🩋 Creative Machine AI, VR and Robotics in the Arts Symposium and Exhibition

The Creative Machine AI, VR and Robotics in the Arts Symposium, hosted by the Department of Computing and supported by The Alan Turing Institute, was a one-day event that brought together leading figures from the Computing and Arts communities to contend with questions relating to machine creativity in the wake of new developments in artificial intelligence and art.

This event comprised an academic symposium, consisting of both panels and talks from expert speakers, and an exhibition, which included work from cutting edge AI artists. The event was sold out and extremely well receive.

The event was run and organised by a delegation of creative researchers from the Department of Computing: Prof Larisa Soldatova, Prof William Latham, Prof Frederic Fol Laymarie, Prof Sylvia Xueni Pan, Prof Marco Gillies, Sumit Paul-Choudhury, Rachel Falconer, Nicky Donald and Conference Organiser Pauline Nottingham.

The first Creative Machine Exhibition (Curated by Professors William Latham, Frederic Fol Leymarie and Atau Tanaka) was launched in October 2014 in the Hatcham Gallery, with the aim of hosting a major exhibition exploring the twilight world between human and machine creativity. The core underlying idea was could a machine replace the human artist? And if not could the machine be an effective creative partner to the artist?

Symposium

The symposium included several panels and sessions, each one focusing on a different aspect of creativity and artificial intelligence.

  • Session 1: AI & Creativity
  • Panel 1: Curating AI & VR ARt
  • Session 2: Visual Computing
  • Session 3: Affective Computing
  • Session 4: Robotics, Avatars and AI
  • Panel 2: Creative or Not?

Exhibition

The event featured a number of artworks and installations from artists working with creative technologies.

  • Alexander Reben
  • Han Yajuan
  • Andy Lomas
  • Entangled Others
Entangled Others, Sediment Nodes, 2022
  • Flo Yuting Zhu
  • Daniel Berio
  • Lance Putnam & William Latham (Harmonic Infinity)
  • Ao Lei
  • Jake Elwes
  • Libby Heaney
  • Max Jala
  • Memo Akten
Artwork by Memo Atken, 2022
  • Nye Thompson & UBERMORGEN
  • Terence Broad
  • Wiliam Latham, Stephen & Peter Todd (Mutator)
William Latham, Stephen & Peter Todd, Mutator VR / Physics Mutations, 2022
  • Bobby Zhaocheng Xiong
  • Pierre-Francois Gerard

🎹 Tropical Lab 16 @ LASALLE College of Art 2022

Tropical Lab is an annual international art camp organised by LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, for masters degree and PhD candidates. Over two weeks artists from international art schools and institutions undertake workshops and seminars in Singapore exploring various aspects of history, geography, culture and aesthetics.

Earlier this summer, Goldsmiths was pleased to send two students from the Masters in Computational Arts: Katie Tindle and Yasmin Jones.

«I would like to thank Goldsmiths for allowing us to take this transformative trip, and for LASALLE for being such consummate hosts. The experience was rigorous, challenging and incredibly fruitful.»

— Katie Tindle

If you are interested in the intersection between Art and Technology, check out the MA/MFA Computational Arts programme. The recent degree show, themed (Sub) Systems, took place on the 1st of September.

đŸ—Łïž “The Psychology of the Metaverse” @ Royal Institution

Last month Prof Sylvia Xueni Pan—Associate Professor and Programme Leader for the MA/MSc Virtual & Augmented Reality—gave an inspiring talk to a group of young kids, ranging from 12 to 15. The event was organised by The Royal Institution, with a focus on outreach and science communication.

Prof Sylvia Xueni Pan giving a talk at the Ri Institution

Sylvia talked focused on the “The Psychology of the Metaverse”, exploring how we can us VR and AR technology to understand how people think. This is a topic Sylvia herself explored deeply in both her research and practice at Goldsmiths.

One still from Prof Sylvia Xueni Pan presentation, showing her avatar on a variety of different VR platforms

«I loved the metauniverse talk I think it was really interesting to listen to someone who doesn’t just do maths, it was more of a wider range of topics.»

— Feedback from one of the young kids attending

In case you missed it, the entire event was also recorded. “The Psychology of the Metaverse” starts at 14:46.

If this is a topic that fascinates you, and you would like to steer your career towards practical applications for VR & AR technology, you should consider applying to the MA/MSc Virtual & Augmented Reality here at Goldsmiths.

  • You can follow Prof Sylvia Xueni Pan on Twitter.

🧠 ESCAN 2022

From the 19th to 22nd July, a delegation from Goldsmiths Computing and Psychology attended The European Society for Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience in Vienna, Austria.

Dr Jamie A Ward—Lecturer and Researcher in wearable computing, activity recognition & social neuroscience—gave a talk on his Royal Society-sponsored work studying cognition and social behaviour using wearables and theatre at a symposium on the opportunities and challenges of real-world data collection.

Dr Jamie A Ward presenting his work (photo taken by Dr Laura Rai)

Dr Laura Rai—PostDoc and Researcher from the Department of Psychology—presented the first results from the ERC-funded Neurolive project at a symposium on the neuro-aesthetics of dance.

