CAN Favourites 2018 – Vote Now!

Help us select the most memorable projects of 2018: vote once per candidate, skip the ones you don’t like as much or just think should not be in the top 10. We will tally the votes and announce “CAN’s Favourites of 2018” on Monday, 31st December!


Voting closes on Friday 28th December 23.00 (GMT) CLOSED

CAN 2018 – Highlights and Favourites

As 2018 comes to a close, we take a moment to look back at the outstanding work done this year. From spectacular machines, intricate tools and mesmerising performances and installations to the new mediums for artistic enquiry – so many great new projects have been added to the CAN archive! With your help we selected some favourites.

31/12/2018

The Center for Counter-Productive Robotics – Human-centric approach to automation

Created at ECAL during a one week workshop led by Thibault Brevet, The Center for Counter-Productive Robotics is a collection of experiments where a robot was programmed to perform counter-productive tasks, with intention to develop a more human-centric approach to robotics.

17/12/2018

NORAA (Machinic Doodles) – A human/machine collaborative drawing

Created by Jessica In, Machinic Doodles is a live, interactive drawing installation that facilitates collaboration between a human and a robot named NORAA – a machine that is learning how to draw. The work explores how we communicate ideas through the strokes of a drawing, and how might a machine also be taught to draw through learning, instead of via explicit instruction

11/12/2018

AI Facial Profiling, Levels Of Paranoia – Exploring the effects of algorithmic classification

Created by Marta Revuelta, AI Facial Profiling, Levels of Paranoia is a project exploring the potential and implication of AI technologies by proposing a machine that recognises the ability of an individual to handle firearms and predicts their potential to cause harm from a biometric analysis of their face.

29/11/2018

Bit – The demise of chance and the rise of algorithm

Created bu Jonghong Park  at the University of the Arts Bremen (Digital Media Program), the installation ‘bit’ represents a natural random process based on the principle of a Markov chain. 

27/11/2018

FEAR AND WONDER: An Expedition through the Landscapes of Fiction

“Our perception of the world is largely shaped through the mediums of fiction. Our political positions are informed by fake news, we live out our lives in the pixelated territories of video games and we escape into the pages of a novel or the flicker of the movie screen. In film, games and literature we […]

21/11/2018

Bruce Sterling and Benjamin Bratton in Conversation at SCI-Arc

Bruce Sterling and Benjamin Bratton speaking about many things design at SciArc, from future speculations in 1918, the relationships between industrial designers and science fiction, architecture, risk as design’s vehicle and so much more. Also, Burce’s talk while he was there. Source: Bruce Sterling and Benjamin Bratton in Conversation | WIRED

09/11/2018

Aesthetics + Computation: John Maeda at Adobe Max

“In the early ’90s, engineer, designer, and executive leader John Maeda started making interactive, or what he called “reactive,” graphics in C language for the 68k Apple Macintosh. As the web started to take off in the mid-’90s, John moved to Java and in parallel joined the MIT Media Lab to recruit talent at the […]

09/11/2018

Manus – Exploring pack behaviours in autonomous robots

Created by Madeline Gannon for the 2018 Annual Meeting of New Champions at the The World Economic Forum, in Tianjin, China, Manus is a set of ten industrial robots that are programmed to behave like a pack of animals.

08/11/2018

Future Flora – Celebrating Female Biophilia

Questioning our notions of wellbeing to develop innovative tools in the intersection of medical and social sciences, Giulia Tomasello investigates the potential of biotechnology and living materials, proposing a biological and sustainable alternative for electronic textiles and more.

05/11/2018

Putting The Pieces Back Together Again – The order of chaos

Created by Ralf Baecker, Putting The Pieces Back Together Again is an artistic investigation and meditation about complex systems and scientific methodology. Consisting of 1250 stepper motors arranged in a two dimensional grid, each motor in the installation moves in a random direction, sometimes intersecting and reversing direction, producing emergent constellations and behaviours.

