Professor Ernest Edmonds

Job: Professor of Computational Art

Faculty: Computing, Engineering and Media

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT)

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 0116 207 8571




Publications and outputs

  • A Journey from Abstract Film to Concrete Interaction
    A Journey from Abstract Film to Concrete Interaction Edmonds, Ernest The paper reviews abstract films and the notions of time that occur in them, contrasting them with the use of time in digital art. Developments by the author in making various generative digital abstract, or concrete, works are described and compared to film. The generation of the time element of the works described is integral with the generation of images. It is shown how different approaches to dealing with time in the digital context have emerged. In particular, an integrated constructivist approach has built from concepts in abstract film to go beyond cinema in a way that makes significant use of digital media. It has been possible to develop these works into interactive pieces by using artificial intelligent methods in various ways. True to the spirit of the early work described, these interactive works are also concrete rather than virtual. The art uses artificial intelligence to make real realities. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version Edmonds, E. A. (2020) A Journey from Abstract Film to Concrete Interaction. Digital Creativity, 31 (3), pp. 147-155
  • H Space: Interactive Augmented Reality Art
    H Space: Interactive Augmented Reality Art Edmonds, Ernest; Hills, Damian; Ji, YI; Tong, Xin This artwork exploits recent research into augmented reality systems, such as the HoloLens, for building creative interaction in augmented reality. The work is being conducted in the context of interactive art experiences. The first version of the audience experience of the artwork, “H Space”, was informally tested in the SIGGRAPH 2018 Art Gallery context. Experiences with a later, improved, version was evaluated at Tsinghua University. The latest distributed version will be shown in Sydney. The paper describes the concept, the background in both the art and the technological domain and points to some of the key computer human interaction art research issues that the work highlights. open access Edmonds, E., Hills, D., Ji, Y. and Tong, X. (2020) H Space: Interactive Augmented Reality Art. TEI '20: Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, NY NY: ACM Press, pp 683-688.
  • Art and Code: Programming as a medium
    Art and Code: Programming as a medium Edmonds, Ernest Computer programming is more than a tool for the artist. Writing code is manipulating a medium: a medium that is like no other. This chapter discusses the importance of coding and shows how it is enabling principled investigations into inventing new forms, creating new experiences and extending the nature of engagement with art works. It shows how formal ways of making art, from perspective to the 20th century use of systems, geometry and mathematics, have pointed to the value of programming. This is a direction that has defined the work of a range of artists. The chapter discusses the use of the medium of code by artists who talked about their art making process. They include pioneers Aaron Marcus, Harold Cohen and Manfred Mohr and other artists, some of whom are live coding practitioners. Edmonds, E. A. (2020) Art and Code: Programming as a medium. In: Brooks, A. L. (ed. Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation. London: Springer.
  • Shaping Now
    Shaping Now Edmonds, Ernest Interactive artwork Edmonds, E. A. (2019) Shaping Now.[Digital Art] Future Intelligence: AI-Arts and Technology, Tank, Shanghai. December 2019.
  • Evolving Installations: Shaping Space
    Evolving Installations: Shaping Space Edmonds, Ernest; Franco, Francesca Having been working on several projects together over the past nine years, the authors - an artist and a curator both specialised in computational and media art - discuss a range of issues that have arisen during the installation of Edmonds' generative interactive artwork Shaping Space in each of the six locations where it has been shown. The work arose in part from significant experiences by Edmonds in the work discussed in the chapters by Deborah Turbull Tilman and by the collaborators Matthew Connell and Lizzie. Muller. The installations of Shaping Space described range from its first at the Site Gallery in Sheffield, UK, (2012), a contemporary art space specialising in moving image, new media and performance, to its latest at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice (2017), a historical non-for profit institution that supports more traditional and current developments in contemporary art practice. Technical and aesthetic questions arose and pragmatics sometimes caused interesting unexpected innovation. What was the inspiration behind these works? Are they connected to each other, and if so, how? What were the major challenges in installing each iteration of the work? How did the different institutions involved in installing the work over the years approached and solved the technical issues around the installation? How did the various venues and surrounding environment influence the work? Edmonds, E. A. and Franco, F. (2019) Evolving Installations: Shaping Space. In: Bowen, J. and Giannini, T. (eds.) Museums and Digital Culture. London: Springer. pp 367-379.
  • From rituals to magic: Interactive art and HCI of the past, present, and future
