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 completing 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.