The event was also attended by PhD Candidate in Psychology Merritt Millman, who presented a poster on her work on bodily awareness in depersonalization-derealization disorder.

From left to right, Dr Jamie A Ward, Dr Laura Rai and Merritt Millman at the opening social event at the Vienna Town Hall

«It was such a joy to present at an in-person conference again for the first time in over two years. So much of my work with theatre—and in particular the work we do on the Neurolive project—is about liveness and what makes the live experience special.

A huge part of that is the social experience, which participating at a conference like this, with the double bonus of being surrounded by loads of smart and interesting people, really brought home to me.»

— Dr Jamie A Ward
  • You can find Dr Jamie A Ward on Twitter
  • You can find Dr Laura Rai on Twitter
  • You can find Merritt Millman on Twitter

🃏 “Cartomancy Anthology” launch

Fede Fasce, programme lead for the MA in Independent Games and for the BSc in Games Programming, has been part of the release of “Cartomancy Anthology”, a game anthology available from today on Steam and itch.io.

Cartomancy Anthology is a collection of games inspired by the tarot major arcana. Fede (who is also passionate about tarot) has worked together with 3 of Cups Games to create a game about The Star, the team’s favourite tarot card. In The Star you take the role of someone shattered in two halves by trauma, in a journey to reconnect it and to find new hope. Fede has worked mostly as a game designer and developer in the game.

«Working on the Star with a team of extremely talented people has been an incredible experience. I really hope you’ll enjoy the game!»

— Fede Fasce, Ma Independent Games programme leader

“Cartomancy Anthology” is the typical example of how a storytelling tool—as ancient and powerful as tarots cards are—can drive entire stories. And if further evidence that the games-related programmes at Goldsmiths are taught not just by academics, but by actual game developers with decades of industry experience.

  • You can find Fede Fasce on Twitter
  • You can find 3 of Cups Games on Twitter

💃 “STRINGS” by ClĂ©mence Debaig

Last week ClĂ©mence Debaig brought her latest performance—STRINGS—to the Escapade Escape Arcade, a creative exhibition featuring experimental games and alternative controllers.

Clémence Debaig performing STRINGS

STRINGS is an interactive performance inviting the audience to control the movements of the dancer through networked wearables. It explores themes of agency, control and bodily autonomy. And it was presented in person in London for the first time!

Clémence Debaig performing STRINGS

The idea was born as a final project for Physical Computing 2, a taught module strongly connected to the MA Computational Arts, which explores creative ways to use electronics for alternative controllers, installations and performances.

At the time, Clémence was still a student on the course, and had performed STRINGS online due to the pandemic. Now Lecturer & Senior Research Assistant at Goldsmiths, Clémence Debaig is also running her own dance company called Unwired Dance Theatre.

Besides STRINGS, The Escapade Escape Arcade features many other interesting installations and playable experiences, including an escape the room game titled “The Keeper and The Fungus Among Us”, and a rather unusually shaped pool table.

One of the many games playable at the Escapade Escape Arcade

🎓 Graduation Ceremony: July 2022

Last week hundreds of students from the Department of Computing attended their graduation ceremony. This year the event took place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, in the very heart of Westminster.

The ceremony was presided by Dinah Caine CBE, the Chair of Council, who opened with a passionate speech about the achievements students have accomplished.

Students celebrating after their graduation ceremony

This ceremony has been an opportunity for the students to celebrate their academic success along with their families. And as Professor Frances Corner OBE highlighted in her opening speech, it is made much more significant by the many challenges they have faced during their journey: from COVID to the recent war in Ukraine.

The Department of Computing was represented on stage by Dr Edward Anstead (BSc Computer Science), Fede Fasce (MA Independent Games & Playable Experience Design) and Alan Zucconi (Director of Postgraduate Studies, MA/MSc Computer Games). Dr Jennifer George, as Head of Department, had the privilege of inviting the students on stage one by one.

From left to right: Alan Zucconi, Imogen Burman, Dr Edward Anstead, Dr Jennifer George (Head of Computing), Fede Fasce

Imogen Burman, the Events Manager for the Department of Music, acted as College Bedel, guiding the staff through the crowd and holding the ceremonial mace.

«I adore graduation ceremonies—this is the reason why we are in education, to be with the students on their journey, and, like fledgling birds, they are then released into the world.

I always find it a wonderful occasion, especially this year where we celebrate those graduands who have struggled through the pandemic finally being awarded their degree, it is a great honour to bear witness to their achievements.»

— Imogen Burman, Events Manager & College Bedel

The entire event was also live streamed, for all the ones who unfortunately could not attend.

A student posing after their graduation ceremony

«It was a pleasure to join the graduation party and share in our graduates successes. This year’s ceremony was an especially joyous occasion as it included students from the classes 2021 and 2022 able to collect their degrees in person after the pandemic.»

— Dr Edward Anstead, BSc Computer Science

For many of you reading, this is not just the end of a long journey, but also the start of a new chapter. If you are coming to the end of your time at Goldsmiths, remember you can stay in touch by joining our alumni community.

Creativity, independence and learning by doing.