Memo Akten


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  • Memo Akten is an artist, researcher and philomath from Istanbul, Turkey, working with computation as a medium to explore the intersections of science and spirituality; and collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion. Working with algorithms and custom software he combines critical and conceptual approaches with investigations into form, movement and sound; designing behavioural abstractions and data dramatizations of natural and anthropogenic processes. His outputs span moving images; video, sound and light installations and performances. Alongside his practice, he is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in artificial intelligence and expressive human-machine interaction, to enable collaborative creativity between humans and machines. Fascinated by trying to understand the world and human nature, he draws inspiration from fields such as physics, molecular & evolutionary biology, ecology, abiogenesis, neuroscience, anthropology, sociology and philosophy.

    Akten received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in 2013 for his collaboration with Quayola, ‘Forms’. His 2009 works ‘Body Paint’ and ‘Gold’ have toured with the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Decode’ exhibition. His 2017 work “Learning to see” is currently part of the Barbican’s ‘More than human’ exhibition. Other exhibitions and performances include the Grand Palais (Paris FR), Royal Opera House (London UK), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow RU), Holon Museum (Tel Aviv IL), EYE Film Institute (Amsterdam NL) and Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Lisbon PT).

    Akten is a strong supporter of open-source software and many of his open-source tools and libraries are used globally. He is one of the core contributors to the openFrameworks project, and he gives lectures and workshops around the world. In 2007 he founded The Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company (MSA Visuals), a creative studio spanning art and technology. In 2011, with two new partners this evolved into Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF). In 2014, after a string of hugely successful, influential and large scale projects, Memo left MLF to focus on personal work, collaborations and research.

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