xCoAx 2017 logo xCoAx 2017

5th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X


Wednesday, July 5
14:00 FBAUL
Room 411
Doctoral Symposium Chairs: Frieder Nake & Philip Galanter
Wednesday, July 5
20:00 MNAC
Exhibitions Opening, Performances, Opening Cocktail
  • Performances by Victoria Bradbury, and Daniel Temkin.
July 6 & 7
18:00 MNAC
Guest Artists Exhibition
  • Frieder Nake
  • Philip Galanter
  • Olia Lialina
  • Penousal Machado
  • Open until July 23
MNAC Exhibition
FBAUL Room 415
Thursday, July 6
9:00 FBAUL Registration and Accreditation
9:45 FBAUL Opening Session
10:00 FBAUL Paper Session 1
11:15 Coffee Break
11:45 FBAUL Paper Session 2
13:00 Free Time for Lunch
14:30 FBAUL Paper Session 3
15:45 Coffee Break
16:15 FBAUL Paper Session 4
17:30 Break
18:00 FBAUL Keynote
19:30 Free time
21:30 ZDB Performances
Friday, July 7
10:00 FBAUL Paper Session 5
11:30 Coffee Break
12:00 FBAUL Performance Presentations
  • Christian Faubel
  • Ephraim Wegner and Daniel Bisig
  • Heitor Alvelos, Rui Penha and Anselmo Canha
  • Joana Chicau
  • Ricardo Climent
  • Vitor Joaquim
  • Kosmas Giannoutakis
12:45 FBAUL Room 001 Performance
13:30 Free Time for Lunch
14:30 FBAUL Library Presentation
15:00 FBAUL Artwork Presentations
  • Adriana Moreno Rangel
  • André Rangel
  • Arne Eigenfeldt and Simon Lysander Overstall
  • Bernd Schurer and Titus von der Malsburg
  • Catarina Lee
  • Coralie Gourguechon, Monica Lanaro, Angelo Semeraro and Isaac Vallentin / Fabrica
  • Daniel Temkin
  • Enrique Encinas, James Auger and Julian Hanna
  • Hanns Holger Rutz and David Pirrò
  • Mario Verdicchio and Vittorio Paris
  • Monty Adkins, Chara Lewis, Kristin Mojsiewicz and Anneke Pettican
  • Nuno Cabrita
  • Quinzequinze
  • Sam Baron, Monica Lanaro and Angelo Semeraro / Fabrica
  • Simone Ashby, Julian Hanna and Ricardo Rodrigues
  • Susana Sanches
  • Tiago Rorke
  • Victoria Bradbury
18:00 FBAUL Keynote
19:30 Free time
20:30 Casa do Alentejo Conference Dinner
23:55 49 Closing Party
  • Sininho


Portrait of Olia Lialina

Olia Lialina Give Me Time!

“I am new here, give me some time!” is a note I frequently see on GeoCities web pages stored in the One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age archive. The fact the pages are dead, that people who wrote or copy/pasted code for their future home in cyberspace and never came back to it — turns this joyful promise into a cry. It could be the title of a drama generations of computer users are performing on a stage set for them by hardware, software and providers of online services.

My talk will be about time as currency in “man-computer symbiosis”, time as an enemy of new media; and of course about computer users who took their time to build the World Wide Web.

Portrait of Penousal Machado

Penousal Machado Survival of the Beautiful

Twenty five years have passed since Karl Sims proposed the use of artificial evolution techniques to evolve computer graphics. Since then Evolutionary Computation has been applied to many fields of Art, Music and Design. In this presentation we will overview how these techniques have and are being used to create different types of content. We will then focus on an open problem in evolutionary art — fitness assignment — analyzing it from the perspective of the interplay between the evolutionary system and the user. More specifically, we will discuss how Machine Learning and HCI techniques can be combined to create systems that allow the users to express their artistic or aesthetic intentions.


Ana Rodrigues Design for Engagement: The Case for Material User Interfaces

Under the theme Radical Atoms, the 2016 edition of Ars Electronica Festival referenced the MIT’s Tangible Media Group research project to present a strong focus on new materials, which owe to the fast development of nanotechnologies in recent years. The present paper proposes to further discuss the Radical Atoms vision and the relevance of the Ars Electronica curatorial intent. By highlighting the possibilities opened by material user interfaces, the exhibit opens debate on the relation between materiality and information in the design of engaging experiences of technological artifacts.

