MFA in Computational Arts

This interdisciplinary programme has been designed to enable you to develop your individual and collaborative artistic practices, computational skills, and conceptual framework so that you can participate in shaping the use and understanding of new technologies and cultural practices at the highest level.

About the department
Computing

Length
2 years full-time, or 4 years part-time, or 3 years combined full-time and part-time
Funding
If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants.

Careers
The programme equips students with a broad training in the use of creative computing systems that are currently most important in artistic, design and cultural practices and the creative industries, as well as technologies that are yet to emerge.
Fees
See our tuition fees.
Contact the department
Contact Professor Janis Jefferies
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

The MFA is a studio-based programme underpinned by the necessary technical, theoretical and historical background, allowing you to mediate between the worlds of visual, performing and relational (or interactive) art, technology and computer science. The MFA is taught through the Goldsmiths Digital Studios.

What you study

Year 1

Year 1 shares the same core learning as our MA in Computational Arts programme: 

Programming for Artists

This module provides you with the tools you will need to creatively apply programing skills to your own practice. It encourages a practical and theoretical engagement with computer programming.

Visits from guest speakers and student-led discussions will encourage and enhance your critical awareness of the issues surrounding computer art. During the module you will be expected to undertake small-scale programming projects.

Creative Technologies & Art Practices: Rethinking Curating

To better understand the relevance of current art practices employing new technologies, we begin this module by situating such art in an (art) historical context.

We will consider how art after new media re-thinks curatorial strategies that are often difficult to classify according to previous museological canons and geographies.

Some (eg Graham & Cook, 2010) argue that work involving interactivity, networks and computation is often about process and behaviour rather than objects. How do these issues impact on what you do and how your work is disseminated to the public?

Workshops in Creative Coding

This module aims to offer you the opportunity to develop skills in applied audiovisual computing through a series of workshops and project sessions. The topics delivered cover creative software development in C/C++, and audio and graphics programming for embedded systems (iPhone and iPad).

Electives

A number of optional modules are available on a variety of interdisciplinary topics such as artificial intelligence, computer vision, audio engineering, physical computing, animation and cognition. 

Year 2

In Year 2 you will continue to selectively tailor your learning experience and educational objectives. A specially designed MFA 'mentor class' will pair you with an eminent artist/designer/writer/curator.

The mentors are selected from individuals who have continually broken new ground and sustained a creative, critical and strongly conceptual practice in their specialist area.

Some of the current mentors include Andrew Shoben, Jane Prophet, Irini Papadimitriou (digital programme, V&A), Furtherfield and other visiting artists appropriate to your practices.

Creative computing courses at Goldsmiths

 
 
 

Video: Click to play

We are one of the top interdisciplinary computing departments in the country - working across art, music, journalism, gaming, and many other subject areas. This video features students and staff from our creative undergraduate and postgraduate programmes talking about how the culture of Goldsmiths makes us unique.

Assessment

In Year 2 you will be assessed by: self-evaluation report of 2,500 words; essay of up to 6,000 words; viva voce; exhibition of final work.


Applying and entrance requirements

You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments.
  • The email address details of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic soft copy of your academic reference.
  • A personal statement. This can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online.
  • If available, an electronic soft copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory).

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for funding you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for UK/EU students and international students. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Entrance requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Deposit

Due to the popularity of this programme, successful applicants will be required to pay a deposit of £500 to secure any offer of a place on the programme. The deposit will be credited against your tuition fees when you enrol. Please note: you'll only be required to provide a deposit if you are offered a place, you don't need to pay a deposit in order to apply.

English language

If your first language isn't English, you need to demonstrate the required level of English language competence to enroll and study on our programmes. 

Please check our English language requirements for more information.

