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Computer Arts Society Leicester

The Computer Arts Society (CAS) is a special interest group of the British Computer Society that promotes the creative uses of computers in the arts and culture generally. It is a community of interest for all involved in doing, managing, interpreting and understanding information technology's cultural potential.

In Leicester, CAS runs regular talks and supports exhibitions and other computer art related activities. Join the CAS email list or follow us on Facebook to hear about future events.

Events Archive

13th April 2016
Ruth Gibson
Interact Labs, Phoenix, Leicester

Ruth Gibson from Gibson Martelli (Lumen Prize winners 2015) will be talking about their digital art work.

The London-based artistic collaborative Gibson/Martelli - dance and visual artist Ruth Gibson & artist Bruno Martelli - create installations and performance spaces using computer games, virtual reality, print and video technology. Their practice is an investigation into the body and landscape, the notion of space and simulacra and the sublime.

This event is part of a new series of Practice Based Research Computer Arts Society talks curated by the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University as part of their Practice Based Research doctoral programme.

1st March 2016, 18:00 - 20:00
Mark Coniglio
Interact Labs, Phoenix, Leicester

Recognized as a pioneering force in the integration of dance and media, composer/media artist Mark Coniglio creates large-scale performance works that integrate music, dance, theater and interactive media. A native of Nebraska, Mark received his degree in music composition in 1989 from California Institute of the Arts where he studied with electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick. From that early time, Coniglio's artistic practice has included the creation of custom interactive systems that allow performers to manipulate video, sound, and light in real-time. His first technological breakthrough came in 1989 when he created MidiDancer, a wireless system that allowed a performer to interactively control music. His passion for giving control to the performer led him to create the award-winning software Isadora®, a flexible graphic programming environment that provides interactive control over digital media. Mark's writings about new media in performance have appeared in numerous books and journals, including "New Visions In Performance", "La Scena Digitale: Nuovi Media Per La Danza" and Movement Research Journal. He relocated from New York to Berlin, Germany in 2008.

This event is part of a new series of Practice Based Research Computer Arts Society talks curated by the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University as part of their Practice Based Research doctoral programme.

24th February 2016, 18:00 - 20:00
NSC Creative
Interact Labs, Phoenix, Leicester

NSC Creative is an award-winning UK studio with 15 years of experience in immersive media. They specialise in immersive experiences for theme parks, VR, domes, 3D/4D, museums and science centres. They will be coming to Phoenix to talk about their VR work.

This event is part of a new series of Practice Based Research Computer Arts Society talks curated by the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University as part of their Practice Based Research doctoral programme.

27th January 2016
Jorge Lopes Ramos
Interact Labs, Phoenix, 6pm FREE

Zecora Ura co-director Jorge Ramos talks about his work with creative technologies and how he deals with experimentation and research in his practice.

Jorge Lopes Ramos is joint artistic director of internationally acclaimed Zecora Ura, an organization based both in Rio de Janeiro and East London since 2001. Jorge creates playful theatrical structures that allow for a participatory, immersive and interactive perspective of the theatrical event. He focuses his professional practice and research on the unspoken contract between the audience and the actor, which is underpinned by his work on the Dramaturgy of Participation. His latest production HOTEL MEDEA, which runs from midnight to dawn in real time, has been touring to critical acclaim and has won a number of international awards, and is a development of Jorge's investigation on the applications of critical play theory in immersive theatrical events.

14th October 2015
Institute of Creative Technologies
Interact Labs, Phoenix

To kick-off our autumn season of Computer Arts Society Talks we have invited DMU's Institute of Creative Technologies to present some their current research. The IOCT has a long history of creative innovation and this event will include a number of presentations by researchers associated with the IOCT, including Sophy Smith, Tracy Harwood and Dave Everitt. Starts at 7pm, runs until 9pm. Free entry.


20th May 2015
Luke Woodbury
Interact Labs

Luke Woodbury is a designer of interactive installations, custom software and hardware, sensory, assistive and educational technology involving lighting, projection, sound, olfactory and haptic feedback.

He will be talking about the wide range of projects he is involved in, including the recently-developed Pop-Up-Play system developed in partnership with Spark and DMU, and The Sensory Studio, a facility at Three Ways School in Bath for children with special educational needs.

The Sensory Studio is an incredibly versatile space that can be adapted to any area of the curriculum and provides a platform for immersive environments, informational scenarios, interactivity, multi-sensory stimuli, extra curricular clubs and special events.

The space makes use of three projectors to impose one super wide image, we have a bank of coloured LED lights, a special 12 speaker surround sound system, a moving spotlight and a variety of alternative control interfaces for use by students and staff.

15th April 2015
Nick Rothwell
Interact Labs, Phoenix

FREE Talk, All Invited. Please arrive a few minutes before 6:30pm

My interest is in taking concepts from software design (generative structures, algorithmic transformation, abstract notations, stochastic processes, ideas about time and state) and seeing how they map onto the process of art-making in various fields, especially choreography. Does exposure to software structures influence the creative flow and thinking in dance-making? What happens when the rule systems and methods used by choreographers are codified, magnified and mutated in software?