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Marcel Hebing, Larissa Wunderlich and Julia Ebert Rethinking Academic Publications: Developing an Open-source Framework for a Multi-layer Narrative in Online Publishing

The internet has fundamentally changed the way researchers work and collaborate, but has had less impact on the way they publish their results. In this paper, we ask how scientific reports should be designed with the internet as the primary distribution channel in mind. We propose a concept for a multi-layer design, which is capable of including both interactive elements and a comprehensive data-layer. For the implementation, we suggest working with an output-independent format and a modular compiler to generate various output formats, most of all, HTML and PDF. The HTML-version utilizes modern web standards like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. This enables us, for example, to include interactive visualizations, raw datasets, or syntax files directly into a publication. The redesign also raises more general questions of how articles are used to facilitate scientific communication, concerning, for example, the way we cite previous work or the concept of scientific authorship in general.

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Brad Tober Toward a Dynamic-Data-Visualization-Based Model for Building and Strengthening Communities

Through the contextualization of social media, emergent asynchronous dialogues, and the role of design / the designer, this position paper aims to establish both an argument and a foundation for a response to the identification of a contemporary breakdown in—and need for improved approaches to—communication and understanding among the diverse members of a greater community. Accordingly, this response takes the form of a working model that incorporates the use of interactive and dynamic data visualization to build and strengthen communities.

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Cláudia Ribeiro and Vito Evola Visualization Techniques as Methodological Tools for Dance Research

Dance Research is a term that refers to the methods and methodological approaches used in dance studies, a relatively new academic discipline. In this paper, we describe how visualization techniques can be used to help the dance researcher visualize in a more intuitive manner the concepts underlying a choreographer’s work. We describe tools developed for and used by researchers interested in improvisation and dance research, and we provide practical examples of how they were used to analyze choreographer João Fiadeiro’s Real Time Composition Method.

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Pinelopi Papadimitraki When Code Met Space: Mapping a Common Ground in Flux

In the last decades, the rapid developments of media and communication networks have made a decisive impact on the production of space. On the other way around, architecture is considered to be the foundation on which pervasive computing technologies, cyberspaces and virtual realities rest. While software is mediating a great deal of our spatial practices, we find ourselves living, working, roaming, experiencing and interacting in the common ground of code and space. This essay will argue that software and networks infuse space with temporal qualities and that this may be another effect of the contemporary space-time collision. It will also attempt to map the ways in which code enhances the mediality of space by adding successive layers of meaning and vise-versa. Cedric Price famously argued that the best solution to a spatial problem is not necessarily a building, but the question is still pending – could it then be code?

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Rodrigo Hernández-Ramírez Technologies of the Self: How Are Digital Tools Affecting Human Ontologies?

In a 1988 essay, Michel Foucault offered a historical overview of various ‘operations’ used since classical antiquity and through Christendom by individuals hoping to transform their bodies and minds to enhance their existence. He dubbed these practices ‘technologies of the self’. Three decades later, as Information and Communication Technologies have grown in complexity and power, and our relations with them become more intimate, it is inevitable to ask whether and how they are affecting human self-understanding. This paper compares two approaches that address the former question by re-interpreting and expanding Foucault’s concept; one is framed by postphenomenology and media theory, the other stems from an informational (constructionist) view. The two interpretations have points in common, but their analyses arrive at fundamentally distinct conclusions. While the former argues digital simulations are merely expanding and fragmenting but not radically altering human ontologies, the latter shows ICTs are deeply transforming how humans present themselves to themselves.

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Miguel Carvalhais On Emptiness (or, On Finishing with a Blank Canvas)

Starting from a review of monochromatic art, minimalism, and conceptualism, this paper attempts to understand the significance of these approaches to processor-based arts, looking at a dominant strategy in these works, the deployment of destructive processes. The paper then studies a series of recent works by Austrian software artist Lia, that are closer to the roots of monochromatic painting, suprematism, and constructivism, and are based in a deeply procedural and conceptual approach that we describe as a constructive process.

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Daniel Temkin Unusable for Programming

Esolangs are programming languages designed for non-practical purposes, often as experiments, parodies, or experiential art pieces. A common goal of esolangs is to achieve Turing Completeness: the capability of implementing algorithms of any complexity. They just go about getting to Turing Completeness with an unusual and impractical set of commands, or unexpected ways of representing code. However, there is a much smaller class of esolangs that are entirely “Unusable for Programming.” These languages explore the very boundary of what a programming language is; producing unstable programs, or for which no programs can be written at all. This is a look at such languages and how they function (or fail to).

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António Araújo Cardboarding Mixed Reality with Dürer Machines

Mixed reality is a direct application of XV to XVIIth-century principles of anamorphosis. The inherent physicality of anamorphosis, materialized through the Dürer perspective machine, makes it an excellent teaching tool for students of digital art interested in mixed reality, whose initial core competencies may be extremely varied. The needs of these students are not met by the mere ephemera of learning how to use a particular piece of software; such knowledge is both transient and limiting of imaginative possibilities. We discuss a didactic strategy of cardboarding, i.e., a process of deliberate rudimentarization, to expose the inner workings of opaque chains of digital processes, to both clarify the elements of these chains and create loci for artistic intervention at their points of connection.

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Ricardo Melo and Miguel Carvalhais Patterns for Serendipity in Interaction Design

With today’s filtering and personalisation of digital content, there is a growing need for systems that actively promote novel interactions and that allow the user to discover new, unsought information. As such, this paper starts by addressing the need for these serendipitous systems and how one can design for serendipity considering its unpredictable nature. We then propose a series of user patterns that define the mental model that is more conducive to serendipitous experiences, derived from our revision of the literature as well as our observations. Finally, and through an analysis of the state of the art, we propose a tentative series of design patterns at both the implementation and interaction level, which constitute a framework for the design of interactive systems that afford the experience of serendipity.

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Mathias Müller, Mandy Keck, Thomas Gründer, Natalie Hube and Rainer Groh A Zoomable Product Browser for Elastic Displays

In this paper, we present an interaction and visualization concept for elastic displays. The interaction concept was inspired by the search process of a rummage table to explore a large set of product data. The basic approach uses a similarity-based search pattern - based on a small set of items, the user refines the search result by examining similar items and exchanging them with items from the current result. A physically-based approach is used to interact with the data by deforming the surface of the elastic display. The presented visualization concept uses glyphs to directly compare items at a glance. Zoomable UI techniques controlled by the deformation of the elastic surface allow to display different levels of detail for each item.

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Luis Eustáquio and Miguel Carvalhais Interaction under Interference

Across numerous theoretical models employed to describe interaction, interference is seldom accounted for, even though it manifests itself on technical and cognitve levels. Practical and conceptual paths towards an aesthetics of interference suggest the need for its inclusion in a more complete model. Our research surveys the potential roles of interference within interaction, attempting to ascertain its actionable properties and variables. These can hypothetically redefine successful interaction as discovery of latent potential, and inform experience design towards increased latitude for creativity and collaborative engagement. This requires addressing challenges such as cumulative effects, difficulty in mastering highly variable interference, and the impossibility of foreseeing every type of interference a system may become exposed to. As an agent for increased affordance generation and wider operational ability, on technical and cognitive levels, interference is hoped to contribute towards a framework for a more informed observation and configuration of interaction experiences.

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Julian Scordato Composing with IanniX

This paper focuses on the usage of IanniX graphical sequencer for the creation of digital art. As currently in the written literature there are only few examples which address more or less extensively the creative processes in relation to IanniX, three case studies from my recent production will be examined throughout the paper. Each considered work exploits a specific functionality of IanniX. By providing technical and aesthetic information in relation to software programming, this article is intended as a useful resource to disclose features, possible strategies, and issues that otherwise would remain “trade secrets” of advanced software users.