02/11/2018

300000 km/s – Visualising ping for interplanetary communication

Created by André Andrade at ECAL (Media and Interaction Design Unit), 300000 km/s is a data visualisation project to highlight the consequential delay in communication in the probable future (interplanatory) expansion of the territory of Man.

24/10/2018

Shanshui-DaDA: AI assists human creator in drawing Chinese ink wash landscape painting

“Shanshui-DaDA” is an interactive installation based on artificial intelligence. When participants scribble lines and sketch the landscape, the AI will help to create a Chinese Shanshui painting. “Shanshui-DaDA” is trained with “CycleGAN” and wrapped with a web-based interface, where participants can sketch on and later see the real-time generated paintings. If the participant sketches the […]

18/10/2018

Weather Thingy – Real time climate sound controller

Created by Adrien Kaeser at ECAL (Media and Interaction Design Unit), Weather Thingy is a custom built sound controller that uses real time climate-related events to control and modify the settings of musical instruments.

16/10/2018

House Party – Scavenged, mechanical and synthesised orchestra

Created by Neil Mendoza during an artist in residence at Recology SF,  House Party is a musical installation that explores prized possessions in their native habitat. All the materials used to create this artwork, from the furniture to the computers, were scavenged from the discarded trash. The music is a mix of mechanical and synthesised sounds.

15/10/2018

Skin-awareness

The immersive space morphs and alters with light and becomes solid, its pressure composing and decomposing the self-awareness of skin. The dancer’s body is extended and manipulated as a conscious entity, exceeding the physiological object. The constant feedback between the body’s trajectory and interaction with the environment changes the nature of the object itself. The […]

11/10/2018

Prélude in ACGT – Sonification of personal (DNA) data

Created by Pierry Jaquillard at ECAL (Media and Interaction Design Unit), Prélude in ACGT is collection of tools that explore the relationship between music and biology. The project uses Pierry’s own DNA (chromosome 1 to 22) and converts it into music.

10/10/2018

RECIPHER – Generative Arts Exhibition

RECIPHER, a group show featuring works generated by students of Selçuk Artut’s “Creative Coding” course at Sabanci University, Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design Program, will be exhibited in two different locations in Istanbul at the same time. One of the exhibitions will open its door at Sabanci University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences […]

09/10/2018

Connected Tools – Devices that mediate smartphone consumption

Created by Giulio Barresi at ECAL (Media and Interaction Design Unit), Connected Tools is a series of objects that explore alternative rituals that could lead to a more reasonable consumption of mobile technologies.

05/10/2018

DIGITALIVE, an attempt to define a Contemporary Manner

The symbiosis between users and devices allows and encourages personal performance pervasively, and breaks the boundaries between human and non-human action: today’s performance is post-human, quoting Karen Barad. The concept behind the term “live” (de visu) has vastly changed, following the technological evolution and letting a high-performance gradient emerge in everyday habits. With the aim […]

02/10/2018

Fiberbots – Framework for cooperative (swarm) robotic manufacturing

Created by the team at MIT Media Lab’s Meditated Matter Group, Fiberbots is a digital fabrication framework fusing cooperative swarm robotic manufacturing with abilities to generate highly sophisticated material structures.

27/09/2018

Horror Vacui – Exploring Earth’s (un)real geological formations

Created by Matteo Zamagni, “Horror Vacui” is a non-narrative film that explores geological formations of Earth and the frenetic hyper-development attained by humankind.

19/09/2018

Encounter – Suspiciously curious robotics

Created by Piet Schmidt during the summer semester at UdK Berlin (New Media / Digital Class), Encounter is a a robotic arm with a mirror that curiously observes its surroundings.

17/09/2018

Face Trade – Art vending machine that trades mugshots for “free” portraits

Face Trade is an Art Vending Machine created by Matthias Dörfelt that dispenses unique prints of computer generated face drawings. Instead of paying with money, buyers trade a mugshot that is taken on the spot in order to be permanently stored in the Ethereum Blockchain, consequently turning the transaction into a semi-permanent Face Swap.

