CTC Symposium Brainstorming

Modes of Collaboration

Although remaining largely visual, today’s languages of art has rapidly expanded to tactile, communicative and experiential, conceptual, and much more. Along with the expansion, comes with new modes of collaborations among different disciplines, artists who work closely with technologists, scientists, designers, educators, community leaders, theorists. It’s also increasingly common that these new collaborations are mediated and augmented by machines, algorithms, and interfaces. These new partnerships offer us exciting new opportunities to expand our own perspectives. However, bringing with us our unique backgrounds and experiences, it is not always apparent where the entry points lie.

Guiding Question: As artists, educators, technologists, designers, scientists, human beings, how do we create opportunities to come together, to listen and learn from each other, take away more questions rather than answers, and learn about learning from humans, machines, codes, and objects in ways we haven’t imagined before?

Possible sub-themes:

History of New Media Art: early collaborations between pioneer artists and technologists

Interdisciplinary collaboration:  Creative technology + Music, Policy, Psychology, Education Technology, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics etc.

Collaborating with Community: Lower East Side Girls Club, Girls Who Can Code, Dreamyard

Computation as Play

We need more stories, daydreams and silliness in our relationship with technology. As we start to teach various programming platforms in classrooms, it’s important to remind our young learners that it’s not the languages and tools we choose to engage with, but what we decide to make that gives meaning and voices to our creations. In creative technology classrooms, it’s natural that we immerse ourselves in solving detailed problems such as how to wire up an LED,  program a motor to turn, or a cat to walk smoothly on a computer screen. As learners of coding languages, we want to speak the most logical machine language and turn in the perfect software and hardware assignments. However, as human-beings, we also want to be accepted for who we are, our silliness, our desire to dream, explore, and not knowing what we want. How can we teach creative technology in a way that give our students a good foundation in digital, software and hardware literacy, but also help them see these tools as new possibilities to express, reflect, and play? What kind of creative technology educators can inspire their students to bring voice and technology together?


Possible speakers:

Brad Garton: Director of the Computer Music Center (formerly the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center). He has assisted in the establishment and development of a number of computer music studios throughout the world, and is an active contributor to the greater community of computer musicians/researchers, formerly serving on the Board of Directors of the International Computer Music Association as editor (with Robert Rowe) of the ICMA newsletter and artistic director/co-organizer of several high-profile festivals and conferences of new computer music. His current work includes focused research on the modeling and enhancement of acoustic spaces as well as the modeling of human musical performance on various virtual “instruments”. He is also the primary developer (with Dave Topper) or RTcmix, a real-time music synthesis/signal-processing language. The point of all this work is to continue to make fun new pieces of music, which he does every day.

Gene Kogan:  An artist and a programmer who is interested in generative systems, computer science, and software for creativity and self-expression. He is a collaborator within numerous open-source software projects, and gives workshops and lectures on topics at the intersection of code and art. Gene initiated ml4a, a free book about machine learning for artists, activists, and citizen scientists, and regularly publishes video lectures, writings, and tutorials to facilitate a greater public understanding of the subject.

Lauren Gardner: a New York City–based product manager, community builder and artist. She is the co-owner of the art collective and DIY gallery Babycastles which has reinvented the arcade as a social space for independent video game culture. Lauren is also a partner and co-organizer for the School For Poetic Computation. She has also spent 15+ years as a Technical Product Manager building enterprise level software for companies including Turner/Time Warner & Thomson Reuters. Building things through collaborative process is the heart of her professional and artistic pursuits. Most recently, she has been organizing Machine Learning Literacy workshop curriculum at SFPC.

Zach Libberman
: Co-founder of creative computation platform openFrameworks. Co-founder of SFPC(School of Poetic Computation). His personal projects engages with exploring new modes of play and relating to each other. His project eye-writer, an assistive technology using eyeball tracking to control graffiti drawing projection won the Golden Nica award of Ars Electronica and Design Award of the Year from London Museum of Design. He also design and developed various interactive software and hardware system that allow people of all age and background to find new voices of their own.Nora Khan: A writer and editor at Rhizome. She previously spent a year as a research resident at Eyebeam, writing fiction and criticism, with a focus on digital visual culture, artificial intelligence, and electronic music. She is a 2018 recipient of the inaugural Critical Writing Grant given through the Visual Arts Foundation and the Crossed Purposes Foundation, a grant that is supporting this year’s creation of the grounds for a book of criticism on artificial seeing, speaking, and creating.




Workshop – Thing Thing Thing

Making an art game is like daydreaming – one that we can go back to over and over again. Game Objects are external manifestations of creators’ spirits. When their creators are tied up with the reality of life, these tiny things awake in the wondrous space of “grandeur” (Gustave Bachelard, 1948) created through the imagination of their creators. They twist, turn, wiggle, roll around. On a sunny day, they wonder into the deep land, make a friend, sing a song(more like make a sound to their creators) by the river. Gently, they bring together heaven and earth, and opens us the future of reality.


Thing Thing Thing is a workshop focusing on learning fundamentals of video game development, and make a collective art game along the way.  At the end of the workshop, the result is a film that generates it own plots in real time, composed by all participants using Unity, a video game development platform and C# as the programming language. 

All models, textures and simple coding samples will be supplied. No prior coding experience needed.



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