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Contents © 2017 Golan Levin and Collaborators

Golan Levin and Collaborators

Bio

Biography (Alternates)

This page contains variant biographies of different lengths for Golan Levin.
Please click here for a biography of the collaborative group Tmema (Levin + Lieberman).

 


100 Word Biography, 2012:

Golan Levin is Associate Professor of Computation Arts at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also holds Courtesy Appointments in the School of Computer Science, the School of Design, and the Entertainment Technology Center. Since 2009, Levin has also served as Director of CMU's Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a laboratory for atypical and anti-disciplinary research across the arts, science, technology and culture. A two-time TED speaker and recipient of undergraduate and graduate degrees from the MIT Media Laboratory, Levin was named one of "50 Designers Shaping the Future" by Fast Company magazine in October 2012. He has exhibited widely in Europe, America and Asia.

Levin's research explores new intersections of machine code and visual culture, combining equal measures of the whimsical, the provocative, and the sublime in a wide variety of media. His work has spanned themes such as gestural robotics; the tactical potential of personal digital fabrication; novel aesthetics of non-verbal interactivity; and information visualization as a mode of arts practice. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity.


Spoken Biography (190 words):

Golan Levin is an artist and engineer interested in exploring new modes of reactive expression. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, Golan applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of non-verbal communication and interactivity. Golan has exhibited and performed widely in Europe, America and Asia.

As an educator, Golan's pedagogy is concerned with reclaiming computation as a medium of personal expression. He teaches “studio art courses in computer science,” on themes like interactive art, generative form, digital fabrication, information visualization, and audiovisual performance.

At Carnegie Mellon University, Golan is currently an Associate Professor of Electronic Art, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and Design. Since 2009 he has also served as Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a "meta-laboratory" within CMU dedicated to supporting "atypical, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional" research projects at the intersection of arts, sciences and technology. Golan has spent half his life as an artist embedded within technological research environments, in places like the MIT Media Laboratory, the Ars Electronica Futurelab, and the former Interval Research Corporation in Palo Alto.


Bio for NEA, August 2010:

Golan Levin is an artist, engineer and researcher interested in new modes of interactive expression. His work has appeared in the Whitney Biennial, and has been recognized with grants from Creative Capital, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, the Langlois Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Arts Council England, and others. Levin has spent more than 20 years as an artist immersed in high-technology research environments, including the MIT Media Laboratory, Ars Electronica Futurelab, Interval Research Corporation, and the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology. At Carnegie Mellon University, Golan is currently Associate Professor of Electronic Art, with courtesy appointments in Design and Computer Science. Since 2009, Levin has also served as Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a “meta-laboratory” within Carnegie Mellon dedicated to atypical, interdisciplinary, and other experimental modes of arts research. Golan exhibits and lectures widely in Europe, the Americas and Asia.


Bio for CMU Internal Use, August 2010:

Golan Levin is Associate Professor of Electronic and Computational Art. He holds courtesy appointments in Design and Computer Science, and serves as Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, a "meta-laboratory" within CMU dedicated to the support of atypical, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research projects at the intersection of arts, science, technology and culture. As an educator, Golan's pedagogy is concerned with reclaiming computation as a medium of personal expression. He teaches code-oriented “studio arts courses in computer science,” on themes like interactive art, generative form, digital fabrication, information visualization, game design, tangible media and audiovisual performance systems.


48 words:

Golan Levin's work explores the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines and make visible our ways of interacting with each other.


110 words (exhibition/grants listing)

Golan Levin's work focuses on the language of interactivity — verbal, vocal and visual. Levin's work has been exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Kitchen, the Neuberger Museum, and The Whitney Biennial, all in New York; Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, Taiwan; The InterCommunication Center in Tokyo, Japan; and the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karsruhe, Germany, among other venues. His funding credits include grants from Creative Capital, The New York State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, The Greenwall Foundation, the Langlois Foundation, and the Arts Council of England.


113 words (2009):

Golan Levin is an artist/engineer interested in the exploration of new modes of reactive expression. His work focuses on the design of systems for the creation, manipulation and performance of simultaneous image and sound, as part of a more general inquiry into formal languages of interactivity, and of nonverbal communications protocols in cybernetic systems. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Presently he is Associate Professor of Electronic Art and Director of the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.


175 words (2009):

Golan Levin's work combines equal measures of the whimsical, the provocative, and the sublime in a wide variety of online, installation and performance media. His projects include Dialtones [2001], a concert whose sounds are wholly performed through the carefully choreographed dialing and ringing of the audience's own mobile phones, and The Secret Lives of Numbers [2002], an interactive information visualization of global numeracy. Previously, Levin received awards in the Prix Ars Electronica and elsewhere for his Audiovisual Environment Suite [1999] software and its accompanying audiovisual performance, Scribble [2000]. Other projects include Re:MARK [2002], Messa di Voce [2003], The Manual Input Sessions [2004], Scrapple [2005] and Ursonography [2005]; these performance and installation works use augmented-reality technologies to create multi-person, real-time visualizations of their participants’ speech and gestures. Levin's recent robotic works, such as Opto-Isolator [2007] and Double-Taker [2008] are concerned with machine vision and the theme of gaze as a primary new mode for human-machine communication. Levin is Associate Professor of Computation Arts and Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.


Pedagogic Bio (2009):

Golan Levin
Associate Professor of Electronic Art

Courtesy Associate Professor of Design
Courtesy Associate Professor of Computer Science
Director, STUDIO for Creative Inquiry
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh

Golan's pedagogy is concerned with reclaiming computation as a medium of personal expression. To that end, his courses are designed to give students the confidence to program their own software creations from first principles. His studio classes focus on significant themes in contemporary electronic media arts, such as interaction design, computational form generation, information visualization, and audiovisual performance. These function as “studio art courses in computer science,” in which the objective is to produce personally and socially relevant expressions, but the medium is software created by the students themselves. Golan's own work investigates formal languages for visualization and interactivity in cybernetic systems. He is known for the conception and creation of Telesymphony, a concert whose sounds are wholly performed through the carefully choreographed ringing of the audience's own mobile phones, and for interactive information visualizations like Secret Lives of Numbers and Dumpster, which offer novel perspectives onto millions of online communications. Golan has exhibited and performed widely in Europe, America and Asia.


209 words:

Golan Levin is an artist/engineer interested in the exploration of new modes of reactive expression. His work focuses on the design of systems for the creation, manipulation and performance of simultaneous image and sound, as part of a more general inquiry into formal languages of interactivity, and of communications protocols in cybernetic systems. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. He writes: "I am interested in the medium of response, and in the conditions that enable people to experience creative feedback with reactive systems. I am drawn to the revelatory potential of information visualization - whether brought to bear on a single participant, the world of data we inhabit, or the formal aspects of mediated communication itself. And I am fascinated by how abstraction can connect us to a reality beyond language, and the ways in which our gestures and traces, thus abstracted, can reveal the unique signatures of our spirits." Levin is Associate Professor of Computation Arts and Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.


360 Words:

Golan Levin is an artist, composer, performer and engineer interested in developing artifacts and events which explore supple new modes of reactive expression. His work focuses on the design of systems for the creation, manipulation and performance of simultaneous image and sound, as part of a more general inquiry into the formal language of interactivity, and of nonverbal communications protocols in cybernetic systems. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Levin has exhibited widely in Europe, America and Asia.

Levin's work combines equal measures of the whimsical, the provocative, and the sublime in a wide variety of online, installation and performance media. He is known for the conception and creation of Dialtones [2001], a concert whose sounds are wholly performed through the carefully choreographed dialing and ringing of the audience's own mobile phones, and for The Secret Lives of Numbers [2002], an interactive information visualization of global numeracy. Previously, Levin was granted an Award of Distinction in the Prix Ars Electronica for his Audiovisual Environment Suite [2000] interactive software and its accompanying audiovisual performance, Scribble [2000]. With collaborator Zachary Lieberman, Levin has presented Re:MARK [2002], Messa di Voce [2003], and The Manual Input Sessions [2004], a series of interactive systems which use augmented-reality technologies to create multi-person, real-time visualizations of their participants' speech and gestures. Levin's most recent work centers about interactive robotics, machine vision, and the theme of gaze as a primary new mode for human-machine communication.