Find out more about applying 

Contact us 

Get in touch via our online form

UK/EU

+44 (0)20 7919 7766
course-info@gold.ac.uk

International (non-EU)

+44 (0)20 7919 7702
international@gold.ac.uk

Programme Lecturers

Shoben, Andrew

Andrew Shoben is the founder of greyworld, a world renowned artists' collective who create public art. Primarily, greyworld's work is about play, and allowing some form of creative expression in urban space.

greyworld has created works in some hugely coveted locations across the world, and they now have permanent installations in fourteen countries. In 2004 they launched The Source, a permanent installation for the London Stock Exchange which was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and was watched by millions everyday on television around the world.

In 2010, they unveiled "Paint," an installation allowing phones to paint on the city. and nominated Interactive artwork of the year by the
Design Museum. Last year, greyworld launched "Trafalgar Sun," a giant installation for Trafalgar Square, London along with Clockwork Forest, a permnent sound work for Grizedale forest, Cumbria.

Andrew is a regular contributor to television, radio and print, and lectures extensively around the world. Most recently he presented a
show on BBC Radio 4 entitled "Change of Art" and launched greyworld's new book entitled "In The City."

After lecturing at the Royal College of Art for four years, he became Professor of Public Art at Goldsmiths. University of London. More information at http://greyworld.org

Video material

https://vimeo.com/10163224

https://vimeo.com/39633488


https://vimeo.com/39633219

https://vimeo.com/30486458

Prophet, Jane

Jane Prophet is a visual artist who uses ‘old’ and ‘new’ media to produce objects and installations. Her works include the award-winning artificial life project, TechnoSphere (1995-2000) a website with over a 100,000 users who created over a million creatures. She explores experiences of contemporary landscape, using digital technologies during research and production process. Site-specific light-based installations Conductor (2000), and Counterbalance (2007) use electro-luminescent cables to draw in space. The animation Decoy (2001) and the The Landscape Room photographs (2001) combine images of real and computer-simulated landscapes, while Model Landscapes (2005) includes miniature trees 3D-printed from mathematical data. Works-in-progress range from collaboration with neuroscientists to map brain activity during Buddhist death meditations, to developing ALife apps that link to 3D printers. Prophet’s commitment to the field of interdisciplinary and collaborative research was recognized in 2005 with a UK National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Dreamtime Fellowship.

website: www.janeprophet.com
Academic qualifications
BA(Hons) Fine Art, Sheffield Hallam University
MA Electronic Graphics, Coventry University
PhD Arts Education, Warwick University

Grierson, Mick

Mick Grierson is a researcher working in the field audiovisual interaction technologies. Grierson's involvement is central in some of the most noteworthy creative technology installations of the past two years including Christian Marclay's internationally acclaimed “The Clock”, Heart n Soul's “Dean Rodney Singers” (Part of the Paralympics Unlimited Festival), and Science Museum's “From Oramics to Electronica”. In addition, computer games that feature his research have been commissioned by technology companies including Sony Entertainment. Furthermore his audio & visual software has been downloaded is used by 1000's of high profile artists and professionals including a large number of media artists and application developers. He is currently principal investigator on a £300,000 three-year industry fellowship developing a range of interactive audiovisual software alongside disabled users, for platforms including iPhone, iPad and consoles. This work continues his previous fully-funded
research in experimental audiovisual interaction within commercial gaming environments.

Mick is currently Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths Digital Studios, Goldsmiths College, and Director of the Daphne Oram Collection.

  Craft, Brock

Brock's work is centred on interaction design and usability in a variety of domains, including Human-Computer Interaction, Product Design, Digital Art, and Learning. As a research fellow at the London Knowledge Lab, he focussed on Learning Design, tools for pedagogy design, technology-enhanced learning (TEL), and interactive artefacts. Brock is the Author of <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Arduino-Projects-For-Dummies-Computers/dp/1118551478/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1379670184&sr=8-2&keywords=arduino+for+dummies">Arduino Projects for Dummies"</a>

His core research has been on on using traditional design methods such as design patterns and freehand sketching to support software engineering. His areas of specialist knowledge are Human-Computer Interaction, Information Visualisation, Physical Computing, and Design for Learning.