14/09/2018

Uncanny Rd. – Drawing tool to interactively synthesise street images

Uncanny Rd. is a drawing tool that allows users to interactively synthesise street images with the help of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). The project was created as a collaboration between Anastasis Germanidis and Cristobal Valenzuela to explore the new kinds of human-machine collaboration that deep learning can enable.

06/09/2018

The chAIr Project – Reversing the role of human and machine in the design process

The chAIr Project is a series of four chairs created using a generative neural network (GAN) trained on a dataset of iconic 20th-century chairs with the goal to “generate a classic”. The results are semi-abstract visual prompts for a human designer who used them as a starting point for actual chair design concepts. 

09/08/2018

BIAN’s 4th Edition – Contemplating (Post-Digital) Corporeality

A review, photos, and selection of highlights from the abundant offerings of the 4th edition of the International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN) in Montreal.

03/08/2018

Apparatum – Inspired by the Polish Radio Experimental Studio

Created by panGenerator, “Apparatum” is a custom made apparatus with digital interface that emits purely analogue sound. It is inspired by the heritage of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio – one of the first studios in the world producing electroacoustic music.

25/07/2018

Sorting – Visualisation, sortification and sonification of an algorithm

Created by Ren Yuan, Sorting is an algorithm visualization and sonification created using Processing.

24/07/2018

MoonQuest – Procedurally generated adventure game

Created by Wizard Mode (Ben Porter), MoonQuest is a single-player procedurally-generated adventure game set in a strange nocturnal world. The gameplay is a mix of roguelike and minecraftian genres and sits somewhere between Terraria and Spelunky, with the main aim to search the generated world for moonstones.

23/07/2018

Push Conference – Celebrating innovative interactive experience design

For the 7th time now, 600 experience designers and creative technologists will join us this October in Munich to take a close look at all things interactive. As always, we’ll not just feature talks and workshops but also a hands-on exhibition showcasing interactive projects from graduates and design studios all the way to companies like Bosch and BMW.

20/07/2018

Meandering River – onformative’s newest audiovisual installation to premiere at Funkhaus Berlin, July 28 to 30

Next week, Berliners are in for a real (if brief) treat: from July 28 to 30, onformative’s newest audiovisual installation will take over the halls of the Funkhaus Sound Chamber. Here’s what we know: at once dynamic simulation and vibrant, painterly landscape, Meandering River is set to capture the gradual flows of natural systems in […]

19/07/2018

Sonic Playground – Playful acoustics by Yuri Suzuki Design

Created by Yuri Suzuki Design in collaboration with High Atlanta, Sonic Playground is an outdoor sound installation that features ingenious, colourful sculptures that modify and transmit sound in unusual, engaging and playful ways.

19/07/2018

ChineseWhispers – Inaccurately transmitted gossip

Created by Saurabh Datta, “ChineseWhispers” is an installation comprised of four head figures performing “Chinese Whispers” – a sequence of repetitions of a story, each one differing slightly from the original, so that the final telling bears only a scant resemblance to the original.

16/07/2018

Zero One – Generative video for Zero One Technology Festival

Created by Raven Kwok in collaboration with L.A. based producer / music technologist Mike Gao, Zero One is a code-based generative video commissioned by Zero One Technology Festival 2018 in Shenzhen, PR China.

06/07/2018

The Night Journey – Game by Bill Viola and USC’s Game Innovation Lab

Created as a collaboration between the Game Innovation Lab and the American video artist Bill Viola, The Night Journey is an experimental art game that uses both game and video techniques to tell the story of an individual’s journey towards enlightenment.

04/07/2018

Narciss – AI whose only purpose is to investigate itself

Created by Waltz Binaire, Narciss is a robot that uses artificial intelligence to analyse itself, thus reflecting on its own existence. Comprised of Google’s Tensorflow framework and a simple mirror, the experiment translates self-portraits of a digital body into lyrical guesses.

25/06/2018

HALO – Sculpting the sunlight into (im)material form

Created by Kimchi and Chips and currently on view at the Somerset House in London, HALO is a new installation in the series of works by the Seoul based Mimi Son and Elliot Woods where light is sculpted to create form that exists between material and immaterial.

