Institute of Creative Technologies members
Professor Sophy Smith, Director of the Institute of Creative Technologies
De Montfort University
Queens Building, Room 3.05
T: +44 (0)116 255 1551
Sophy Smith develops and leads initiatives to contribute to the development of distinctive knowledge and creative practice in the wider creative technologies sectors, both relating artistic and commercial practice. She is Director of DAPPer (Digital Arts Performance Practice – emerging research), a cross-sector research initiative/network 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.
Both Sophy’s research and practice has strong impact and real-world value, directly influencing the practice of the arts, cultural and education sectors, while making a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and its application to the subject area and professional practice.
Elsoms Creates, funded through The Creative People and Places (CPP) programme (Arts Council England) developed new ways for arts companies to work in partnership with the business sector and has been identified by ACE as an example of best practice. The project has had strong impact across the arts and business sector, with the project described as “absolutely phenomenal” and “invaluable”, in terms of developing sustainable relationships with business.
In 2013 Sophy’s monograph Hip Hop Turntablism, Creativity and Collaboration was published by Ashgate, internationally recognised as being the first book on hip hop music to discuss the music on equal terms with its context. In 2017 it was re-issued in paperback.
Sophy is also an internationally renowned composer, creating electronic soundtracks for dance and theatre companies and festivals, including the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and European Capital of Culture 2013 and 2021.
In addition to her practice, Sophy produces high quality and distinctive text-based outputs and is a regular contributor to books, journals and peer reviewed conference proceedings both nationally and internationally.
Ernest Edmonds, Professor of Computational Art
T: +44 (0)116 207 8571
Ernest Edmonds is a pioneer computer artist and HCI innovator for whom combing creative arts practice with creative technologies has been a life-long pursuit.
In 2017 he won both the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for Practice in Human-Computer Interaction and the ACM SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art. He is Chairman of the Board of ISEA International, whose main activity is the annual International Symposium on Electronic Art that began in 1988. He has been elected to both the SIGGRAPH Academy and the CHI Academy.
His books include The Separable User Interface (Academic Press), Explorations in Art and Technology (Springer), and Interacting: Art, Research and the Creative Practitioner (Libri), the last two co-authored with Linda Candy. A second revised edition of Explorations is in press. His most recent book is “The Art of Interaction: what HCI can learn from Interactive Art” (Morgan & Claypool, 2018).
He is an Honorary Editor of Leonardo and Editor-in-Chief of Springer’s Cultural Computing book series. In the last 50 years, Ernest has published over 400 books and papers, exhibited his artwork across the globe and been a keynote speaker in many countries. He has recently exhibited in Venice, Leicester, Denver, Vancouver, Beijing, Shanghai, and Rio de Janeiro.
His work is described in the book by Francesca Franco, “Generative Systems Art: The Work of Ernest Edmonds” (Routledge, 2017).
Tracy Harwood, Professor of Digital Culture
T: +44 (0)116207 8028
Tracy Harwood is a transdisciplinary researcher, working across computer science, arts, design, health and marketing subjects. Current projects relate to the application of emerging technologies to business and consumer contexts, including AI, Internet of things, VR and AR.
She has a management background in practice, with a PhD in negotiation behaviour, and is also manager of the university’s Usability Lab. She is a specialist in mixed methods research and has taught on postgraduate and research development programmes on this approach, latterly focussing on practice-based research. She has published in leading marketing and digital creativity journals, including Journal of Services Management, Journal of Service Marketing, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Leonardo, Digital Creativity and Journal of Visual Culture.
She is Area Editor for the European Innovation Alliance's Endorsed Transactions on Creative Technologies and a Programme Committee Member of the IEEE International Conference on Creative Lifestyle Computing.
Fabrizio Poltronieri, Lecturer in Creative Technologies
T: +44 (0)116 257 7444
Fabrizio Augusto Poltronieri is an award-winning computer artist, designer, researcher, writer and curator with a special interest in the relationships between art, design, digital media, gamification, and technology, whose expertise lies in the development of creative coding and its exchanges with philosophical questions.
He holds a PhD in Semiotics from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC/SP), Brazil, with a thesis about the role of chance in computational art. In 2011-2012, he was awarded a fellowship to develop a postdoctoral research project on the early days of computer art at the Royal College of Art in London.
One of the outcomes of this research was a major exhibition with four pioneer computer artists. This exhibition, entitled “Primary Codes”, which Dr Poltronieri co-curated and organized, featured artworks and talks by Ernest Edmonds, Frieder Nake, Harold Cohen and Paul Brown and took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2015.
His second postdoctoral research was at Leuphana Universität’s Gamification Lab, in Lüneburg, Germany, which reflected on how the video games’ universe, the notions of gamification and post-history affect language production mediated by digital apparatuses.
Two of his artworks from the “Visual Theogonies” series (Dionysus and Calliope) are in the V&A's Victoria and Albert Museum collection, in London, UK. Dr Poltronieri is currently researching Creativity and Artificial Intelligence, applying machine and deep learning techniques to the production and design of narratives, moving images and objects.
Craig Vear, Professor of Digital Performance (Music)
T: +44 (0)116 207 8131
Craig Vear explores the meeting point of music, creative technology, computational intelligence, mixed reality performance and gaming through practice-based research.
He is currently running two research projects: The Living Score which he investigates the changes in musicianship and creativity afforded by digital technology and its transformation of "the score".
This ranges from images of paper-scores shown on iPads through to robotics and A.I. embedded in software generating scores. And Embodied Intelligence in Music that investigates the meeting point of embodied cognition, artificial intelligence, music composition and performance, game and software philosophy, and R&D for the entertainment industry.