Professor Ernest Edmonds

Job: Emeritus Professor

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 255 1551



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Research group affiliations

Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT)

Publications and outputs

  • art: notes and works
    dc.title: art: notes and works Edmonds, Ernest dc.description.abstract: Ernest Edmonds has an unusual track record as an artist. Having been deterred from studying art by teachers and artist friends, he decided to study mathematics and later logic because he found them easy, and he thought, not unreasonably, that this would allow more time for painting. It turned out that the logic was itself useful in his art and led to an interest in computing. He first used computers in his art practice in 1968 and has been making art with computer code since then. But it is the influence of the Concrete and Constructivist art traditions, with strong affinities to colour field work, that underpin his work. From structure defined in code, comes the visual power and the time-based interactive elements which give his work its unmistakeable signature. Ernest is well known as a major contributor to the development of computational art. His work represents an important landmark in the field of generative and interactive art which was recognised by the 2017 ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art and the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for the Practice of Computer Human Interaction, demonstrating his breadth from art to computing.
  • Evaluation in Public Art: The Light Logic Exhibition
    dc.title: Evaluation in Public Art: The Light Logic Exhibition Ximena, A; Askaroff, K; Candy, L; Edmonds, Ernest; Faram, J; Hobson, G dc.description.abstract: This chapter is concerned with evaluation in public art, drawing on a study of Light Logic , an exhibition of drawings, paintings and interactive digital works, conducted by Site Gallery, Sheffield in association with UK and Australian researchers. Evaluating public art requires methods that suit the needs of practitioners undertaking novel types of art projects. The practitioners involved are curators, artists and gallery personnel with responsibility for different aspects of the complex business of creating and installing an interactive gallery show. The chapter describes the evaluation study, including the planning and preparation that was undertaken by the gallery staff and the researchers, the information gathering methods, as well as reports on the results from a number of points of view. In particular, advice is drawn from the study that can inform further evaluation exercises in public galleries.
  • A Journey from Abstract Film to Concrete Interaction
    dc.title: A Journey from Abstract Film to Concrete Interaction Edmonds, Ernest dc.description.abstract: 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. dc.description: The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version
  • H Space: Interactive Augmented Reality Art
    dc.title: H Space: Interactive Augmented Reality Art Edmonds, Ernest; Hills, Damian; Ji, YI; Tong, Xin dc.description.abstract: 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. dc.description: open access
  • Shaping Now
    dc.title: Shaping Now Edmonds, Ernest dc.description.abstract: Interactive artwork
  • Art and Code: Programming as a medium
    dc.title: Art and Code: Programming as a medium Edmonds, Ernest dc.description.abstract: 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.
  • Evolving Installations: Shaping Space
    dc.title: Evolving Installations: Shaping Space Edmonds, Ernest; Franco, Francesca dc.description.abstract: 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?
  • From rituals to magic: Interactive art and HCI of the past, present, and future
    dc.title: From rituals to magic: Interactive art and HCI of the past, present, and future Jeon, Myounghoon; Fiebrink, Rebecca; Herath, Damith; Edmonds, Ernest dc.description.abstract: 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. dc.description: 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.
  • Communication Machines as Art
    dc.title: Communication Machines as Art Edmonds, Ernest dc.description.abstract: 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. dc.description: open access article
  • Human Computer Interaction, Art and Experience
    dc.title: Human Computer Interaction, Art and Experience Edmonds, Ernest dc.description.abstract: This chapter considers real;ationships between the interactive arts, audience engagement and experience design in public art.

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