Post-Anthropcentric Creativity

Call for Submissions, special issue of Digital Creativity, 27:1, January 2016

the flesh that covers me is the flesh that covers the sun (Dylan Thomas)

Guest editors: Stanislav Roudavski and Jon McCormack

This special issue aims to audit existing conceptions of creativity in the light of non-anthropocentric interpretations of agency, autonomy, subjectivity, social practices and technologies. Specifically, it seeks to explore how 1) the agents, recipients and processes of creativity and 2) the purpose, value, ethics and politics of creativity relate to phenomena of computation. The editors encourage innovative narrative or visual strategies that can express relevant scenarios better that more typical forms of academic writing. Dialogues, conversations, plays, scripts, instruction sets, games or visual essays (for example) might be suitable alongside logical arguments or formulae. Initial proposals should be submitted as abstracts of 800–1200 words, exclusive of references and biographies.

Abstracts due: May 15, 2015, to be sent as PDFs to Stanislav Roudavski at as well as to the editors of Digital Creativity at

The Full Call for Submissions is available as a pdf.

Creative Machine Exhibition

Creative Machine Poster

This major exhibition explores the twilight world of human/machine creativity in contemporary art, including installations of video and computer art, artificial intelligence, robotics and apps by twenty-five leading artists including well-known international artists, Goldsmiths staff and students.

This exhibition at St.James, Hatcham Church Gallery Goldsmiths, University of London runs from 6- 14 November and will feature Niche Constructions. More details on the Goldsmiths web site.


The exhibition opening coincides with the Human Interactive Conference 9:30am—6pm Thursday 6 Nov 2014

Exhibition Flyer [pdf]

Exhibition Catalogue [pdf]

Short video:


Memo Atken • Cécile Babiole • Daniel Berio • Balint Bolygo • Damien Borowik • Paul Brown • Simon Colton • Ernest Edmonds • Ian Gouldstone • Yoichiro Kawaguchi • William Latham • Andy Lomas • Manu Luksch • Alex May/Anna Dumitriu • Jon McCormack • Parashkev Nachev • Vesna Petresin • Quayola • Félix Luque Sánchez • Naoko Tosa • Peter Todd • Patrick Tresset • Harwood/Wright/Yokokoji


William Latham, Atau Tanaka and Frederic Fol Leymarie

Exhibition Organiser:

Steph Horak

More information at:

EvoMUSART 2014

I presented a new paper at EvoMUSART 2014 in Granada, Spain (23-25 April 2014):

Balancing Act: variation and utility in Evolutionary Art.

The paper looks at the tradeoffs required between the expressive ability of a generative system and the proportion of useful or interesting results it is capable of producing. Structural or organisational rules increase the probability of getting useful results, but this is typically at the expense of the potential variety the system can produce. Thus the designer of any system needs to find a balance between organisational structure and expressive diversity to get the best results from any system.


You can download the paper here and the proceedings are available from Springer.



Evolutionary Art typically involves a tradeoff between the size and flexibility of genotype space and its mapping to an expressive phenotype space. Ideally we would like a genotypic representation that is terse but expressive, that is, we want to maximise the useful variations the genotype is capable of expressing in phenotype space. Terseness is necessary to minimise the size of the overall search space, and expressiveness can be loosely interpreted as phenotypes that are useful (of high fitness) and diverse (in feature space). In this paper I describe a system that attempts to maximise this ratio between terseness and expressiveness. The system uses a binary string up to any maximum length as the genotype. The genotype string is interpreted as building instructions for a graph, similar to the cellular programming techniques used to evolve artificial neural networks. The graph is then interpreted as a form-building automaton that can construct animated 3-dimensional forms of arbitrary complexity. In the test case the requirement for expressiveness is that the resultant form must have recognisable biomorphic properties and that every possible genotype must fulfil this condition. After much experimentation, a number of constraints in the mapping technique were devised to satisfy this condition. These include a special set of geometric building operators that take into account morphological properties of the generated form. These methods were used in the evolutionary artwork ‘Codeform’, developed for the Ars Electronica museum. The work generated evolved virtual creatures based on genomes acquired from the QR codes on museum visitor’s entry tickets.

Creative Coding MOOC

Our 6 week MOOC (Massive Open On-Line Course) on Creative Coding started on June 2, 2014 and had over 17,000 sign-ups.

The course is now finished, but it will be run again in mid 2015.

The course teaches introductory programming from a creative perspective, contextualising activities through the history and philosophy of computer creativity. The course is free and open to anyone. It requires 3-10 hours dedicated study per week and no prior programming experience is necessary. You can sign up at Futurelearn. Here’s the trailer:

Use the #FLcreativecoding to share your work and thoughts associated with the course.

AISB14 Symposium on Computational Creativity

A new paper (with Mark d’Inverno) – following up from our epilogue to Computers and Creativity – was presented at the AISB14 Symposium on Computational Creativity at Goldsmiths, University of London on April 1–4, 2014. AISB is a convention for the society for the study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (the AISB). This year’s convention commemorates both 50 years since the founding of the AISB society and sixty years since the death of Alan Turing, founding father of both Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.

The video above was part of the presentation of our paper and was followed by a live demonstration of the Music Circle project currently being undertaken at Goldsmiths.

We are very honoured that our paper, On the Future of Computers and Creativity, was selected to be included in the AISB-50’s anthology volume. Here’s a pdf pre-print of the paper.