Past News


  • MAT professor Marko Peljhan, in collaboration with Matthew Biederman, wins the European Network for Contemporary Audiovisual Creation (ENCAC) Production Residency, for his collaborative project "Soft Probe".
  • The European Network for Contemporary Audiovisual Creation (ENCAC) is pleased to announce this year’s winners of their annual open call. Totalling 186 submitted projects from 34 countries, a wide range of approaches from developers, performers, visual artists, film makers, choreographers and musicians, composers and sound artists presented their particular visions of the potential for audiovisual creativity in cross-disciplinary fields.

    Winning projects are: “ÆTEROFONER” by Christian Skjødt, "Embodied Gestures" by Enrique Tomás, "Manufactory" by Transforma, "Permafrost" by Adam Basanta and Gil Delindro, "Aeryon" by Maotic and "Soft Probe" by Matthew Biederman and Marko Peljhan. Each of the 6 winning artists will be awarded a residency at one of the following institutions: Avatar, Quebec, CTM Festival DISK, Berlin, hTh Montpellier, LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón and Le Lieu Unique, Nantes.

    The jury was formed by ENCAC’s curatorial committee:

    • Anna Ascencio & Justine Beaujouan (Mapping Festival)
    • Caroline Gagné (Avatar)
    • Daniel Romero (hTh CDN Montpellier)
    • Ignacio de la Vega & Cristina de Silva (LEV Festival)
    • Karin Ohlenschläger and Lucía García (LABoral)
    • Patrick Gyger & Anaïs Rolez (Le Lieu Unique)
    • Remco Schuurbiers (CTM Festival)

    Le Lieu Unique will host Matthew Biederman and Marko Peljhan for their project, "Soft Probe - the Edges of SDR (software-defined radio)". The artists propose to research and create a tactical environment using software-defined radios for insight into contemporary telecommunication paradigms. The jury is convinced that the artists’ political stance and artistic experience will produce an impact on research which underlines the fragility of contemporary telecommunication infrastructures. Biederman and Peljhan’s use of open source equipment and software, their focus on our current loss of privacy and their keen understanding of the shifts brought about by SDR technology will ensure that "Soft Probe" comes out as a live and autonomous electromagnetic spectrum probe that charts today’s machines, raising awareness of what we emit without knowing it.

  • MAT professor Marcos Novak gave several keynote talks at international events over the summer.
  • The topics included "documentary and virtual reality", "ambiances in actual and virtual environments", "dance, movement, and emotion as computational interfaces", "advanced supercomputing and scientific visualization", "the exploration of the continuum between music and architecture through Xenakis", and "the rapidly evolving emerging possibilities of reinvigorated and expanding social VR".

    • Virtually There: Documentary Meets Virtual Reality Conference and Exhibition

      May 6-7, 2016

      MIT Open Documentary Lab

    • Movement and Emotion as Computational Interfaces Workshop and Speaker Series

      June 6-12, 2016

      York University • School of the Arts, Media, Performance, and Design • Toronto, Canada

    • From Xenakis to the Present: the Continuum in Music and Architecture

      June 13-14, 2016

      University of Cyprus, Department of Architecture

      European University of Cyprus, Music Department

    • World16 International VR Symposium and 7th Summer Workshop

      July 12-15, 2016

      Cybermedia Center, Osaka University, Japan

      RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science, K Computer

    • Ambiances, Tomorrow: 3rd International Congress on Ambiances

      September 21-24, 2016

      University of Thessaly, Department of Architecture, Volos, Greece

      International Ambiances Network (

      Scientific Thematic Network of the French Ministry for Culture and Communication, France

  • MAT professor and department chair George Legrady is awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship on April 5, 2016.
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    The Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation approved the awarding of 175 Guggenheim Fellowships to a diverse group of distinguished scholars, artists, and scientists. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of nearly 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-second competition.

    With his grant, Professor Legrady will create a research project and installation titled "Aesthetic Metavision", that builds on a recently realized series of projects, "Swarm Vision", "Exquisite Vision", and "AutoVision", developed with graduate students Danny Bazo, Marco Pinter, and Jieliang (Rodger) Luo in the Experimental Visualization Lab. The arts-engineering research focuses on questions concerned with training an autonomous multi-camera system to acquire aesthetics-defined behavior and agency.

  • MAT PhD student Fabian Offert will give a talk titled "[machine here]. Non-Representation as a Rhetorical and Mathematical Strategy in the Construction of Alan Turing's Imaginary Machine", at the "[image here]" conference at Harvard University, April 9, 2016.

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    Turing Machine, reconstructed by Mike Davey, image by Rocky Acosta


    Today, the Turing machine is widely regarded as the best possible definition of computability, such that there are definitions of equivalent but not greater formal accuracy and power. But what is it? While references to the Turing machine abound in all academic fields, this question has not been answered, maybe not even asked properly, from the ontological perspective. To firstly understand what it implies, and, secondly, provide a preliminary discussion of possible answers, is what this paper is trying to achieve. Specifically, this paper posits that the rhetoric construction of the Turing machine by means of the simile "human <> machine" mirrors exactly its mathematical construction, as the rhetoric ambiguity created by the simile mirrors exactly the mathematic "ambiguity" that, following Robin Gandy’s "principles for mechanisms" is a necessary prerequisite to the formal construction of any machine. It argues that it is precisely a lack of information, a lack of precision, a lack of clarity that allows Turing to construct rhetorically first what then is developed mathematically.

    Conference website:

  • MAT PhD candidate Muhammad Hafiz Wan Rosli will participate in the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive's inaugural exhibition called "Architecture of Life".

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    Diller Scofidio + Renfro: Hand holding a model for BAMPFA, 2012; digital photograph. Courtesy and © Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

    Event Dates:  January 31 – May 29, 2016

    Architecture of Life, the inaugural exhibition in BAMPFA's landmark new building, explores the ways that architecture, as concept, metaphor, and practice, illuminates various aspects of life experience: the nature of the self and psyche, the fundamental structures of reality, and the power of the imagination to reshape our world. Occupying every gallery in the new building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the exhibition comprises over two hundred works of art in a wide range of media, as well as scientific illustrations and architectural drawings and models, made over the past two thousand years. Boundary-breaking, innovative, and radically interdisciplinary, the exhibition presents visually exquisite, rarely seen works in ways that suggest new connections and meanings.

  • MAT PhD student Fabian Offert will give a talk titled "The Conservator’s Task: The Case for Programmable Logic Devices as a New Tool for the Conservation of Digital Art", at the conference "Hands on History: Exploring New Methodologies for Media History Research", at the University of London, February 8-10, 2016.
  • Abstract

    As digital technology ages, the conservation of digital art becomes an increasing challenge to museums and collections. Early digital artworks have aged to a degree that all of their technical context, all of the technical setup to make them work, has been lost to attrition. Two basic strategies of conservation have emerged in recent years: substitution, the simple replacement of broken with either new or used parts, and portation, the adaption of a work to an entirely new technical context. This paper proposes a new intermediate strategy of conservation that is intended to complement these existing strategies. Unlike these existing strategies, however, the strategy of conservation presented here explicitly acknowledges the fact that the computer - as the medium of digital art - is a symbolic machine that exists in the material and the symbolic realm alike. Based on this acknowledgement, it suggests to treat conservation as translation, and thus to treat digital artworks as objects that can be translated from the material into the symbolic realm, where they can be stored redundantly and indefinitely. Finally, it posits that by using standardized hardware description languages as the translation target, and programmable logic devices as the medium of a digital artwork’s resurrection in the material realm, a level of conservation can be achieved that is unattainable with substitution or portation alone.

    Conference website: