Memo Akten is an artist, researcher and philomath from Istanbul, Turkey, working with computation as medium, inspired by the intersections of science and spirituality; and collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion. Combining critical and conceptual approaches with investigations into form, movement and sound; he works with computational systems and algorithms, designing behavioural abstractions and data dramatizations of natural and anthropogenic processes, to create (interactive, non-interactive or responsive) 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’. Since 2009 his works ‘Body Paint’ and ‘Gold’ have toured with the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Decode’ exhibition. In 2014 his work as Marshmallow Laser Feast ‘Laser Forest’ was part of the Barbican’s ‘Digital Revolutions’ exhibition. 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.
Tonio Ball (University of Freiburg)
Tonio Ball received the M.D. degree in medicine from the University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
He has a permanent position as a Research Group Leader of the Intracranial EEG and Brain Imaging Lab, Epilepsy Center, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. His main research interests include recording, analysis, and modeling of cortical neuronal population activity across multiple spatial scales, from microECoG to EEG and fMRI, and the application of such measurements in clinical neurotechnology.
Dr. Ball is a Member of the executive board and a Principal Investigator in the Excellence Cluster BrainLinks-BrainTools at the University of Freiburg. He is a Founding Member of the Bernstein Center Freiburg.
Thomas Bocklitz (University of Jena)
PD Dr Thomas Bocklitz studied physics at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany. He received his diploma in theoretical physics in 2007 and PhD in chemometrics in 2011. Today he heads a junior research group for statistical modelling and image analysis. His research agenda is closely connected with the translation of physical information, measured by Raman-spectroscopy, AFM, TERS, CARS, SHG, TPEF, into bio-medical biological relevant information. This research has led to over 80 reviewed publications and his habilitation. In 2015 he was awarded the Bruce-Kowalski Award for chemometrics and, in 2016, the Beutenberg-Campus Jena e. V.
Kemal İnan (Sabancı University)
He received his B.S. (1964) and M.S. (1966) in Electrical Engineering, Middle East Technical University (METU). After earning another M.S. in Automatic Control at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom (1967), he obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, USA (1970). He has held visiting faculty appointments at UC Berkeley (1980-82 and 1985-89) , served as chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department of METU (1993-95) and member of Science Council (governing board) of (TUBITAK) Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (1995-97). Between 1983-1985 he was actively in politics as a founding member of SODEP (Social Democratic Party of Turkey ). He joined Sabancı University in February 1998 as the founding dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
Göktürk Üçoluk (METU)
Received his BS and MS in Physics from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, in the years ’80 and ’82 respectively. In ’82 he moved to Middle East Technical University, Ankara, joined the Physics Department, where he has done a Ph.D. in theoretical physics. His supervisor was Tekin Dereli. The PhD., completed ’89, reads as: “An Exterior Calculus Package for REDUCE and Dimensional Reduction fo Generalised Theories of Gravity”. This was a two legged PhD.: one in Theo.Physics, the other in Symbolic Algebraic Manipulation (also known as Computer Algebra). The first required to understand what Einstein could/couldn’t do; the second required to gain an extensive expertise in LISP. During his Ph.D. study he lectured at the Department of a Computer Engineering LISP and Prolog Programming course, as a parttime lecturer. In this period of time he and Tuğrul Yılmaz, another theoretical physicist, have rewritten a LISP interpreter for the LISP dialect known as Utah Standart Lisp. The original the work was of Ersin Karabudak and Cüneyt Eren. This was the first complete C coded, register based open source free Lisp interpreter. Later Üçoluk and Yılmaz have olso written a LISP to C cross-compiler. Both of this software is available and world wide in use.
In ’89 he joined the Department of a Computer Engineering as an assistant professor, where he still is a member of. At the Department of a Computer Engineering he served/s as the Vice Chair of Department for over 6 years. He participated several SW development projects including the C3I project for the Turkish Armed Forces Headquarter. Currently he mostly teaches Ceng 111 and Ceng 140.
Since ’82 his main academical area of interest is Evolutionary Computing. He is involved in the International Olympiad Informatics activities. Since ’83 he is in the academic team that is responsible of the sellection and training of the National Team. In the year of ’99 Turkey was also the host of this activity. Over 75 countries participated. Üçoluk was the chair of the organisation. Having a background in Physics, he has a broad interest in all what requires ‘intelligence’ and ‘modelling’. And he defines ‘intelligence’ (in the quest for AI) as “the process of conversion of the ill- or un-structured knowledge into structered one”.