Institute of Creative Technologies areas of expertise

At the IOCT we Make and share new knowledge and expertise in transdisciplinary creative technologies practice. Current areas of expertise include:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Interaction design
  • The internet of things
  • Transmedia
  • Usability and innovation
  • Virtual, augmented and mixed realities

The Institute of Creative Technologies houses a number of smaller transdisciplinary research groups, each with a specific focus, including Creative Artificial Intelligence Group (CAI) and DAPPer (Digital Arts Performance Practice - emerging research).

Creative AI Research Group

The Creative AI Research Group conducts artistic, scientific and practical investigations into state-of-the-art intelligent systems that co-create in real-time with humans. Creative AI includes practices that are self-defined as such, and therefore have AI embedded into the process of creation, but also encompass novel AI approaches in the realisation and experience of such work. Our current and recent research encompasses areas such as robotic performance, distributed AI artworks across locations, artificial musicians, interactive theatre, mixed reality gaming, AI poetry, and journalist bots. 

Our focus is on making humans more creative through the design, development and deployment of Creative AI. We aim for a symbiotic future, where artists and Creative AI work together as a continuous system of interactive relations. Our research is therefore based on a Human-Centred approach that is a) is able to understand humans, b) help humans understand them, c) co-creates within a given context. We believe that one of the key points to building the next generation of Creative AI systems is to prioritise co-operative and embodied AI in a shared creative enterprise. To achieve this, we utilise cutting edge Machine and Deep Learning technologies with unique Creative AI datasets combined with Human-Centred AI systems. 

Digital Arts Performance Practice - emerging research (DAPPer)

DAPPer is a space where people working in all areas of digital performance can come together – practitioners, technologists, academics, organisations and all those in-between – to capture, share, discuss, experiment and develop work and ideas relating to digital art and performance. It is our contention that whilst many individuals work within their own specialist area or sector, innovation occurs when we have the opportunity to collaborate and cooperate with others. Digital art performance practices are emerging as a response to a fast moving technological landscape and as artists adapt to these new paradigms it is clear that digital practices are having a profound effect on the ways in which we make and understand our work. DAPPER aims to provide a space to focus on and interrogate the range of inter/transdisciplinary approaches specifically from the perspective of artistic process and practice.

DAPPer is led by Sophy Smith and Kerry Franksen and members include practice researchers from across the university, with specialisms in immersive performance, mixed reality performance, creative AI, VR /360 performance practice and participatory practice. The group run regular cross-sector events, including SIVE (Storytelling in Virtual Environments), intensive interdisciplinary residencies and symposiums. More details can be found on the dapp-er website.

DAPPer is supported by the Laser Unicorns, a collective of artists, practitioners, technologists, researchers and commentators, who come together to cultivate connections and to nurture creative cooperation. Through their affinity for all things performative and technological, they come together to capture, share, discuss, experiment, and develop work and ideas relating to performance and digital art. Through creative exploration, their aim is to consider how to negotiate the complex nexus of performance and digital art. How can we activate collective thinking and artistic work and practices that deal with the complicated relation between embodied matter and the digital? How might we interrogate further, the range of inter/transdisciplinary approaches specifically from the perspective of artistic process and practice? How can we capture, share, and elucidate these processes and modes of thinking?

Lazer Unicorns include Maria Chatzichristodoulou (London South Bank University), Mark Coniglio (Troikatronix/Troika Ranch), Kerry Franksen, Ruth GIbson and Bruno Martelli (Gibson/Martelli), Sita Popat (Digital Performance Research Group, University of Leeds), Jo Scott (Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre, University of Salford), Sophy Smith (Assault Events), Sarah Whatley (Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University).