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Hanns Holger Rutz The Temporality of (un|non)selection

One could characterise algorithms by operations of selection—selecting elements, selecting an order between elements, categorising and unambiguously reducing data. It is perhaps through these forms of completion that algorithms exert power, or that some actor attempts to exert power by way of an algorithm. This article proposes that an artistic counter-strategy, a strategy of de-weaponising and aestheticising algorithms, is the conscious exploration of operations of un- or non-selection, that is the interruption of the flow of algorithms, their incompletion. These operations are elaborated by looking at a number of video pieces, revealing a temporality that cuts across the boundaries of pieces and unpacks the apparent boundaries of algorithms.

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Daniel Bisig Watchers – An Installative Representation of a Generative System

Watchers is an interactive sound installation that serves as an example how a generative system can be made experienceable by exposing its algorithmic properties through the installation’s perceivable characteristics. The generative system is based on a simulation of recurrent networks that exhibit delay and feedback mechanisms. Through a combination of natural mapping strategies and spatial metaphors, several of the network’s properties are aligned with the sonic output of the installation and become accessible for interaction through tangible affordances. This article contextualises Watchers with respect to direct audification approaches, principles of tangible computing, and related approaches in musical interface and installation design. The article also describes the conceptual motivation, technical developments, and interaction principles that led to the realisation of the installation. The text concludes with a discussion of those aspects of the chosen approach that seem sufficiently generalisable to inform further research and experimentation.

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Arne Eigenfeldt Designing Music with Musebots

Musebots are pieces of software that autonomously create music, collaboratively with other musebots. Since the development of the musebot protocol, the author has created several generative music and collaborative systems using these musical agents. This paper describes how the desired musical results influenced the design of the musebots themselves. Rather than presenting the latest musebot system – Moments – as a system description, the author describes the musical decisions that prompted the design, and re-design, of the musebots themselves.

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Pedro Veiga From Generative to Performing

This article proposes generative art as a framework for creating complex multisensory and multimedia experiences, characteristic of performing arts. Generative art is all art that in whole or part is created by means of an autonomous system, i.e. a non-human system that independently determines features of an artwork that would otherwise require decisions made directly by the artist. The artist will usually take on the role of a framework designer, and the system evolves freely within that framework and its defined aesthetic boundaries. If the historic, non-computer driven predecessors of generative art – especially algorithmic art – much impacted the early visual geometric arts, and more recently even music and literature, it seems that at present this cross-medium potential has been forsaken and most generative art outcomes are visual. It is the goal of this article to propose a model for the creation of generative performances, derived from stochastic evolutionary Lindenmayer systems.

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Adriana Moreno Rangel SandBox — Grains in Memory

SandBox - Grains in memory is an installation where the sea is evoked as a place of identity and memory. Using sonic fragments and oral narratives collected over the last two years in Portugal, the interactors, who are also narrators and producers of different sound sources, have the power to (re)construct their own sound territory from multisensory experiences. The objective is to obtain new sound landscapes from a sound landscape composed by different sonic fragments. Movement in the sand is detected by vibration sensors which trigger the playback of audio files from a library of recordings stored in the device. There is also a “record” feature that enables participants to contribute with their own memories in sound fragments.

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Ângela Coelho, Pedro Martins and F. Amílcar Cardoso A Portuguese Epopee Seen Through Sound

Sonification has gained importance in the last few years due to the technological development in the areas of sound synthesis and manipulation. This area allows to transform and understand large data sets that can be too ample and complex to analyse without these tools. This paper describes the development of a musical sonification project applied to the area of Literature that maps the data of the Portuguese epic poem, The Lusiads by Luís de Camões, into sounds. This work intends to show that Sonification can be applied to different and not so common areas and create new ways of reading and understanding texts, in this case, a well-known and important poem from Portuguese Literature. 

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Adriana Sá Designing Musical Expression

The term New Interface for Musical Expression (NIME) has been applied to a great variety of instruments and systems, since the first NIME conference in 2001. But what is musical expression, and how does an interface intended for idiosyncratic expression differ from ubiquitous interfaces? This paper formulates an understanding where the reciprocal interaction between performer and instrument is important. Drawing from research in perception science, interface design and music, the paper specifies methods that can be used to analyse interaction, attention dynamics and semantics. The methods are applicable to any technical platform and aesthetic approach, facilitating the discussion of creative strategies and the analysis of music experience. The paper uses these methods to describe a NIME that combines an acoustic string instrument and software that operates based on the acoustic sound. The software applies the difference between the detected pitch and the closest tone/ half tone to the processing of pre-recorded sounds. The proposed methods help to explain how this NIME enables versatile musical forms, and prevents undesired outcomes.

