Professor Ernest Edmonds

Job: Professor of Computational Art

Faculty: Technology

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 

  • 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; Edmonds, Ernest; Herath, Damith; Edmonds 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Constructs:Conducts
    Constructs:Conducts Edmonds, Ernest; Greasley, Pip Constructs:Conducts is an immersive interactive work for Montreal’s Satosphere Dome. The audience is immersed in a color and sound space. This work involves assigning each element to a single track of a multi-track recording device with up to a maximum of 96 different tone colours assignable per colour image. By manipulating the fader controls on a mixer desk, each sound can be blended to create one overall colour tone of evolving complexity. Each of the visualised colour hues are assigned one overall tonal mass with minute shifts in timbral values and locative displacements. The work is symbolic of the artists’ respective fields of enquiry into colour for the Post-digital Futures.
  • Practice-Based Research in the Creative Arts: Foundations and Futures from the Front Line
    Practice-Based Research in the Creative Arts: Foundations and Futures from the Front Line Candy, Linda; Edmonds, Ernest This article explores the subject of practice-based research, its application in the creative arts and its role in generating new forms of knowledge in the context of the PhD. Our aim is to provide more clarity about the nature of practice-based research, the approach we advocate and how it contributes to new knowledge that can be shared and scrutinized in a form that is both accessible and rich in its representation of the full scope of creative arts research. We draw on examples spanning over 35 years of experience in supervising interdisciplinary PhD research programs in the arts, design and digital media. 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
  • Algorithmic Art Machines
    Algorithmic Art Machines Edmonds, Ernest The article reviews the author’s personal development in relation to art made by algorithmic machines and discusses both the nature of such systems and the future implications for art. open access article
  • The Art of Interaction: what HCI can learn from interactive art
    The Art of Interaction: what HCI can learn from interactive art Edmonds, Ernest What can HCI learn from art? How can the HCI research agenda, be advanced by looking at art research? How can we improve creativity support and the amplification of that important human capability? This book aims to answer these questions. Interactive art has become a common part of life as a result of the many ways in which the computer and the Internet have facilitated it. Human-Computer Interaction is as important to interactive art as mixing the colors of paint are to painting. This book reviews recent work that looks at these issues through art research. In interactive digital art, the artist is concerned with how the artwork behaves, how the audience interacts with it and, ultimately, in participant experience and their degree of engagement. The book examines these issues and brings together a collection of research results from art practice that illuminates this significant new and expanding area. In particular, this work points towards a much-needed critical language that can be used to describe, compare and frame research in HCI support for creativity.
  • 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.
  • Algorithmic Signs
    Algorithmic Signs Edmonds, Ernest Invited participant in an exhibition of the work of five pioneers of computer-based art. Ernest Edmonds, Manfred Mohr, Vera Molnar, Frieder Nake, Roman Verostko


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


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