In 2007, He completed PhD research at UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC) in the area of Information Visualisation Design methodology. He earned his MS in Human-Computer Interaction at DePaul University in 2001.

Brock was was a Partner at the “Internet of Things” design firm TinkerLondon, where he worked on commercial projects bridging the digital and physical worlds with interactive technology. He also works as a consultant on a range of projects in both User Experience and Information Design/Analysis and has developed software for desktop, web, and mobile platforms.

  Kiefer, Chris 

Chris Kiefer is a computer musician, and a researcher in electronic music and human-computer interaction. His background is in the NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) field; he designs and performs with new musical controllers, specialising in malleable interfaces and multiparametric control.

He is a researcher on the ‘Sound, Image and Brain’ project at Goldsmiths, which focuses on brain-computer interfacing, audiovisual computer gaming, and the design of assistive music technology.

As a composer and performer, Chris is particularly interested in improvisation in electronic music. He currently performs as ‘Luuma’, using custom built hardware and software, with sound synthesis based on machine learning and dynamical systems.

   Blackwell, Tim
  • Course Leader for Object and Internet Programming in Java (2003-8) and Physical Computing (2009).
  • Research interests include Swarm Intelligence, Live Algorithms for Music, Woven Sound, Texture.
  • Academic webpage.
  • Personal webpage.
   Jefferies, Janis

  • Teaches on the MSc AC, 2006-07, and on the MFA-CSA since 2007.
  • Research interests include Fibre and feminist practices post 1960's, Visual Arts.
  • Main focus: text and textiles, gender, identity and subjectivity, digital studio and sonic arts and curatorship and audience with a focus on cultural access to museums through haptic technology.
  • Academic webpage.
  Zimmer, Robert
  • Teaches "Object Oriented Graphics in Java for the Visual Arts" 2004-06.
  • Research interests include arts computing, AI.
  • Culture Mining: Time-based cultural document and online audio/video (re)search tools; with the Tate.
  • Academic webpage.
  • Personal webpage.
 

 

 

Programme Associate Lecturers 



"Turbulent Flow," a staircase railing for the West Capital Complex, in Santa Fe, New Mexico (sculpture designed for the Mid Ocean Studio).
Aspelund, Karl

 

 

 

 



The Society of Neurons is a digital entity living in the hyperspace of the world web. In collaboration with artist Warren Neidich and computer scientist Robert Zimmer.
De Souza, Thibaud
  • Teaches "Labs of Java for the Arts," 2006-08.
  • Research interest include 3D Cellular Automata.
  • Academic webpage.
  • Personal webpage.

 

 

 

 



"Illuminated sculpture technology" (on-board chip to drive an LED) developed for Mid Ocean Studio.
Speicher, Jasper
  • Teaches "Workshop on Design and Computing," Winter 2006.
  • Research interest include design, sculpting, music instruments.
  • Professional webpage (TellArt.com).
  • Personal webpage.
  • NADA: Rapid Prototyping of Physical Interfaces.

 

 

 

 



Concept sketch for PASION, an EC project exploring the communication of implicit cues and emotional states through multimodal interaction.
Vogiazou, Yanna
  • Teaches "Interactive Media Tools," 2006-07.
  • Research interest include interaction design, ubiquitous and social computing, design research methods, user experience.
  • EC research project: PASION: Psychologically Augmented Social Interaction Over Networks.
  • Academic webpage (Design Dept. @ Goldsmiths).

Programme specification

To find out more about this degree, including details about the ways you'll be assessed and information about our marking criteria, you can download the programme specification.

Student and Graduate profiles

James

MFA student

"The programme provided me with the opportunity to set my work aside from the norm, and for my work to be seen in different ways. The programme takes an alternative route, and offers you the opportunity to gain from the exposure that being ‘alternative’ provides."

