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MSc Creative Computing to showcase work at Crit Tech exhibition

A poster saying 'UAL Creative Computing Institute', Critical approaches to technology and play'
  • Written byKat Smith
  • Published date01 December 2021
A poster saying 'UAL Creative Computing Institute', Critical approaches to technology and play'

What potential do creative computing practices hold for exploring the relationship between technology and play? On 8 December, the 2021 graduates of the UAL Creative Computing Institute’s MSc Creative Computing programme invite you to join them as they showcase their work in a physical exhibition at the Institute’s campus, exploring the intersections of art, technology, and design.

This final graduate exhibition will showcase a varied collection of interdisciplinary works across a range of mediums from physical and digital installations to machine learning and innovative app development. Exploring the potential of computing arts in tackling subjects such as decolonisation, anti-racism, surveillance, and climate change.

Join UAL CCI on 8 December, 6 – 8pm at 45-65 Peckham Road in Camberwell for this one-night exhibition - take part in an immersive experience, explore your senses to discover new forms of play, and consider what role technology could play in our lives at this critical time.

We asked some of the graduating students exhibiting at the show about their work, what inspires them and how they got into creative computing.

Heying Wang - ‘Miracle’

“Miracle is a practical exploration of the idea, to empower people to explore the different moments in dream in a virtual environment. People can get an immersive physical experience based on colour, animation and sound changes in the inspiration of some magical pieces of normal life through the game. This project focuses on creating an interactive immersive physical environment based on the dream through VR technology.”

A digitised landscape of grey sand against a yellow/orange sky, there are oversized plush toys and fairground rides.
Image: Heying Wang - ‘Miracle’

“Before entering Creative Computing, I was very interested in the field of human-computer interaction and wanted to bring a smooth user experience for players, or users, and it would be nice if it could be something beautiful. Later, when I came across Xinghan Chen's game Journey, it deeply influenced me, and such a healing and artistic game interactive experience is what I hope to achieve in my own projects. So, in Miracle, I also tried to incorporate such a style, hoping to bring an amazing game journey to my players.

Nana Kwadwo Darfoor - ‘bARbershop’

My project is dubbed bARbershop. 

“I am creating an interactive smart mirror for barbershop, where the user/client can see their reflection in real time in a mirror and interact with it rather than explain what hairstyle they  want.

I am mainly using Augmented Reality (AR) in this project plus Physical Computing. UAL’s Creative Computing course was a direct link to me and what I aspire to do. I used to use the term ‘tech solutionist” until I saw the term “creative developer” under the description of this course. That was the sign I had found my next step in my tech journey. The course outline, subjects and way of teaching were all things I agreed with and piqued my interest.

A phone camera held up to a man with a beard
Image: Nana Kwadwo Darfoor - ‘bARbershop’

I am inspired by the work and the effect of technology - sounds vague I know, but that is really it. Wherever I walk, whatever I watch, wherever I am I find myself admiring technology and its ability to promote and help human life in all ways. I am particularly motivated to used tech in all its mannerisms to push for the upliftment and quality of life back home in Ghana.”

Chris Holtum - 'Mercuria'

My project, Mercuria, is an interactive audio-visual art project made in the Unity game engine; the project takes the form of a series of interactional digital sculptures, using generative techniques to ensure no two viewings are identical.

“I came into the world of creative computing via the world of sound design & audio engineering, also with a long history in performing music. As a result, a lot of my work often strays into the realms of the audio-visual.”

Green dotted lights in the shape of a tree
Image: Chris Holtum - Mercuria
Daan Rongen - ‘Voxel Chiseling (Sculpture GAN)’

Sculpture GAN is a deep convolutional generative adversarial network (DCGAN) trained to predict 3D objects for sculpture art. Using a technique I deemed voxel chiseling, the model learned to synthesise a sculpture out of a voxel grid. This results in a presentation of what the model deems the core features of a geometry. The predicted geometry was 3D-printed to be used as plaster piece mold and casted.

The animation shows a sequence of the model’s predictions over epochs during the training process. Here it becomes visible how the model sequentially removes voxels to accentuate the target geometry; a principle like that of a classical sculptor chiseling away pieces of marble. Adding the custom shader to the animation brings along another view: a humanoid shape melted in ice, that is slowly thawing.”

A figure of digital ice blue blocks set against a black background
Image: Daan Rongen - ‘Voxel Chiseling (Sculpture GAN)’
Melanie Chappuis - 'Conectada'

"When I was doing my BA in Graphic Communication Design in Central Saint Martins, I've always have been interested in the classes in computing. As my projects have always been playful, I knew it would be a great tool for me to explore coding. It is the reason why I've started my MSc in Creative Computing, I felt that it opened new doors in giving me more freedom and depth to express my art. I got inspired by how technology can lead to new perspectives in creativity and also be very helpful to our society in terms of interactions.

"For my final project, called Conectada, I've created an interactive experience for people to reconnect together with the wildlife of South America. The animals are reflected on us, to remind us that we are part of the flora and fauna. Therefore we should be respectful with our Mother Earth. Use your body as a musical instrument, and feel immersed through different sounds and visuals of the rainforest. I used ml5.js, to bring more interaction between people and create an educational experience, raising awareness about the endangered species of the Amazon forest."

Tribal masks against a green background
Melanie Chappuis - 'Conectada'

Exhibition

When: Wed, 8 December 2021, 6 – 8pm GMT

Where: UAL Creative Computing Institute, 45-65 Peckham Road, Camberwell, SE5 8UF

Please note this exhibition will have limited capacity due to COVID-19 regulations, and that booking a ticket will be required to access the facilities.