20/06/2018

A-B-Z-TXT 2018 – Call for Participants

A-B-Z-TXT is back—and our favourite summer typography school is looking for international applicants. Apply to join Jürg Lehni, Mindy Seu, Jon Gacnik and others in Toronto Aug 23-26 for four days of masterclasses, workshops, and lectures.

20/06/2018

Zoological – Autonomous flying spheres at the Roundhouse

Created by Random International, Zoological is a flock of autonomous, flying spheres that move collectively. Algorithmically driven, the spheres react to their surroundings and, sometimes, to people within their environment. 

11/06/2018

MULTIVERSE – The eternal birth and death of infinite parallel universes

“Multiverse” is the new audio-visual installation by fuse* that draws inspiration from these concepts and, through the creation of a sequence of digital paintings, generated in real-time, attempts to represent the eternal birth and death of infinite parallel universes.

07/06/2018

Aerobanquets RMX – An Immersive Gastronomic Experience

Created by Mattia Casalegno and presented in collaboration with the chef Flavio Ghignoni Carestia, the Aerobanquets RMX is an immersive, sensorial experience focussed on the perception of taste.

05/06/2018

Ian Cheng “Emissary Forks at Perfection” – Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia

From 24 May to 25 November 2018, in the framework the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s “Hors-les-murs” program, American artist Ian Cheng’s “Emissary Forks At Perfection” (2015-2016) is on display at the Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia.

05/06/2018

OPENRNDR – Open source framework for creative coding for Kotlin

OPENRNDR is a tool to create tools. It is an open source framework for creative coding for Kotlin that simplifies writing real-time interactive software.

04/06/2018

Making Data Matter – Voxel printing for digital fabrication of data

Developed by the team at the MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter research group, the following research demonstrates multimaterial voxel-printing method that enables physical visualisation of volumetric data.

01/06/2018

Proteus – Analog digital display that allows for interacting with matter

Created by Maria Smigieska in collaboration with Pierre Cutellic, Proteus project is an analog digital display that allows for interacting with matter. It is an experiment on the modulation of ferrofluid patterns controlled by both magnetic field and robotic interface.

30/05/2018

A Modern Prometheus – Processing Foundation

Casey Reas and Ben Fry reflect on the last 17 years of working on Processing in ~3600 words. A must read for all new and old to Processing.

30/05/2018

Genesis of a Microbial Skin – Beehives designed for urban environments

Created by AnneMarie Maes, Genesis of a Microbial Skin is a mixed media installations and a research project exploring the idea of Intelligent Beehives with a focus on smart materials, in particular microbial skin. The project is about predominantly growing Intelligent Guerilla Beehives from scratch, with living materials – just as nature does. 

25/05/2018

Jack Torrance Trip – Moon Landing, Truth? Lies?

The moon landing is one of the greatest milestones in human history. What if it wasn’t real? Meet Jack Torrance, the man who made it all happen. @jacktorrancetrip, an interactive storytelling experiences on Instagram, tells his story. Follow his adventure to the dark side of politics and manipulation and learn how surveillance technologies have changed […]

24/05/2018

Mutiertes L-System – Physically grown L-System

Created by Lukas Stöver at HfK Bremen, Mutiertes L-System is the physically grown L-System-Algorithm. From a software origin, it migrates into the physical world. By mutating and developing architectural structures it adapts to its new spatial environment.

23/05/2018

Augenblick – Wearable that catches moments when we blink

Created by Manasse Pinsuwan and René Henrich, Augenblick explores and captures what we miss when we close our eyes thousands of times a day to blink. Developed at the Digital Media Bremen with support from Joachim Hofmann and Prof. Dennis P. Paul, Augenblick is a wearable device that records every single frame that is missed by its wearer.

11/05/2018

Sunny Side Up – Sunrise to sunset, the measures time and robotics

Developed by studio AATB, Sunny Side Up is an installation comprised of a robotic arm and a metal rod, proposing a contemporary version of the archaic typology of the sundial.

