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.

The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice Reimagined as Sound Sculpture

João Costa’s recent sound installation Adeus reimagines the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice while exploring the flaws of human nature through mechanical means. The piece consists of two metal plates (one brass; one copper) containing musical notation represented by etched dashes. The song is “Valsa de Eurídice” (Eurydice’s Waltz) by Brazilian poet and musician Vinicius de Moraes.

The metal plates are“scanned” by an array of sensors that are attached to two linear actuators, one for each plate. When the system is triggered, both groups of sensors start moving along the plates in sync and play the song. Having reached the end of the plates, the sensors will move backwards and start again. However, since the system is assembled by a human, the array of sensors will slowly begin to move out of sync, altering the overall sound that is played – the assembly is not perfect, mirroring the flaws and entropy inherent to human nature.

The whole auditory mechanism will gradually fall into disorder, but due to the system’s idiosyncrasies, it will recover from that entropy and the sensors will eventually get in sync again, only to launch their descent into chaos. From the moment Orpheus begins his journey back into the mortal world, he is gradually declining into disorder that will culminate with the death of Eurydice. Before this fateful event occurs, however, a liminal space emerges – the moment that precedes his looking back – that Nicolas Bourriaud calls an “interstice.” This small gap in space and time allows for the creation of a domain of exchanges between Orpheus and Eurydice. It is the moment that Orpheus loses beauty, even as he glimpses it, because it is ungraspable (WROE, Ann).

VCU Libraries Presents Digital Pragmata Initiative for Making New Things

VCU Libraries Digital Pragmata

Digital Pragmata is a digital arts and humanities initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University. Its goal is to bring together scholars, students, creators, and everyone interested in seeing the digital arts and humanities flourish, whether in the classroom, the studio, or research. The initiative is run by VCU Libraries in partnership with the Office of Research and Innovation.

Digital pragmata flourish at the nexus of research, teaching, and creativity. They can be textual databases, creative visualizations of information, multimedia explorations, collaboratively annotated maps, and a thousand other projects. How do they fit into a world built on books and scholarly journals? Will these new ways of communicating displace a world made on paper, or will they blend into new forms of scholarly expression that grow from the best of the past? What is truly novel and significant about recent developments in the digital humanities and what are the implications for the humanities in general?

Read more and join the discussion at the Digital Pragmata blog.

Call for Applications for the Digital Solitude Program

As part of the Digital Solitude program, each year Akademie Schloss Solitude will be awarding a total of 24 months of fellowships to two to four people in 2016 and 2017. The fellowship program is intended for journalists, developers/coders, designers, as well as artists and all other creatives and professionals who work on the development of new digital content and formats. There is a special focus on digital projects in journalism, storytelling, art and cultural mediation, and media art.

The next application period for the Digital Solitude fellowships in 2017 starts on May 1 and runs until June 30, 2016.

Young professionals who have an interest in the content of Akademie Schloss Solitude and its interdisciplinary network and are also pursuing independent digital projects can apply for a fellowship. The program will offer them the space and flexibility to develop new ideas and formats, which will be published on or in connection with the online platform Schlosspost, a content focused online platform in English for the Solitude network. The website is simultaneously an online magazine and artist portfolio and is aimed at a global audience of young artists and those interested in the arts. The age limit for applicants is 35. However, some fellowships will be awarded irrespective of the age of the applicant. Students are not eligible.

Fellows of this program are not bound to the standard residency requirement of spending at least two-thirds of their residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude. The fellowship includes a grant of 1,150 Euros a month (plus a one-time grant for travel costs for the journey to and from Stuttgart from the fellow’s primary place of residence) and a combined apartment/studio, where electricity, water, and heating will be provided free of charge.

Please find all further information in the application form, which can be downloaded here.

Schlosspost also awards the micro-grant »Web Residency« (500 USD). We also encourage applicants for the Web Residencies or already awarded Web Residents to apply for the Digital Solitude fellowship program and vice versa.

The Digital Solitude program with its fellowships and the online platform Schlosspost are supported by the State Ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg for Science, Research and the Arts.

The Interactive Architecture Lab on How to Grow a Cyber-Garden

Harnessing the collective intelligence of plant behaviour, the reEarth project at the Interactive Architecture Lab explores new forms of bio-cooperative interaction between people and nature, within the built environment. While plants lack a nervous system, they can, much like animals, become electro-chemically stimulated by their surrounding environment. Through the study of plant electro-physiology, we have wired their primitive ‘intelligence’ into the control-loop of an autonomous robotic ecosystem. Half garden, half machine – a new cybernetic lifeform – Hortum Machina, B, created by William Victor Camilleri and Danilo Sampaio.

Echoing the architecture of Buckminster Fuller, the geodesic sphere, is both exoskeleton and ecological iconography. Its core of twelve garden modules, each carrying native British species on outwardly-extending linear actuators allow the structure to become mobile by shifting its centre-of-gravity. Electro-physiological sensing of the state of individual plants collectively and democratically controls decision-making of the orientation of the structure and its mobility. In the near future context of driverless cars, autonomous flying vehicles, and seemingly endless other forms of intelligent robotics co-habiting our built environment. Hortum machina B is a speculative urban cyber-gardener.

A detailed explanation of the ideas and technology behind the Making of Hortum Machina, B.

Stadsmuziek: Environmental Planning as City Music

Stadsmuziek (City Music) makes you tune in to the ensemble-playing that is environmental planning.

The tall buildings in the city centre have a heavy touch; the low-rise villas to the South create considerably gentler sounds. Akko Goldenbeld has a very personal way of looking at, or rather listening to, the city. He has created a scale model of Eindhoven and assigned it the role of sound recorder; the buildings create the score. Placed on a revolving wooden cylinder the buildings set little hammers in motion that play the keys of a piano. And turning and turning, the city makes its voice heard: from loud to soft, long to short, high-pitched to low, translating the urban developers’ three-dimensional reality into an aural experience.

The method breathtakingly eludes tonal center in the style of early 20th-century composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, and Edgard Varèse.

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