"I graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Newcastle University in 2005. My work at the time was predominantly sculptural – my methodology was reflexive and systematic, and to that extent codified and computational. Immediately after graduating I began working as a gallery technician at the Baltic Gallery in Gateshead. After six months the opportunity arose to work as an artist’s assistant to Damien Hirst at his painting studio in London. I spent two years there before beginning the MFA at Goldsmiths.

I decided to do an MFA to concentrate on developing my own practice more intensively. I didn’t want to do a generic Fine Art Master’s and so began to look for a course that was tailored to my specific interests. The structure of the MFA  has provided me with the technical competence and critical knowledge to position my practice in relation to its art historical context. It has enabled me to develop a specific line of inquiry that I intend to continue researching.

During the first year I learnt technical computing skills to complement the practical making skills that I already possessed. From a practical level, I now know what is ‘possible’ with technology; I am able to develop my ideas in accordance with an intuitive understanding of what is possible, in a similar way to how I intuitively understand how to make something in 3-dimensions. I don’t possess the technical skills necessary to find employment outside of the course as a programmer – this isn’t why I did the course – but I understand the fundamentals of computer programming, and am confident that I would be able to collaborate effectively with programmers on more ambitious projects in the future. 

In February 2010 the Department of Computing provided the funding for myself and another member of the course to exhibit our work on a stand at the Kinetica Art fair in Marylebone. The experience was brilliant – we received direct feedback about our work from a large proportion of the thousands of people who visited the fair over the four days. The feedback has enabled me to develop my work since – an opportunity that wouldn’t have been possible without the course and the College."

Ryan

MFA student

"I came to Goldsmiths to gain more in depth knowledge of computing and to broaden my knowledge beyond working with computer sound to working with video, physical computing and networks."

Roger

MFA student

"I came to Goldsmiths to gain more in depth knowledge of computing and to broaden my knowledge beyond working with computer sound to working with video, physical computing and networks."

MFA in Computational Studio Arts

Student Work

Still from Xtnz

Still from Xtnz.
Antunes, Rui Filipe

  • Joined Sept. '05
  • Graduated Nov. '06 with Distinction.
  • Webpage
  • Project URL
  • Coming back for a PhD in 2008.





Xtnz
 
Xtnz, is focused on the exploration of the possibilities of artificial life and human presence in the context of art: The development of an ecosystem based on a real-time 3D system sustaining a “living” virtual environment. The entities of this virtual population should be active, responsive, behave and interact each other, reproducing according eventual interactions and changing properties such as visual appearance or dimensions.
The interactive experience is produced via a sensitive rug connected to a computer filtering user input movements and generating a graphical output projected from above onto a screen surface around the carpet.
 
Image from EIKE

Image elements included in this mosaic: (i) Richard Billingham, Untitled 1, Black Country 2003, (ii) Philip Lorca DiCorcia, Hartford, 1989,  (iii) Diane Arbus, Child With Toy HandGrenade In Central Park, 1962.
Atskakanis, Thanos
 
  • Joined Sept. '05
  • Graduated Nov. '06
EIKE
 
EIKE* is an art of appropriation software that is based on the idea of the visualisation of text. It uses image elements cropped from famous photographer's works, which are previously downloaded from the WWW and stored in a database to "translate" the inputed text of the user into visuals. This transformation is based on 3 word contributors that come from the connection of them with the images: words that physically describe the image element, words that are connected with the sociological aspects of the image (including the artist's opinion) and words that I have connected with the image (my own opinion). The final result is a real-time constructed collage of these elements.
*EIKE: EIkona – KEimeno (image – text).
 
Joe Brock Brock, Joe
 
Novel Methodologies for Developing Medical and Scientific Animated Narrative
 
My research enables existing visual techniques to be innovatively transformed through the production and evaluation of a new methodological practical and theoretical framework. The outcome provides a methodology for narrators to develop adaptable and distinct scientific visual presentations either for specific or wide ranging audiences. This is achieved by applying visual and narrative skills in collaboration with scientists to set best practice benchmarks for producing scientific illustration and animation.
 