09/05/2018

Inventing the Future at MUTEK_IMG

It was just three weeks ago we were in Montréal for the 4th edition of MUTEK_IMG, MUTEK’s forum on digital creation. Invited to contribute to its symposium, we curated five panels. In this post-festival report, we share some highlights.

04/05/2018

Artificial Imagination – Opening ‘the Black Box’ of Inscrutable AI Through Dialogue

Artificial Imagination was a symposium organized by Ottawa’s Artengine this past winter that invited a group of artists to discuss the state of AI in the arts and culture. CAN was on hand to take in the proceedings, and given the emergence of documentation, we share videos and a brief report.

01/05/2018

Open Data Cam

‘Open Data Cam’ is a tool that helps to quantify the world. With computer vision ‘Open Data Cam’ understands and quantifies what it sees. The simple DIY setup allows everybody to become an urban data miner.

30/04/2018

Superception – Expanding human perception with personal projection mapping

Created by Shunichi Kasahara in collaboration with Satoru Higa, Takuto Usami, Shotaro Hirata and Tetsuya Konishi, “Superception” (Super + perception) is a research framework that uses computer technologies to intervene and transform human perception.

26/04/2018

Into the Great Beyond – Inventing Futures at IAM Weekend 18 (April 27 to 29)

The future is calling (again): in just a few short days, Barcelona’s IAM Weekend returns to the nexus of internet culture and cybernetic serendipity with an exciting mix of talks, workshops, and masterclasses. Join us as we attempt “The Subversion of Paradoxes” in search of the great beyond. The term ‘multidisciplinary’ gets thrown around a […]

24/04/2018

Melting Memories – Drawing neural mechanisms of cognitive control

Created by Refik Anadol, “Melting Memories” is a series of digital artworks that explore materiality of remembering by offering new insights into the representational possibilities of EEG data collected on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control.

24/04/2018

Deep Learning: CAN to co-host Mapping LAB at Mapping Festival 2018

At the upcoming (14th!) edition of Geneva’s Mapping Festival (May 9 – 12), CAN is proud to co-host Mapping LAB – a one-day educational program of 13 workshops run by leading artists, designers, and researchers in our field. Join us!

21/04/2018

Otherly Space/Knowledge – Questions of knowledge in the age of data

Review of the exhibition last month at the Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea – a collection of 12 works questioning the essential meaning and significance of the data world.

04/04/2018

Sensorium Festival: Bratislava turns into a happening spot for computational art, design and performance

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31/03/2018

Habitat of Recognition – Reading and writing of Earth’s landscapes

Created by Luiz Zanotello, Habitat of Recognition explores the material dimensions of digital technologies by examining the intra-active tensions between the distinction and convergence of matter.

21/03/2018

Learning To See – Making deep neural network predictions on live camera input

Latest in the series of experiments and explorations into neural networks by Memo Akten is a pre-trained deep neural network able to make predictions on live camera input – trying to make sense of what it sees, in context of what it’s seen before.

20/03/2018

Explore the Outer Limits of Digital Aesthetics & Culture at MUTEK_IMG 2018

On April 11–13th MUTEK Montréal presents the 4th edition of MUTEK_IMG, their offshoot festival focused on digital creation. CAN/HOLO was invited to curate five panels within this year’s program, that bring together leading artists and thinkers to consider pressing aesthetic and sociopolitical questions.

08/03/2018

Internet of Shrimps – Ironic and playful look at the IoT

Created by Ralph Kistler, ‘Internet of Shrimps’ examines in an ironic and playful way the industries´ promises for an enhanced experience in a completely interconnected smart home, often be acclaimed as the next big technological revolution: the Internet of Things.

07/03/2018

Spirotrope – Stirling Engine powered Spirograph animation

Created by Witaya Junma. ‘Spirotrope’ is a device developed from the hypothesis that an interactive artwork can be created from unrelated objects in a way such that each object is still visible in its essence, whether in its form or its function. The criteria is that the viewer must experience this by interacting with the artwork directly.