Nick Rothwell [cassiel] is a composer, performer, software architect, programmer and sound artist. He has built media performance systems for projects with Ballett Frankfurt and Vienna Volksoper. He has worked at STEIM, CAMAC and ZKM and performed with Laurie Booth, and at the ICA and the Science Museum.

He has collaborated with body>data>space to develop performance systems and sound scores for projects at CIANT (Prague), Vo'Arte (Lisbon) and in London. He is currently working on 3D software-based visual artworks for Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, music composition for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, algorithmic visuals for choreographers Kate Sicchio and Nina Kov, and architectural projection with Simeon Nelson and Rob Godman.

11th March 2015
Alex May
Interact Labs, Phoenix

Artist Alex May creates installations and live performances internationally at high profile venues such as Tate Modern, the V&A, Bletchley Park, and MOMA Caracas, using software he has developed. In 2012 he publicly released his 'Painting With Light' software designed to democratise access to the technologies required for artists to perform real-time video mapping, and 2015 sees the release of 'Fugio' a new digital art platform designed with education and long term preservation at its core.

In his talk, Alex will introduce his art practice, the software he has created, and the aims and challenges behind their development.

11th March 2014
Paul Granjon
Phoenix Square, 6pm FREE

Paul Granjon is a performance and visual artist whose interest lies in the co-evolution of humans and machines, a subject he explores with self-made machines for live performance or exhibition. Granjon has produced since the late 1990s a collection of robots that include a set of Robotic Ears and Tail, several Automated Forests, a kicking automaton, a disco-dancing humanoid… His best-known creations to date are the Sexed Robots, a male and a female wheeled platforms that performed their cybernetic romance in the Welsh Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2005.

Motivated by a strong interest in the individual and social dynamics of techno-scientific progress, Granjon's work provides a humorous yet critical comment on issues such as delegation to machines, digitisation of the social, technological body extension, sustainability, and also on the emergence of machinic life and the need for understanding the changing nature of contemporary artificial creatures. These two notions are at the core of Granjon's ongoing Coy-B project.

A performance art experiment in human-machine interaction loosely based on Joseph Beuys' performance I Like America and America Likes Me (1974) where the artist shared a gallery space with a wild coyote, the Coy-B project will be a performance for an advanced robot and a human in a shared territory. Diametrically opposed to the coyote who was a representative of instinct, a wild natural being, the Coy-B robot will represent wild machinic life. The performance aims to offer a platform for observing the relation between a human and an intelligent machines at a time when the boundaries between living and artificial are blurred.

The talk will feature examples of Granjon's past work, references from art, science and technology, and a detailed presentation of the Coy-B project.

11th February 2014
Elaine O'Hanrahan - The Work of D.P.Henry
Phoenix Square, 6:30pm FREE

D.P. Henry (1921-2004) Early British Computer Art Pioneer of the 1960s. His donated works form part of the V & A's Digital Pioneers collection. He participated in the seminal Art and Technology exhibition: Cybernetic Serendipity in 1968.

During the 1960's Henry converted army surplus Bombsight Analogue Computers into a series of three mechanical drawing machines. His machine-generated images represent the permanent graphic reminders or 'performative trace' of the inner mechanical motions of the Bombsight Computer in action. His machines' reliance on a mechanics of chance, combined with their interactive features, set them apart from most other computer-generated art of the period.

Henry's distinct preference for restricting his experimental drawing production techniques to war time technology, means his drawing machines mark a transitional stage in Digital Art History, between the pre- WW2 Mechanical Age and the post- war Digital Age.

This talk will contextualise the inspiration, methods and visual results of Henry's 1960's drawing machines.

10th December 2013
Layla Curtis: Antipodes
Phoenix Square, 6pm FREE

Layla Curtis will discuss her exhibition Antipodes with Phoenix associate artist Sean Clark, whose company Cuttlefish helped build the online artwork on which the exhibition is based.

This talk is free but places are limited. Please book with box office on 0116 242 2800.

Antipodes continues in the Cube gallery and cafebar at Phoenix until Sat 21 Dec.

Featuring an installation of live webcam feeds and the online artwork alongside time lapse videos, drawings and photographic works, Antipodes highlights the distance and differences between us, whilst reminding us how technology is bringing us closer together.

12th November 2013
Martin Reiser - The Digital Uncanny
Phoenix Square, 6pm FREE

Martin Rieser examines how the spread of Augmented reality heralds the advent of a new kind of unfamiliar familiarity - that Freud labelled the "uncanny" or 'unheimlich''. Digital worlds may now seem immersive, in that they are convincing, multi-faceted and "user friendly", but it seems that an unfriendly aftertaste lingers on, related to their lack of actual tangibility.

