Arts Research Symposium at the AlgoMech Festival – Call for Proposals

Posted by thor magnusson on September 20, 2016

:::: Sunday, November 12th, 10.00am @ Sheffield Hallam University ::::

Algomech Poster

Symposium – Call for Proposals

The AlgoMech Arts Research Symposium takes place within the Festival of Algorithmic and Mechanical Movement, on the 13th November 2016 at the Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, UK. AlgoMech will celebrate a resurgence of making in performance, where creative processes are made visible during a live event. Rather than presenting technology as seamless, we pick at the seams, exposing its innards as human-made and reconfigurable. We will also go beyond fashionable notions of technology to take the long view; bringing together mechanical, kinetic, electronic, and software arts, from periods spanning the stone age to present day, building a picture of the human maker as both digital and analogue, thinking and feeling, embodied yet reaching beyond what is bodily possible. The festival will take place across Sheffield, and will include concerts, talks, hands-on workshops, and a club night.

The arts research symposium will focus on the latest developments in this field, drawing on both academic and artistic perspectives. We invite proposals for artist talks and academic papers in the form of short abstracts, describing the theme and structure of your research presentation or artist talk in approximately one page of text. As an inclusive, cross-disciplinary symposium, we are open-minded about the form of your talk and proposal, but please do not hesitate to get in contact if you have questions.

As well as talks accepted from this call, the day will include talks from artists contributing work at the festival, and panel sessions on fictive materials and maker culture.

We welcome submissions from areas that intersect with the following themes:

  • Human and mechanical motion
  • Human-machine interaction and embodiment
  • Creative computing and (live) coding
  • Robotics in the arts
  • Design and physical computing
  • Machine creativity
  • Algorithm aesthetics
  • Mechanical automata in history
  • Kinesthesis and art
  • Machine choreography
  • Maker culture
  • Materialities for motion
  • Generative design and architecture
  • Alternative histories of algorithms and mechanisms

Draft Programme

9:30 – Coffee + live coding performance
10:00 – Paper session (8 papers – we will issue a call for papers soon)
12:00 – Lunch
13:00 – Panel 1 (on speculative hardware and fictive materialities - chair: Derek Hales)
14:00 – Keynote talk with Godfried-Willem Raes
15:00 – Coffee with a performance
16:00 – Panel 2 (on maker culture – chair: Amy Twigger Holroyd)
19:00 – Performances at the Millennium Gallery

Keynote speaker

We will have a keynote by Godfried-Willem Raes, of the Logos foundation. Godfried is a composer and instrument maker, who taught at Ghent Royal Conservatory and the Orpheus Higher Institution for Music. In addition to his reputation as a composer, he is also an expert in computer technology, robotics and interactive electronic art. As an example, he is well known in this country for his work on musical robotics with Aphex Twin.


We call for three types of submissions: 15 min talks, panel contributions, and performances.

We invite proposals for 15 minute research presentations or artist talks (10 minutes talk + 5 minutes questions). Proposals should be a one page abstract describing the presentation. Please also submit a short (200-300 word) biography for each author and an image describing your project. Submissions should be made in PDF or Word format.

If you are interested in participating in either of the panels on speculative hardware and fictive materialities or maker culture, please send a note to and describe in a sentence or two why you would like to join the panel.

In the evening during symposium we are programming performances (music, dance, robotics, etc.) in the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield from 7pm (time TBC). Please submit your proposal describing the performance and indicating the technical requirements you have. The proposal would typically be a page with your name, title of the piece, a paragraph description of the piece, a representative image (if available), a video of past performance (if available) and a tech spec.

Submission Process

Submissions will be selected by a panel chaired by members of the Experimental Music Technologies (EMuTe) Lab at University of Sussex. Please email your submission in PDF format to

Important Dates

10th October: Submission Deadline
17th October: Notifications
12th-20th November: AlgoMech Festival
13th November: Arts Research Symposium


Sheffield Institute of Arts, Fitzalan Square, Sheffield S1 2AY, United Kingdom


Symposium chairs:
Thor Magnusson (university profile with email address:
Chris Kiefer (university profile with email address: