Conference 2017

16735382_10212331203056092_903476717_obsIREN Conference 2017: Arts and Digital Practices

ECA – Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland

30 – 31 May 2017

sIREN ‘Art and Digital Practices Conference’ will explore digital practices and their social impact in contemporary artistic contexts. It seeks to create an interdisciplinary platform of communication among artistic practices, technologies, theory, artistic collaboration and digital media.


The plethora and availability of digital tools and practices have transformed the ways art is created, perceived and disseminated. This had a distinct impact on how research is conducted across the arts and humanities as a whole, from practice-led to process-focused and people-centered research. To this end, an interactive format of hands-on workshops, papers and a performance session will lay the foundations for a creative dialogue among artists, theorists, academics and practitioners. The aim is to debate on key practical and philosophical challenges that contribute to the broader discussion of what it means to use digital tools as a form of artistic inquiry.

This conference will provide an arena for academics across disciplines for extending the debate of interdisciplinary practices and their appropriate methods  as well as their potential. We welcome and encourage proposals for papers across a wide range of related subject areas – such as fine and digital media art, architectural design, music and sound studies, geography, anthropology, cultural and film studies.

Themes to explore include:

  • The intersection of art and science

Testing the boundaries between scientific method and artistic experimentation. We intend to discuss the role of the artist in blurring this discursive separation, and examine emergent forms of such interdisciplinary practice.

  • Digital arts and urbanism

Approaching “digital urbanism” through exploring the themes of multiculturalism, sustainability and community, contemporary mobilities,  digital art and design processes. We want to investigate how digital arts form part of the political dynamics of urban space and contribute in digital place-making.

  • Data analysis in art practice

Surveying artistic methods that rely upon the production or mapping of data-sets. We are interested in systems, tools and approaches for identifying patterns in creative processes and shaping this data into material form.

  • Computation and creative processes

Investigating the role of computer technology in forming and mediating creative practice. In particular, we aim to address some of the issues, challenges and opportunities, arising from the present ubiquity of computing devices.


Keynote speakers:

Celia Lury (Director of Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick) ‘Composing methods: on the limits of problem spaces in a time of rendition’

Nicolas Donin (IRCAM, Paris) ‘Literal translations? How computer-assisted scoring of soundfiles is affecting the aesthetics of contemporary music’

Peter Sinclair (Locus Sonus Sound Lab) ‘Locus Sonus Audio in Art. From collective to individual and back’

Jen Southern (CeMoRe, Lancaster University) ‘Art and Mobilities in Unstable Landscapes’


Workshop leaders:

Trevor Wishart (Institute of Sonology) “Sound Loom / Composers Desktop Project” software tools for (non-realtime) sound sculpting.

Kristina Andersen (STEIM, Amsterdam) “Hypothetical Instruments” building non-functional instruments and other machines for creative expression.

Chris Speed (ECA, Design Informatics) “Re-imagining the city as a value platform” reimagine the city as a platform for smart contracts using GPS and the cryptocurrency Ether.

Papers/presentations and conference proceedings will be peer-reviewed and published with DOIs.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to attend hands-on workshops. There will also be a closing concert on the 31st.


We are happy to announce that there will be no charges for registration and attendance.
Lunch, coffee breaks and a closing drinks reception are included.

Have a question? Please email

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Academic committee:

Prof Richard Coyne, Prof Chris Speed, Prof Peter Nelson, Dr Jules Rawlinson, Dr Martin Parker, Dr Owen Green, Mr Yati Durant

Hosted by sIREN (student-led Interdisciplinary REsearch Network) team:
Eleni-Ira Panourgia, Katerina Talianni, Dara Etefaghi, Tina Krekels, Jack Walker, Roxana Karam, Deirdre Harnedy


The conference main venue is:

Hunter Theatre O17
Hunter Building
Edinburgh College of Art
74 Lauriston Pl, Edinburgh EH3 9DF

A map with workshops, concert and main venue can be downloaded here.



30th May – Day 1

9:30 – 12:30 Workshops

12:00 – 13:30 Registrations & Lunch

13:30 – 15:50 Bodies – Digital Culture – Spaces – Dr Owen Green chairing

Locus Sonus Audio In Art. From collective to individual and back – Dr Peter Sinclair

Textual Maps – The Body as Site – Jonsson & Bogers

Grasping Elapsing 3.1 – Williams

Revealing the Invisible City: Comprehending the human-city bond through data visualization and sonification – Barahona, Cui, Estevez, Huang & Talianni

Neu Collective Consciousness – Kaushal

15:50 – 16:00 Coffee break

16: 00 – 19:00 Digital Tools – Prof Chris Speed chairing

Art and Mobilities in Unstable Landscapes – Keynote by Dr Jen Southern

Glass Gateways – Kelly & Mann

SilkRoad – Digital/Analog. Creating public art intervention in the context of education and technology – Farr

Language or medium: the malleable structure of art making in a digital environment – Kearney, Escobar and Vilaneau

‘The Perfect Circle’: Using robotics as a creative tool in contemporary design and art practices – Tirupattur

The Metaphysical Potential of Networks – Clayton


31st May – Day 2

9:00 – 9:20 Coffee

9:20 – 10:50 Digitisation in art practice – Dr Sophia Lycouris chairing

‘The Ritournelles of Digitisation in Art’- Yildirim

Exploring social issues and cultural knowledge through machinima – Baxter

Digital Vivisection: The Technologic Consumption of Human Anima – Gangwisch

Scientific methods and creative processes for wearable technologies: from invention to innovation – Tenuta & Testa

10:50 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 – 13:40 Digital arts and urbanism – Prof Richard Coyne chairing

Composing methods: on the limits of problem spaces in a time of rendition – Keynote by Celia Lury, Director of CIM

The Art of Transformation: Using Virtual Space for Cultural Organizing – Boot & Michaels

Hyperlocal Imaginaries – McAndrew & Sermon

Digital art in public spaces: New urban landscapes – Del Puglia

Exploring the Intersection of Spatial Practices and Technology with Critical and Creative Methods: Some Experiences and Suggestions – Wood

Exploring & Sharing People’s Emotional Bond with Places in the City – Stals

13:40 – 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 – 16:40 Computation and Creative Processes – Prof Peter Nelson chairing

Literal translations? How computer-assisted scoring of soundfiles is affecting the aesthetics of contemporary music – Keynote by Dr. Nicolas Donin

Digital interactions: Sound and three-dimensional forms – Panourgia, Wheelaghan & Yang

The Laptop Tour: Redefining Classical Music Performance Spaces – Coleclough & Forshee

A joynt magnetism of three heavens: compositional & computational approaches to sonifying alchemical data – Roberts

Sorted 2.0 – Hignett

16:40 – 17:00 Coffee break

17:00 – 18:00 Round Table session – Dr Martin Parker chairing

19:30 – 21:00 Closing Concert

Pixi Dust – Yati Durant & Jules Rawlinson, PixiVisor & Analogue Modular Synthesis

/sɪv/ – Marcin Pietruszewski, algorithmic script for spectro-temporal signal scattering

Jess Aslan – Synth, drum machine and laptop based electro-instrumental experimentation

Two Thirds of a Good Thing – Dave Murray-Rust & Jules Rawlinson, Laptops & Controllers


Our conference book can be downloaded from the link: Book of abstracts.

Conference photos can be accessed here: 

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