At the same time, new narrative spaces are being opened up by mobile and pervasive technologies , that offer the possibility of escaping the now prevailing functionalism of the everyday digital, and through that, the possibility of new and individual expressive freedoms. He will review a number of his own and other recent creative digital art projects that center on the notion of 'otherness' as being intrinsic to the digital medium.

Professor Rieser has worked in the field of interactive arts for many years. He is research Professor in the Institute of Creative Technologies in The Faculty of Art Design and Humanities at De Montfort. His art practice in internet art and interactive narrative installations has been seen around the world including Cannes; Holland, Paris; Vienna, Thessaloniki, London, Germany, Milan and Melbourne, Australia. He has published numerous essays and books on digital art including New Screen Media: Cinema/Art/Narrative (BFI/ZKM, 2002), and has recently edited The Mobile Audience, a book on mobile and locative technology and art from Rodopi.

11th June 2013
Art That Makes Itself
Paul Brown
Phoenix Square, 7pm FREE

Paul Brown is an artist and writer who has specialised in art, science & technology since the late-1960s and in computational & generative art since the mid 1970s. His early work included creating large-scale lighting works for musicians and performance groups like Meredith Monk, Music Electronica Viva, Pink Floyd, etc… and he has an international exhibition record that includes the creation of both permanent and temporary public artworks dating from the late 1960s. He has participated in shows at major venues like the TATE, Victoria & Albert and ICA in the UK; the Adelaide Festival; ARCO in Spain, the Substation in Singapore and the Venice Biennale and his work is represented in public, corporate and private collections in Australia, Asia, Europe, Russia and the USA. Since 2005 he has been honorary visiting professor and artist-in-residence at the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, School of Engineering and Informatics at the University of Sussex.

8th October - 9th November 2012
Intuition and Ingenuity at Phoenix: An Art Exhibition in Celebration of the Life of Alan Turing

2012 will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, one of the greatest minds Britain has ever produced. Between inventing the digital computer and helping to decode the German Enigma machine, to founding the science of Artificial Intelligence, the world today would have been a very different place without him and his ideas. His work on morphogenesis (the biological processes that cause organisms to grow in a particular shapes) and the now famous "Turing Test" for machine intelligence have captured the imagination of artists for decades whilst his technological developments have given them the tools to create new kinds of artworks.

This exhibition, which takes its name from Turing's own writing on the subject of mathematical reasoning, brings together a number of important artists from digital art pioneers to emerging contemporaries to investigate Turing's enduring influence on art and contemporary culture.

This is an official Turing Centenary project curated by Anna Dumitriu, Sue Gollifer and Nick Lambert. Arts Council England, The Computer Arts Society and The University of Hertfordshire have kindly supported the exhibition. The Phoenix exhibition has also been supported by Leicester-based digital arts organisation Interact.

Full Documentation: /seanclark2020/intuitionandingenuity.html

29nd May 2012
The Computer Arts Society From 1969 to the Present
Dr Nick Lambert
Phoenix Square, 7pm FREE

Although digital art is considered to be a recent phenomenon, it has its roots in the 1960s with Art and Technology and Cybernetics. The Computer Arts Society, founded in early 1969, acted as a catalyst for British and international artists experimenting with computers and set up several exhibitions of its own. It also fostered collaborations, discussed new developments and hosted heated arguments in its magazine PAGE. The CAS is still active today and its current Chair, Nick Lambert, will review its history and explain its current mission to develop a new appreciation for the digital arts in Britain.

Dr Nick Lambert is Lecturer in Digital Art and Culture at the VASARI Research Centre, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London.


9th May 2012
Genetic Moo
Nicola Schauerman and Tim Pickup
Phoenix Square, 7pm FREE

Genetic Moo's Nicola Schauerman and Tim Pickup will discuss their interactive video installations where mutated human-sea-life forms both disgust and delight audiences. They will explain their inspirations, the technologies used, and possible future directions. To contextualise their practice, the talk will start with an introduction to computer-driven interactive art work, identifying a number of key works and concepts.

Genetic Moo have been creating interactive art since 2006. Virtual creatures are constructed from choreographed video clips, combining elements of the human and the animal. They respond in a variety of life-like ways to audience motion, sound and touch and vary in size from the tiny Animacules to the all encompassing Mother. The works are driven using Open Source and Flash Software utilizing a variety of interactive interfaces. The programming behind the work is just complex enough to make the creature appear more believable. The audience should be unaware and unencumbered by the technology. The audience asks "What am I looking at?", not "How is this working?". They ask "Is it Real?"


23rd April 2012
An Expanding Atlas of Subjectivity
Simon Faithfull
Phoenix Square, 6pm FREE

Simon Faithfull currently has an exhibition at Phoenix Square and The Interact Gallery. Learn more about his work and his exhibition at Phoenix Square in this fascinating talk from the internationally renowned artist. During the talk, Faithfull will discuss the development of his iPhone app and web based artwork Limbo and take part in a Q & A with members of the audience.

The talk will be followed by a visit to The Interact Gallery (2 minutes walk away) to view Simon's most recent drawings plus a performance by local musicians Muted Fnord.