Workshops 2017

Machine Learning for Artists

Francis Tseng & Gene Kogan

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This workshop introduces the theory and application of machine learning for creative and artistic practice. It will focus on core algorithms used for parsing, visualizing, and discovering patterns in complex multimedia data, including images, sounds, and text. We will learn how to use neural networks to create real-time, cross-modal interactions for use in video and installation, as well as live music performance. We will also provide tools and code for clustering, visualizing, and searching through large collections of multimedia.

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

• Intro to machine learning, and a survey of critical issues demonstrating its relevance.
• Science and theory: how neural networks are designed, how they are trained, and what their low-level applications are.
• High-level applications to artistic and creative practice within design, visual art, sound, and physical computing.

A laptop, Mac/Windows/Linux.
Any interactive sensors they wish to bring are welcome, e.g. Kinect, Leap Motion, BrainWave scanner, Myo armband, etc.


*Artists and musicians who use any software should come with it prepared: AbletonLive, AudioUnits, other DAWs, Resolume, VDMX, etc. People with an interest in physical computing may bring Arduinos or other microcontrollers.

Prior coding experience in a text-based (Python, Java/Processing, C++/openFrameworks) or patch-based (Max/MSP, PureData, vvvv) programming environment is helpful but not necessary.

The Art of Teaching

Taeyoon Choi

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This workshop is for artists and creative technologists who are interested in teaching or improve their teaching practice. A good teacher is also a great student themselves. They transform their curiosity into knowledge and share their learning process with others. One can learn to become a better teacher by staying fearless about ‘not knowing’ something, embracing radically open ideas and connecting various expertise and knowledge. Teaching can be a form of artistic and social practice in collaboration with a diverse community. This workshop will introduce new forms of learning spaces such as artist-run schools and activist organizations.

Participants will learn about the history of alternative art schools, artist experiments in and out of academic institutions, Bauhaus, Black Mountain College as well as more recent experiments. The instructor will share his teaching and organizing experience at the School for Poetic Computation. Participants will engage in hands-on workshop and critical discussion about curriculum, syllabus and pedagogy. After the workshop, participants will become knowledgeable about various ways of teaching and create a syllabus of their own.


• Lecture: Introduction to alternative education
• Activity: My learning history (personal mind mapping)
• Lecture: What is curriculum? Artists as educators, performance art work as curriculum
• Activity: Performance workshop
• Lecture: Artists in schools, public institutions, galleries, museums, biennales. Accessibilities and diversity in learning environment.
• Activity: Unlearning workshop

No computer needed. Participants will engage in physical activities: movement and performance activities. If you need assistance or special needs, please let us know.

No technical requirements needed. Instructor will share reading list two weeks prior to workshop.

Wearable EMF Sensing

Afroditi Psarra

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The workshop encompasses the idea of intersecting science and art through e-textiles and wearables, by creating handmade technological artifacts that can sense electromagnetic fields. After a brief presentation of reference projects and technologies that would be used, the participants will experiment with two different circuits. One acts as an amplifier that can pick up LF transmissions and make them audible. And the other, an ATtiny85-based detector, provides sonic, haptic and visual feedback of the picked-up interference. Furthermore, the participants will explore the concept of fractal antennas and will create their custom wearable EMF detectors.

Electromagnetic fields are everywhere and this workshop provides the basic tools for sensing the invisible universe that surrounds us by providing sonic, haptic and visual feedback on our bodies. The wearable detectors that will be produced at the workshop can be used in a number of ways – as an open-source tool to explore the city’s invisible landscape, as an audiovisual performance interface or as a way to collect EMF data that can afterwards be used for further analysis and experiments (e.g. visualisation or signification). Plus, according to Nicolas Collins in his hardware hacking bible Handmade Electronic Music: “If you get far enough from civilisation’s ubiquitous 60/50 Hz hum, you may be able to pick up the Aurora Borealis, “whistlers” induced by meteorites self-immolating as they enter the earth’s atmosphere, the pipping of GPS satellites, or top-secret submarine radio communication.”

SKILL LEVEL: Intro/Intermediate

• Intro to EMFs, fractal antennas, reference projects.
• Intro to the materials that will be used.
• Hands-on prototyping: mounting/soldering textile circuits.
• Programming the ATtiny85.
• Testing the wearable detectors (indoors and outdoors).

Tiny AVR programmer (if you have one)
A piece of clothing you would like to hack.

Arduino (version 1.6.x or higher)
ATtiny boards (version 1.0.1 or 1.0.2) by David A. Mellis – can be installed from the Boards Manager in Arduino.

It will certainly helpful to be familiar with Arduino coding and to have soldering and/or crafting skills. However they are not necessary prerequisites.