Levin received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the MIT Media Laboratory, where he studied with John Maeda in the Aesthetics and Computation Group. Between degrees, he worked for four years as an interaction designer and research scientist at Interval Research Corporation. Presently Levin is Associate Professor of Computation Arts and Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University; his work is represented by the Bitforms gallery, New York City.


385 Words:

Golan Levin is an artist, composer, performer and engineer interested in developing artifacts and events which explore supple new modes of reactive expression. His work focuses on the design of systems for the creation, manipulation and performance of simultaneous image and sound, as part of a more general inquiry into the formal language of interactivity, and of nonverbal communications protocols in cybernetic systems. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Identified by Technology Review as one of the world's "Top 100 Innovators Under 35," and dubbed by El Pais as "one of the most brilliant figures in contemporary audiovisual art," Levin has exhibited widely in Europe, America and Asia.

Levin's work combines equal measures of the whimsical, the provocative, and the sublime in a wide variety of online, installation and performance media. He is known for the conception and creation of Dialtones [2001], a concert whose sounds are wholly performed through the carefully choreographed dialing and ringing of the audience's own mobile phones, and for The Secret Lives of Numbers [2002], an interactive online data visualization featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. Previously, Levin received awards in the Prix Ars Electronica and elsewhere for his Audiovisual Environment Suite [1999] software and its accompanying audiovisual performance, Scribble [2000]. With collaborator Zachary Lieberman, Levin has presented Re:MARK [2002], Messa di Voce [2003], and The Manual Input Sessions [2004], a series of interactive systems which use augmented-reality technologies to create multi-person, real-time visualizations of their participants' speech and gestures. Levin's most recent work centers about interactive robotics, machine vision, and the theme of gaze as a primary new mode for human-machine communication.

Levin received graduate and undergraduate degrees from the MIT Media Laboratory, where he studied with John Maeda in the Aesthetics and Computation Group. Between degrees, he worked for four years as an interaction designer and research scientist at Interval Research Corporation. Presently Levin is Associate Professor of Computation Arts and Director of the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University; his work is represented by Bitforms gallery, New York City.


455 Words:

Golan Levin's work explores the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines and make visible our ways of interacting with each other.

Dialtones: A Telesymphony (2001) is a musical composition performed through the ringing of the audience's own cell phones. Audiences of up to 200 people register their cell phone numbers upon entering the theater, receive new ringtones via SMS, and sit in automatically assigned seats. Over the course of three movements and thirty minutes, Levin "plays" their phones by dialing different combinations of phone numbers. He elicits various sounds around the room by clicking a computer screen programmed with the seating chart; up to 60 cell phones ring at once. The visual aspect of this performance is not overlooked; Levin's interface screen is also projected onto the audience from above, shining light down upon each person when their cell phone rings. Levin creates order from what is normally considered disorganized public noise, directing attention to an unexplored dimension of our ubiquitous modern accessory.

Hidden Worlds of Noise and Voice (2002) is an interactive audiovisual installation wherein participants can "see" each other's voices. Sounds are made visible through data goggles that superimpose 3D graphics onto the real world; speech takes the form of animated graphic figurations that appear to emerge from participants' mouths. A companion piece titled Re:MARK (2002) is a two-person installation that emphasizes not the noise-like aspects of speech, but rather the domain of the spoken and written word. When an utterance is recognized by the software as a phoneme (ah, ee, oh, etc.), its characters appear on a display; when the noise is not recognized, the screen responds with abstract shapes derived from other properties of the vocalization. Here the interactivity is enhanced, as users can propel these shapes across the screen with their shadows. By rendering them visible and malleable, both artworks encourage a new appreciation of our own voices.

The Secret Lives of Numbers (2002) likewise brings to attention a heretofore-unknown aspect of our everyday use of information. Using custom software, public search engines, and statistical research techniques, Levin determined the relative popularity of every integer between 0 and one million. Our associations with numbers such as 212, 911, 1040, 1776, and 90210 instruct us that there is a disparity of usage; visualizing this, Levin's project aims to create a numeric snapshot of collective consciousness. Whether working with the common objects of our technological era, pushing the boundaries of interactive machinery, or mining abstract concepts and data sets to discover patterns, Levin's mix of technology and creativity alters the way we experience everyday life.