06/03/2018

Objective Realities – Becoming an object in a smart home

Created by Automato, ‘Objective Realities’ is an installation and performance that explores the idea of how does it feel to be an object in a smart home. It includes a series of VR experiences that change the perspective from a human point of view to the one of an object, inviting users to see and act in a virtual smart home with the capabilities and limitations of a specific object and listen to the invisible chatter that happens between networked things and the home.

19/02/2018

Scribble – Haptic interface for autonomous cars to ‘draw’ through traffic

Created by Felix Ros, ‘Scribble’ is a haptic interface designed for autonomous cars that lets the driver draw their way through traffic. They draw a path and the car will follow, not letting them drive but pilot the car, helping the car when in need. Scribble is powered by an Arduino DUE that is controlled over a serial connection by a GUI made in openFrameworks.

15/02/2018

Pour Reception – Water as a digital (material) interface

Created by Tore Knudsen, ‘Pour Reception’ is a playful radio that uses machine learning and tangible computing to challenge our cultural understanding of what an interface is and can be. Two glasses of water are turned into a digital material for the user to explore and appropriate.

07/02/2018

Plug, play and learn at the TouchDesigner Summit 2018 in Berlin

This weekend, February 3rd to 4th, we will join 230 TouchDesigner users at Derivative’s second ever TouchDesigner Summit in Berlin for an 48-hour marathon of workshops, masterclasses, and presentations.

02/02/2018

Cycling Wheel: The Orchestra – Reimagining Marcel’s bicycle wheel as a light+sound Instrument

Created by Taipei based Keith Lam, Seth Hon and Alex Lai, “Cycling Wheel” in an installation and performance that borrows the concept of Marcel’s Bicycle Wheel and re-imagines it as a dynamic and interactive performative instrument, transforming its mechanics into sound and light.

02/02/2018

Interactive Architectural Projection Mapping – Call for Proposals

Quartier des spectacles has posted a call for innovative interactive projection mapping projects and their ponying up up to $10,000 (CAD) funding, expert tutelage to support selected projects’ development, and the opportunity to present finished works near the bustling Saint-Laurent metro station.

02/02/2018

Amygdala MKI –– Artificially intelligent prosthesis

Created by Marco Donnarumma in collaboration with Neurobotics Research Laboratory and Ana Rajcevic Studio, Amygdala MKI is a prototype for an artificially intelligent prosthesis with only aim is to learn a purification ritual of “skin-cutting” found in animistic tribes, so it trains on its own body, endlessly.

29/01/2018

Ableton OSC Processing Design Methodology

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26/01/2018

Die With Me – The chat app for when you have less than 5% battery

Created by Dries Depoorter & David Surprenant and presented in collaboration with IDFA Doclab, Die With Me is a chat app available for iOS and Android that you can only use when you have less than 5% battery.

19/01/2018

Synthetic Pollenizer – Robotic interventions in the real-world ecological systems

Created by Michael Candy, “Synthetic Pollenizer” is a conceptual intervention in real-world ecological systems using artificial flowers. Inspired by natural pollenizers, these robotic replicas artificially pollinate bees, integrating into the reproductive cycle of local flora; an initiative into a cybernetic ecology.

15/01/2018

CarbonScape – Pollution soundscape by h0nh1m

Created by h0nh1m (Chris Cheung) CarbonScape is a kinetic data soundscape installation consisting of 18 tracks of granular synthesized sound samples. They are collected from the sound sources where carbon footprints are left – sound from the jet engine, steam from the factory or horn of the ship – all composed into a single soundscape.

12/01/2018

Lumen – Mixed reality storytelling device

Created by Arvind Sanjeev, Lumen is a mixed reality storytelling device that lets users explore AR/VR content without being confined to headsets or mobile devices.

10/01/2018

Dökk – Live media performance by fuse*

Dökk (‘darkness’ in Icelandic) is the new live-media performance by fuse* and the natural evolution of Ljós (‘light’). Dökk is about a journey throughout a sequence of digital landscapes where the perception of space and time is altered.

03/01/2018