Past Meetup


This Meetup is past

15 people went

NYU Steinhart - Room 779

35 West 4th St., 7th floor · New York, NY

How to find us

May need ID for guard at door: mention Peter Beyls presenting to School of Music Technology

Location image of event venue


We are happy to have Peter Beyls presenting on HYBRID APPROACHES TO AESTHETIC COMPUTING.

This event sponsored by Harvestworks, NYCEMS and NYC SuperCollider.

"My work explores the potential of writing software towards the investigation of random ideas, aesthetic problems and artistic ambitions.

The motivation for writing software to create art is rooted in the conviction that the software medium constitutes a vehicle for introspection – software talks back to the artist, recursively providing information on ones intentions. Writing computer programs becomes a channel for self-discovery, for playing with ideas for what I have come to call conceptual navigation – the pragmatic exploration of ones belief-system as an artist. Essentially, much of my work can be described as speculative computing since it focuses on the integration of intuition and intellect in an interdisciplinary artistic practice.

Furthermore, I am interested in dynamical systems in art and science and I’m fascinated by complexity as found in natural and social systems. I wonder how the private imagination of the artists relates to all this and how, for instance, aspects of human creativity could be formalized and implemented in a functional program. In the end, the concern arises of how to map digital artifacts back into the analog world as to make them available for humans to perceive – which raises exciting questions of tangibility and embodiment.

My talk first briefly addresses the various models I have been exploring over the years; from random speculation to complex rule-based systems to distributed agents-based systems thriving on self-organization. All work is rooted in procedural thinking and manifests itself in a variety of hybrid formats, including interactive audio-visual installations and musical performance.

Secondly, I will focus on recent research in Sound and Music Computing initiated at CITAR, (Centre for Research in Science and Technology for the Arts), at UC Porto. Keywords in this respect include: database aesthetics, machine learning in human-machine interaction and emergent gestural control. All current projects are implemented in SuperCollider.


Peter Beyls is an interdisciplinary artist working with computer media since the 1970’s. He develops generative systems in music, the visual arts and hybrid formats. He studied at the Royal Music Conservatory Brussels, EMS Stockholm, Ghent University and the Slade School of Art, University College London. Beyls was awarded a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Plymouth, UK for his research in evolutionary computing applied to real-time interactive music systems. Beyls published extensively on various aspects of digital art and lectures and exhibits worldwide. He is currently full-time research professor at the Centre for Research in Science and Technology for the Arts (CITAR), Universidade Católica Portuguese, Porto and visiting professor of Media Art at the School of Arts, University College Ghent. On October 30, 2014, MER PaperKunsthalle published Simple Thoughts, a monograph documenting his work.