    From rituals to magic: Interactive art and HCI of the past, present, and future Jeon, Myounghoon; Fiebrink, Rebecca; Herath, Damith; Edmonds, Ernest The connection between art and technology is much tighter than is commonly recognized. The emergence of aesthetic computing in the early 2000s has brought renewed focus on this relationship. In this article, we articulate how art and Human–Computer Interaction (HCI) are compatible with each other and actually essential to advance each other in this era, by briefly addressing interconnected components in both areas—interaction, creativity, embodiment, affect, and presence. After briefly introducing the history of interactive art, we discuss how art and HCI can contribute to one another by illustrating contemporary examples of art in immersive environments, robotic art, and machine intelligence in art. Then, we identify challenges and opportunities for collaborative efforts between art and HCI. Finally, we reiterate important implications and pose future directions. This article is intended as a catalyst to facilitate discussions on the mutual benefits of working together in the art and HCI communities. It also aims to provide artists and researchers in this domain with suggestions about where to go next. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link. Jeon, M., Fiebrink, R., Edmonds, E.A. and Herath, D. (2019) From rituals to magic: Interactive art and HCI of the past, present, and future. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 131, pp. 108-119
  • Communication Machines as Art
    Communication Machines as Art Edmonds, Ernest The paper presents a personal history of making machines as artworks. The particular kind of art machines that have been made since around 1970 are communication machines: ones that enable humans to interact with each other. However, they do not provide communication in the normal sense, but use a small bandwidth for relatively complex connections, making the experience of the interactions the art experience. The paper concludes by explaining how it later became possible to use computer networking and the INTERNET to make artworks that were more complex and, in part, autonomous generative machines whilst retaining the earlier communication machine functions. open access article Edmonds, E. (2019) Communication Machines as Art. Arts, 8 (1), 22
  • From Fingers to Digits: Towards a New Aesthetic
    From Fingers to Digits: Towards a New Aesthetic Boden, Margaret A.; Edmonds, Ernest This book is about computer art, and its relations to art of a more traditional kind. Specifically, the book focuses on generative art, in its various forms, but particularly on art where the artists use programming, computer code, as a significant element of their work. We also deal with the context of such art, so some chapters consider much of what is often called ‘digital art’, but the focus remains on the generative. Much has been written about digital art in general and we do not repeat what is easily read elsewhere except where understanding the context requires it/ At the core of computing is software; computer programming; code. Perhaps rather strangely, that the role of code in computer art has received relatively little attention and hence is our primary focus. We aim to indicate important continuities, as well as the many exciting differences. Boden, M. A., and Edmonds, E. A. (2019) From Fingers to Digits: Towards a New Aesthetic. MIT Press, Cambridge MA
  • Explorations in Art and Technology
    Explorations in Art and Technology Poltronieri, Fabrizio Augusto; Edmonds, Ernest; Candy, Linda This edition revises the original core chapters and adds 15 new contributions from artists who shed new light on the progress made in the early decades of the 21st Century. Explorations in Art and Technology is about the creative process in action, seen through the eyes of practitioners and researchers. It brings together artists, technologists and researchers who have written about emerging correspondences between virtual and physical worlds, between human and machine processes, between abstract concepts and their physical realizations, between music and visualization and between film and painting. It is a story of new visions and new forms. First published in 2002, this new edition updates much of the original material and adds new contributions from fifteen artists who shed new light on the progress that has been made in the early decades of the 21st Century. The book describes how artists have conceived and made new digital works from a historical perspective and how inter-disciplinary research has had a profound effect on the take up of digital technology in the wider community. It shows that a practice-based action research approach to case studies of artist residencies enabled art and technology practitioners to take a significant role in the research and explores the nature of collaboration in this context. What emerges is a compelling story of new visions and new forms in a field that is transforming traditional norms in both art and technology. Candy, L., Edmonds, E. and Poltronieri, F. (2018) (eds.) Explorations in Art and Technology, 2nd Edition, London: Springer-Verlag,
  • Art Systems: 1968 to 2018
    Art Systems: 1968 to 2018 Edmonds, Ernest In this note I describe my personal development of art systems over 50 years. In all of this work I have used computers and computational processes both to make the works and to advance my conception of art. This history is marked by a trace of publications in the journal Leonardo, which is itself 50 years old. I will relate the story with specific reference to these publications. Each of the following sections relates to one Leonardo publication and includes quotations from that paper. This is an invited contribution to SIGGRAPH 2018 - an exhibition contribution and a paper The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. Edmonds, E.A. (2018) Art Systems: 1968 to 2018. Leonardo, 51 (4), pp. 426-445


Click here for a full listing of Ernest Edmonds' publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Edmonds, E. A. (2010) “The art of interaction”, Digital Creativity, 21:4, 257-264.