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Susan Grabowski and Frieder Nake Between the Trivial and the Impossible. ReCoding as Learning Strategy

In recent years, the term "re-coding" (or ReCoding) has been used by Matthew Epler and Marc Webster to develop program code capable of re-creating works of early computer art. The incentive was to save such works from oblivion (as old equipment is no longer available). The task, if solvable, contributes to preserving an important phase of modern cultural heritage. Formally, solving the re-coding problem is equivalent to defining the inverse function of an unknown function of which only a few specimens are known. Here, such specimens are artistic works. We employ techniques of analysis, inspection, intuition, and selection to extract from a few given images as much structural, probabilistic, and geometric data as possible to re-code the class of images the given specimens belong to. This is a form of inductive and constructive learning in art education. Including algorithmic art in art education may serve as a bridge between the two great topics of media: algorithmics and aesthetics. Re-coding may at times be almost trivial, but it may also be impossible. The middle ground of complexity is interesting: imagination is required.

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Vitor Joaquim The Unthinkable of Nothingness

The Unthinkable of Nothingness is a performance proposal focused on the possible experiences of listening, following the principles of acousmatic as it was conceived by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras who proposed the abolition of his own visual appearance, using a veil while he was teaching to his students. He argued that by the implementation of this process, the concentration on the message would be much stronger and deeper. Following this principle, the piece seeks for promote this practise applied to the fruition of music content in a black box context, deprived of light.

Joana Chicau A WebPage in Two Acts

A WebPage in Two Acts is an assemblage of visual experiments into a new hybrid form of composition, combining principles of choreography within the formal structures of coding. The screen becomes an open stage for the new code which links choreography and web programming; body and language.

Ricardo Climent B — is for Bird: A Chinese Folktale for game-audio, Chinese Pipa and resynthesed Syrinx

Birdsongs and nature have inspired humans and informed musical compositions and other art forms for centuries. This live game-audio composition navigates an ancient Chinese folktale: “Hu was a wise woman who, for many years, had taken care of the flowers and birds of an enchanted Chinese Botanical garden. During the day, it looked like ordinary places to wander about. But when the sun was down, earth and sky merged together into a purple glow, while Hu intoned a musical Pipa born from a butternut squash and played with synthetic birds in the orchards until dawn…” The outcome is a game-audio live performance composition emerging from the design of an interactive music system for mimicking birds’ vocal anatomy preforming alongside a virtual pipa (a four-stringed Chinese plucked instrument).

Ephraim Wegner and Daniel Bisig JETZT

JETZT is an audiovisual live performance combining live generated and processed video and audio. It is based on the same named poem written by Max Bense, German philosopher, science theorist and pioneer of generative aesthetics. The artists are approaching the phenomenon of JETZT (German expression for “the present moment” or “in the now”) using an interwoven system of sound and images, generative algorithms and interactive swarm simulations. Within the constraints of the composition and the algorithmic setup, Bisig and Wegner are responding to one another through spontaneous decisions and improvised variations.

Christian Faubel Songs from My Analogue Utopia

In Songs from My Analogue Utopia I explore the self-organizing coordination dynamics of analog oscillators and the Utopian potentials of analogue communication. In analogue communication synchronization results from the mutual interaction of two or more processes, not a single process is dominating the other. It is in the mutuality and in the degrees of freedom of each participating process where I see the Utopian potential of analogue communication. I undertake this exploration on the screen of an overhead projector where I place little motors driven by analogue oscillators. The motors hit on rubber bands that are equipped with piezo-pickups, rendering the rhythmical hitting of the motors into sound and shadow play.

Heitor Alvelos, Rui Penha and Anselmo Canha +CoA+: A Dadaist Scientific Intervention

+CoA+ is a short concert/performance using xCoAx 2017 abstracts as source material for live reinvention. It is part of an ongoing series of performances that aim at addressing the epistemological chasm between cognitive and expressive delivery. The authors elect the conference environment as a particularly suitable context for this exercise; in it, they engage in an intuitive, improvised dream sequence of glimpses and fragments of various threads present during said conference — in this case, xCoAx.