Noisemedia

   'Noisemedia'
Dare, Eleanor
 
  • Joined Sept. '05
  • Graduated Nov. '07 with Distinction.
  • Webpage
  • Project URL
  • Back on a PhD since Nov. '07.
Noisemedia:
An Intermedia Expert System

 
All books should be intelligent, but how can an artist's book be produced that uses techniques more commonly deployed in business intelligence and tele-medicine to analyse readers and learn from them?

The aim of this project is to answer that question, to discover how it is possible to create an artist's book mediated by an expert system.
 
Stills from 8bitpatterns.

Stills from "8bitpatterns."
Eisl, Maria
8bitpattern – Virtual textile prints

Permeating between art, images, fashion and design, this project called ‘8bitpattern’ takes fashion print design into the world of 3D computer graphics. 8bitpatterns are black-and-white bitmap moving pixel patterns that become animated through resizing algorithms. These effects are replicated in 3D space, resulting in distortions and patterns that form the basis of my project and the visual experiments in 3D. For the implementation I use a 3D laser scanner to scan draped fabric swatches and then map 8bitpatterns onto these meshes.
 
Photo from live performance with sensors and strobe lights at The Roundhouse Theatre, London, 2008

Photo from live performance with sensors and strobe lights at The Roundhouse Theatre, London, 2008.
Jordan, Ryan
  • Joined Sept. '07
  • Expect graduation Nov. '09
  • Webpage
Sensory Response Systems

Sensory Response Systems is an exploration into audio-visual performance using an array of sensors and controllers responsive to physical movements. It also explores the reshaping and replication of the body through the use of fabrics, textiles and technologies in order for the performer to fully embody and 'become' the instrument.The overall aim is to bring a more direct and immediate relationship and control over the sound and images being generated, and to allow for full body expression and intimacy between performer and instrument (computer).
 
Interframe spiral patterns.

Interframe spiral patterns.
Karanika, Myrto
  • Joined Sept. '07
  • Expect. graduation Nov. '09
  • Webpage
Kaleidoscope : An Attempt to Animate the Chaotic Behaviour of a Dynamical System
 
Kaleidoscope generates a discrete dynamical system and animates its interframe chaotic spatial behaviour in an attempt to approach patterns as models of reoccurring motifs, events or states that involve a great level of predictability but at the same time are subject to unexpected regeneration. The system's sensitive dependence on internal parameters produces a variety of spiral formations that beautifully illustrate patterns' embodied qualities of repetition and indeterminate modification.
 
Interframe spiral patterns.

Interframe spiral patterns.
Liang, Lin
Photo Album

In light of a key driver of the photo browsing experience, this application is not only featuring eye-catching layouts, but melding a wider set of versatile functionalities.

Until recently, the photo browsing web pages has been a kind of "dark art" that provided a very basic functionality. With the releasing of this application, it has changed that picture into not only merely giving natural photo browsing behaviour a superficial makeover, but fundamentally rethinking the browsing photo on the web as we know it from the ground up.
 
Illustration of auto-stereoscopy

Illustration of auto-stereoscopy
(here a Sharp LL151-3D LCD display)
with potential in website design.
Lusted, Mark
Stereoscopic Websites
 
With the steady increase in the maturity of autostereoscopic LCD display technology and a correlating reduction in its cost to consumers, many (but not all) of the barriers to widespread adoption of such displays for use with personal computers have been removed. As such, my project focuses on producing websites optimised for such displays, exploring the possibilities for representing traditional website data (whether it be news, sport, academic journals or train times) in new and interesting ways which take advantage of the extra dimension that these displays provide.
 
