating faculty and a practical hands-on lab directed by Lev Manovich, professor of Computer Science at the City University of New York, and Damiano Cerrone, Principal Researcher at Michael Sorkin’s TERREFORM CAUR in New York and Associate of the Spatial Ethnography Lab.

Damiano Cerrone SPIN Unit
Instagram pictures nested to the nearest bus station Damiano Cerrone / SPIN Unit: exploring the landscape of the invisible city, using digital traces to unveil, measure and study the meta-morphology of the city of Turku

This workshop explores the landscape of the invisible city, using digital traces to unveil, measure and study the meta-morphology of the city. Participants will a use large dataset of location-based social media from Instagram and open source GIS software. They will also physically observe selected locations and compare their findings with the patterns revealed by analysis of Instagram images. In particular we will study the relation between urban amenities – such as retail, food establishments, and other services – and the image of place to gain a new understanding of the invisible relations between social practices and urban space.

Lev Manovich PHOTOTRAILS Project
34,993 photos from Brooklyn during hurricane Sandy sorted by time and hue Lev Manovich / PHOTOTRAILS Project

The cities of St. Petersburg, Paris, and New York share many commonalities: they have a strong cultural presence, draw large tourist populations, host some of the greatest museums, restaurants, music and theater venues in the world, and are considered both iconic and atypical in their respective countries. They also create unique practices, interactions, subcultures, and spatial logics that are not always visible to the naked eye. Combining the use of computational methods and qualitative social science research, the series of summer schools will investigate the digital traces of human activities in their respective host cities.

Participants will learn the basics of digital mapping and analysis using open source and social media data. The main dataset used in the lab is over 400,000 Instagram images shared in St. Petersburg during 07/2014 – 06/2015.

Application deadline: June 1, 2016. More information on application

School of Noise: Experimental Music and Science of Sound for Children

A new series of workshops for children exploring experimental music start on May 14, 2016 at Chats Palace Arts Centre in London. Using a wide variety of analogue and digital equipment their activities include sculpting sounds using small modular synthesizers, composing original experimental sound art, circuit bending, field recording, coding and programming, building cardboard record players, conducting orchestras of fruit and vegetables, creating and recording Foley sounds, preparing pianos, sound walks, learning about acoustic ecology plus more.

The children will work towards a performance at Chats Palace on the 9th July where they will showcase the work created, but if a child doesn’t want to take part in the showcase that’s also absolutely fine.

School of Noise Workshop Twitter

The School of Noise runs workshops for young people and adults encouraging the exploration of noise, sound and music. Their aim is to provide creative and imaginative activities using sound in accessible, fun and educational ways.

A Festival of Music Ideas MusicTechFest Comes to Berlin


In the last week of May 2016, the legendary Funkhaus in Berlin will turn into a giant creative laboratory – a labyrinth of rooms and corridors filled with curious experiments that fuse musical performance and cutting edge technologies. MusicTechFest, a giant creative laboratory and global festival of music ideas, will once again bring the entire music technology ecosystem together under one roof: artists and scientists; academia and industry; makers, inventors, performers, composers and visionaries, everyone to create strange machines, amazing mixtures, incredible experiences and transhuman wonders. With experiments in mindreading controllers, interactive performances, microbiology synthesisers, bionic extensions and junkyard robotics – the laboratory of #MTFBerlin will become a place to explore, discover, and get involved.

Yes, between May 23 and May 30, 2016 you will get the chance to work with some of the greatest artists, developers, innovators and designers, to build performances for the main stage. You will get to improvise and jam, compose, make, collaborate and hack. At the MusicTechFest everyone operates on the same plane, including some of the legends of electronic music.

Get tickets at MusicTechFest events are also streamed live online, and videos of individual presentations are made available on YouTube.

Exhibit Your Audio-Visual Works at is a web space to exhibit exciting new works by audio-visual artists. The site is a meeting point for growing community of artists and general audience. In addition to the exhibition of audio-visual projects, the site contains areas for artists interviews, links to resources, and texts by contributing writers about interactive arts, audio-visual synthesis, generative art, and a history of interactivity.

Soundtoys API provides open tools for artists and developers to interact with our content. You can write your own interfaces to the work, re-curate the works and reference the work in many different ways. Soundtoys collection is always open for new submissions of interactive, audio-visual art. If you would like to contribute some of your work, please follow this link.

The Future of Creative Education and How to Get It Started Today

Kadenze, a MOOC platform optimized for arts education, brings together educators, artists, and engineers from leading universities across the globe to provide a world-class education in the fields of art and creative technology. Its name is the derived from the western musical term, cadenza, which means an opportunity for artists to test their skills, their creativity, and their imaginations through improvisation.

In a global classroom one can collaborate with your peers, showcase his work, and learn on his own schedule with easy-to-use interactive virtual learning environment.

Would you like to enroll? The Nature of Code course by Daniel Shiffman opens May 4, 2016 and will teach you physics simulation, trigonometry, fractals, cellular automata, self-organization, and genetic algorithms with a focus on object oriented programming using the p5.js.

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