Kosmas Giannoutakis Contraction Point

Joel Diegert — Soprano Saxophone

Contraction point integrates a musical instrument, performer, performance space and feedback delay network system. Circularly positioned loudspeakers play back variable transposed delay lines of the input signal, creating complex sonic textures. The performer by listening walks tries to locate the loudspeaker with the highest transposition, playing a corresponding note on his/her instrument. The system tracks the note, evaluates a game score according to a success factor and contracts the transposition range of the delay lines accordingly, making the game more difficult for the subsequent rounds. In the final round the system contracts the delay time window, making the achieved game score perceivable as timbre.


Adriana Moreno Rangel SandBox — Grains in Memory

SandBox — Grains in memory is an installation where the sea is evoked as a place of identity and memory. Using sonic fragments and oral narratives collected over the last two years in Portugal, the interactors, who are also narrators and producers of different sound sources, have the power to (re)construct their own sound territory from multisensory experiences. The objective is to obtain new sound landscapes from a sound landscape composed by different sonic fragments. Movement in the sand is detected by vibration sensors which trigger the playback of audio files from a library of recordings stored in the device. There is also a "record" feature that enables participants to contribute with their own memories in sound fragments.

André Rangel 3.11 — Tribute to Sol LeWitt

3.11 is an intermedia artwork that revisits Sol LeWitt’s Variations of incomplete open cubes. 3.11 integrates a provocative reactive system that triggers visitors' actions, transforming them into performers, authors and mediums of the artwork itself. A pair of potentiometers allow humans to control an arduino board, instructed to draw, on a display constituted by twelve T8-LED Glass tubes, any of the 122 variations of LeWitt’s work. 3.11 reiterates the algorithmic dimension of LeWitt’s work that has been mainly recognised as conceptual art. During the 3.11 design process a mistake on the most widely spread diagram of LeWitt’s work was identified that hadn't been found before. Being too late to question LeWitt, the mistake is now part of this new art experience.

Arne Eigenfeldt and Simon Lysander Overstall Moments: A Continuous Generative Audio Installation for Musebots

Moments is a continuously running musical metacreation that explores Moment-form, a term coined by Stockhausen to describe music that avoids directed narrative curves, and instead exists within stasis. The music is meant to remain in the background, and not draw attention to itself. Created by ensembles of musical agents — musebots — that assume musical roles in both the creation and performance of each 10 minute composition, each generated work is unique, mercurial, yet compositional — rather than improvisational — in nature.

Bernd Schurer and Titus von der Malsburg Automatic Reading (Obfuscation)

During reading, we rapidly construct meaning from sequences of rather cryptic symbols. A multitude of processes are involved in making meaning happen, however, most of them are conveniently tucked away from the reader’s conscious experience allowing them to read effortlessly without having to worry about any of the practicalities such as where to place the gaze next and for how long. The present work reflects on the marvelous feat that is reading. In an experiment-like situation, we create a perceptual short-circuit that unlocks the otherwise unconcsious processes involved in reading. To this end, the test subject is exposed to a written libretto while a computer tracks their eye movements and translates them to sound in real time. The artistic implementation is based on parametric synthesis (“mapping”) and model-based sonification.

Supported by Pro Helvetia — Swiss Arts Council

Catarina Lee Every Word

The project Every Word proposes an expressive exploration of the similarities and differences between languages, through an audio-visual sequence that translates textual content into graphics and sounds. It consists of a program that is scanning through all the words of four languages simultaneously, while generating a sequence of symbols and modulating sound parameters. The aim of this installation is to explore the potential of software to translate digital textual data into new expressive forms, and eventually expose inherent dimensions and patterns in the source text. This project follows an on-going research that focus on the notion of transmutability of digital data, with a particular interest on the exploration of textual material.

Coralie Gourguechon, Monica Lanaro, Angelo Semeraro, Isaac Vallentin / Fabrica Recognition

Recognition was an artificial intelligence program that compared British artworks with up-to-the-minute photojournalism. It used algorithms to search through Tate’s vast collection database, looking for visual and thematic similarities between artworks and the endless stream of online news images. Winner of IK Prize 2016 for digital innovation, Recognition was active from 2 September to 27 November 2016 as a website and installation at Tate Britain. Content Provider: Reuters.