Edmonds, E., A. Bilda, Z. & Muller, L. (2009) “Artist, evaluator and curator: three viewpoints on interactive art, evaluation and audience experience”. Digital Creativity, 20, 141 - 151.

Edmonds, E.A. (2009) “On new constructs in art: structure, time, correspondences and interaction” (keynote paper). IN Seal, A. E. A. (Ed.) EVA London 2009 - Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. London UK, British Computer Society.

Boden, M. A. and Edmonds, E. A. (2009) “What is Generative Art?.” Digital Creativity Vol. 20 Nos 1-2, pp 21-46.

Amitani, S., Bilda, Z., Edmonds, E. A. (2008) “Our Content: Generative Methods for Montaging Multimedia Data” Design Studies Vol 29, Issue 6, pp 572-586.

Research interests/expertise

Interactive Art, Systems Art, Human-Computer Interaction, Practice-Based Research.

Areas of teaching

Practice-based PhD supervision


BSc, MSc, PhD

Courses taught

PhD supervision

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • FBCS
  • FIET
  • Member, ACM

Professional licences and certificates

  • CEng


Forthcoming events

  • Light Logic. One person exhibition, Site Gallery Sheffield, Nov 2012 – Feb 2013
  • One Person Exhibition, Conny Dietzchold Gallery, Sydney, June –July 2013

Conference attendance

Invited panel member. ACM CHI, Austin Texas, 2012.

Welley, V. and Edmonds, E. A. (2011) "The HCI researcher as artist and designer: approaches to creativity and distance" Proceedings of the 8th ACM conference on Creativity and Cognition ACM Press, New York, NY, 233-238.

Turnbull, D., Connell, M. and Edmonds, E. A. (2011) Prototype Places: Curating Practice-Based Research in a Museum Context. In Ciolfi, L., Scott, K. and Barbieri, S. (eds) Proceedings of Rethinking Technology in Museums 2011, University of Limerick, Ireland. pp 203-214.

Edmonds, E. A. (2011) Art, Interaction and Engagement. In Banissi, E. et. al. (eds) Proceedings of Information Visualization, London, 2011. IEEE, Los Alamitos, CA. pp 451-456.

Edmonds, E. A. (2010) "Beyond abstract film: constructivist digital time" Proceedings Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, London.

Edmonds, E. A. (2010) "The Art of Interaction" (keynote paper) Proceedings Create10, Edinburgh,

Other forms of public presentation

Work collected by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Entry in the DAM Museum:

2012-13: Light Logic, Site Gallery, Sheffield.

2012-13: Selected Recent Acquisitions. V&A, London.

2012: Transformations: Digital Prints from the V&A collection, Great Western Hospital, Swindon, UK.

2012: Intuition and Integrity, Kinetica, London; Lighthouse, Brighton; Lovebytes, Sheffield.

2012: Visualise SEE++, Cambridge, UK.

2010: Chromatologies, Rotherham, UK.

2010: Generative Film and Performance, Birkbeck Cinema, London.

2010: Grid Gallery, Vivid festival, Sydney.

2010: Sensoria Festival, Sheffield UK (performance).

2009: C&C09 Berkeley Art Museum, CA (performance).

2009: When Ideas Become Form - 20 Years, Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney.

2009: Cities Tango, Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Sydney and ISEA, Belfast.

2009: Image Ecologies, UTS, Sydney.

2009: Cities Tango Beta_Space, Sydney and Federation Square, Melbourne.

2008: Cities Tango UrbanScreens Berlin and Federation Square, Melbourne.

Consultancy work

Human-Computer Interaction


Current research students

NB 5/6 at UTS in Australia plus 2nd supervisor for 1 at DMU.

Externally funded research grants information

  • Arts Council of England, Grants for Artists, 2012-13. Artist.
  • ACID Collaborative Research grant funding in Australia. 2005-10. Project leader.

Professional esteem indicators

Editor-in-Chief of Transactions in the journal Leonardo
Member of the editorial board of the journal Digital Creativity
Member of the editorial board of the journal Co-Design

Other Reviewing Activities:
Springer books: General editor of series Cultural Computing
Book proposals reviews for Springer and MIT