Example of real-time live programming

Example of real-time live programming with feedback.pl to generate sounds, rhythms, music.
McLean, Alex
  • Joined Sept. '05
  • Graduated Nov.'07 with Distinction.
  • Webpage
  • Back on a PhD since Nov. '07.
  • Soundvis project.
feedback.pl
 
Feedback.pl is an interactive text editor for writing live Perl scripts. Rather that using some user interface, programs written using feedback.pl are controlled by editing their sourcecode. The programs run while they are being edited, picking up changes without restarting. Further, the program can edit its own sourcecode, putting comments in to let the programmer know what it's up to. Used primarily for musical performance as part of the livecode group "slub," where algorithms are created and modified to drive a crowd wild.
 
Hive - animated gif showing evolution of comb pattern from day 1 to day 98

Hive - animated gif showing evolution of comb pattern from day 1 to day 98.
Meintjes, Roger
  • Joined Sept. '07
  • Expect. graduation: Nov. '09
Hive

Hive is a cellular automaton model of the pattern formation process in honeybee colonies. The model explores the behavioral rules which produce the characteristic comb patterns of a central brood area, surrounded by concentric rings of pollen and honey.
 
Fractals & Networks as Strategies in Urban Design Papageorgiou, Artemis
  • Joined Sept. '07
  • Expect. graduation: Nov. '09
  • Webpage
Fractals & Networks as Strategies in Urban Design

My research aims at discovering the forces shaping urban space, in accordance with urban life. I am focusing on the factors contributing to the physical and symbolic form of the contemporary cities. I am looking closely at the underlying urban structures and the representational strategies, which determine the city’s viability, growth, and the experience of the inhabitants. As I see it, the spatial experience that emerges from engagement with space, does not occur only on the physical plane, but also on the representational, psychological and imaginary plane. Perception and cognition consist of the basic agents of engagement with the external environment, by allowing the external stimuli become readable by the human brain and encoded according to the individual’s cognitive system.
 
Front cover of Kester's MSc thesis.

Front cover of Kester's MSc thesis.
Created after Raoul Hausmann’s photomontage entitled "Tatlin At Home" (1920). John Logie Baird was one of the pioneers of the television, transmitting the world’s first moving image on Oct. 30, 1925. A series of valves and cathode ray tubes make up part of his head like a cyborg. In the background a family from the 1950’s is watching a TV set on which a hypnotic pattern evokes its effect on people who are "glued" to watching it for hours each night.
Sheridan, Kester
  • Joined Sept. '04
  • Graduated June '06 with Distinction
  • Webpage
TellyVision
 
There is a growing trend in technology for convergence.  This can also been seen in home entertainment with the convergence of the computer and television into one single entertainment centre. For me this convergence provides an interesting opportunity for the artist to truly "interrupt live television," allowing us to apply the techniques developed by video artists to the live medium of television and so interrupt the expectations of the spectator for a medium that is taken so much for granted. I developed TellyVision to give me a toolset as an artist to create such art work which challenges the spectator’s view of the medium.
 
Stills from drought simulation experiment

Stills from drought simulation experiment.
Todd, Peter
  • Joined Sept. '06
  • Expect. graduation: Nov. '08
  • Webpage
xinaesthetic

Xinaesthetic is an application for the exploration of the parameter space of a graphics synthesiser. Your motions (gestures) are followed and used to determine the fitness function of a genetic algorithm which breeds new offspring to replace those you do not pay attention to.
 
Example of a portrait automatically generated by AIKON

Example of a portrait automatically generated by AIKON.

Tresset, Patrick
  • Joined Sept. '04
  • Graduated Nov. '06
  • Webpage
  • At Siggraph in 2006.
  • Back on a PhD since Sept. 2007.
AIKON
the Artistic/Automatic IKONograph

"My aim is to make computers imagine our reality."

AIKON is an automated/artistic portrait sketcher. A project aiming at imitating the processes involved when sketching a portrait. AIKON is based on an understanding of human perception, understanding of the artistic processes, and advances made in computer vision.

 


Content last modified: 29 Aug 2014

Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 7919 7171

Goldsmiths has charitable status

© 2000- Goldsmiths, University of London. Copyright, Disclaimer and Company information | Statement on the use of cookies by Goldsmiths