Daniel Temkin Internet Directory

Internet Directory is a single loose-leaf book of 37,743 pages, collectively listing all 115 million .COM domains in alphabetic order, phonebook style, alongside their IP addresses. Internet Directory studies the language of the Web by running through all the lexical permutations of words assembled into domain names.

Enrique Encinas, James Auger and Julian Hanna Wait for the Drop: Designing a Gravity Powered Turntable of the Future

Our latest iteration of the gravity battery uses a locally found scrap motorcycle engine as the gearbox, ready-made and super efficient, minimising complex making. Normally the motorcycle engine burns fossil fuel (petrol) to move the piston down, which is converted to rotary motion with the crankshaft. Rotary motion (or RPM) is modified by the gearbox and ultimately rotates the rear wheel via a chain drive providing forward linear motion to the motorcycle and rider. We reverse this situation: instead of fossil fuel, gravity spins the rear wheel, using it as a pulley attached to the falling mass. This in turn spins the drive sprocket, increasing RPM in the gearbox and finally driving the crankshaft at a speed determined by the selected gear, the diameter of the pulley, and the falling mass. For communication purposes we had to think of a use for the generated energy, so we decided it would power a self-contained vinyl record player.

Hanns Holger Rutz and David Pirrò Inner Space

Inner Space is part of a group of works created under the umbrella project Imperfect Reconstruction. The image encoding/decoding is often associated with the ideal of perfect reconstruction. Experiencing something, an idea can turn into a movement, a finite set of elements, which can then be transported and unpacked as a reference to the original experience or movement. Imperfection is thus taken as a failure, for example a failure to understand. What interested us in this project were the distances and gaps that produce imperfection, defined as resistance of thoughts and movements to become determinate. Inner Space is conceived as a multi-channel video installation for small format monitors. A complementary set of quasi-fixed video miniatures are recalled by a slightly indeterminate algorithm. As the name suggests, it was originally situated in an intimate, half-closed space, but it also refers to the fact that each piece is, in one way or another, connected to our noö-topology, the spatial particularity of our mind, the way we internalise the algorithmic.

Mario Verdicchio and Vittorio Paris Random Sculptures

We propose an artistic study of randomness as perceived by the viewer in terms of sculptures designed by means of 3D modelling tools. Two different methods are followed in the design of the shapes: one based on manual manipulations guided by random events, and one based on simulation of a physical system characterized by random parameters. The simulation method adds an extra parameter by which we can study randomness: time. The 3D printing process that gives the computational models of the shapes a physical embodiment adds an extra layer of randomness in terms of structural feasibility.

Brass Art & Monty Adkins Shadow Worlds | Writer’s Rooms: Freud’s House

Shadow Worlds | Writer’s Rooms: Freud’s House is an audio-visual installation created by Brass Art with composer Monty Adkins and programmer Spencer Roberts. The installation comprises a looping 4-minute film and uses footage captured via three Kinect scanners of staged ‘sojourns’ by Brass Art at 20 Maresfield Gardens, the house Sigmund Freud occupied during the last year of his life in London.

Nuno Cabrita Closer/Farther

Closer/Farther is an interactive installation that explores the idea of vulnerability in human relations through spatial dynamics, focusing on three dimensions of the relationship with the other: intimate space, personal space and social space. It is meant to be used by multiple people, in a relational logic that assumes the work of art as the space of encounter and the creation of interpersonal relations. Its audio-visual behavior is physically embodied in a sculpture, mirroring the actions of the people around the exhibition space.

Quinzequinze D.A.D.O.E.S (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep)

The future is built as much with technological advances as with imagination. It is a field of possibilities that has to be redefined constantly. D.A.D.O.E.S., acronym of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is an interactive art installation which aims to make its users question themselves about the future and create a debate around the way they envision it. The piece revolves around a user reccorded soundscape composed of questions and assertions about the future that can be explored by physically moving around a room.

Roberto Zanata After Images

After Images is an audio/video work generated by a given pattern using various node data. An afterimage is a non-specific term that refers to an image continuing to appear in one's vision after the exposure to the original image has ceased. For example, after staring at a computer screen and looking away, a vague afterimage of the screen remains in the visual field. The artwork has been realized with a patch in Max/MSP that it allows to use jitter's visual effects for high quality 2d images.

Fabrica Table of Contents

A selection of pieces from the collection Table of Contents, conceived by Fabrica for the The Zürich gallery Roehrs & Boetsch, under the creative direction of Sam Baron.

Simone Ashby, Julian Hanna and Ricardo Rodrigues North Circular: Exploring Ulysses, Voyeurism, and Surveillance in an Interactive Soundscape

North Circular is a sonic environment and art installation that combines synthesized social media content with readings from James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) and interactive floor projections to encourage visitors to consider what the multilayered, hyperconnected, datafied city would look and sound like as constructed from our own data traces. Joyce’s painstakingly mapped central episode, The Wandering Rocks, follows nineteen characters as they circulate the streets of Dublin, each lost in an interior monologue of thoughts and impressions. The episode presents an omniscient bird’s eye view of Dublin and a multiplicity of subjective views and sounds (ambient and spoken) of the city, creating an apt metaphor for the heavily surveilled and data rich 21st century metropolis. The characters in The Wandering Rocks interact with each other as their paths cross — listening in and being overheard, observing and being observed — in the social fishbowl that was Dublin a century ago.

Susana Sanches 0 — 255

0 – 255 is an interactive installation that explores the role and meaning of human execution in the enactment of algorithmic artworks as participative aesthetic events. It proposes the use of human interpretation in order to understand, experience and perceive its expressive potential within rules-based systems. It aims to engage the audience in procedurally reversing simple algorithms that have been investigated within computer space, back onto the physical space. This approach follows an on-going research that approaches strategies analogous to both real and artificial systems, aiming to contribute to an understanding of software code as a creative medium inside and outside the computer.

Tiago Rorke Scorekeepers

Triggered synchronously by a pulse sent each second from a microcontroller, these three drawing machines are engaged in the act of counting via different common tally mark styles.  The combination of the different rhythms of each machine creates a pattern that repeats every 17.5 minutes, until the 16-bit integer being counted reaches its limit of 65,535, at which point the performance ends.

Victoria Bradbury Skirting Color // Stitching Code: Versioning Albers in the Browser

In Skirting Color // Stitching Code, a performer alternates between live coding a Josef Albers color study website and manually machine embroidering the same HTML and CSS onto her skirt, turning the garment around her waist as she sews. In this paper, Albers’ practice, theory and pedagogy are evaluated as they relate to this performance, to code, and to other artists’ works.

Temporary Library of Portuguese Media Art for xCoAx

Alessandro Ludovico Temporary Library of Portuguese Media Art for xCoAx

The Temporary Library project relies on the concept of metaphorically  breaking the classic boundaries of libraries. It means to bring publications in places where they’re not necessarily known, finally expanding and redefining in a contemporary sense, the public role of libraries. This project is about creating a temporary small library of Portuguese Media Art printed publications, which will be available during the xCoAx International Conference in Lisbon. Publishers and individuals have been asked to donate publications, and a specific space will be dedicated to consult the library. The Temporary Library of Portuguese Media Art for xCoAx is co-curated with Luísa Ribas and Miguel Carvalhais.

At the end of the conference the Temporary Library will be donated to the Faculty of Fine-Arts, University of Lisbon (FBAUL), and will form a special collection, available to be temporary lent as a whole, under certain conditions.

Supported by the Winchester School of Art
Supported by the Italian Cultural Institute Lisbon


Doctoral Symposium

Alex Bernardes Management of the Body of Knowledge of UX Design in the Portuguese University System: A Theoretical Study

Carloalberto Treccani How Machines See the World: Understanding How Machine Vision Affects Our Way of Perceiving, Thinking and Designing the World

David Wilson How Machines See the World: Understanding How Machine Vision Affects Our Way of Perceiving, Thinking and Designing the World

Luis Eustáquio Interaction Under Interference

Henrique Portovedo Augmented Musical Performance