Nicolas Collins

Nicolas Collins Thinks

Nic Collins Things

If there is a haute cuisine in hardware hacking, Nic would be the three-star Michelin chef.

Dr. Nic Collins is a composer, performer and instrument builder, Professor of music at Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, editor-in-chief of the Leonardo Music Journal, former artistic director of STEIM in Amsterdam, recipient of the DAAD scholarship in Berlin, and the author of the book Handmade Electronic Music - the art of hardware hacking (Routledge, now in its 2nd edition).

In person, Nic is as witty and knowledgable as he is in his writing. We are very excited to have excited him to come and excite the NIME++ conference with a keynote speech. Will the essence of expressive interfaces informed by his notion of ‘intuitive circuitry’?

Nic will also be presenting Hardware Hacking Workshop as a one-day NIME++ Tutorial.


Stelarc Arm

Interfaces designed to be expressive need to be close to the human skin. Stelarc’s work is about getting under the skin (usually his own). In fact he is presently surgically constructing and stem-cell growing an ear on his arm.

Stelarc is the pioneer of cyborg art. He is a performer, Chair in Performance Art at the School of Arts, Brunel University, West London, Senior Research Fellow and Visiting Artist at the MARCS Lab at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), and Honorary Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He also has an Honorary Doctorate from Monash University in Melbourne.
Over the years Stelarc has explored and applied his body further than skin deep to research the notion of the cyborg, where the interface becomes part of the human body. In fact, for him the body has become obsolete. But rather than a cold, hard, technical cyborg, Stelarc’s research through artistic expression shows a deep passion, warmth, (in)sanity, and humour.

We are thrilled to have Stelarc as a keynote speaker in person, with his very un-obsolete body present. Through his work he has extended the whole notion of an interface, blurring the distinction between mind and matter by physically engaging in a gentle clash between machine and human, metal and flesh, computer and brain. Or is it a dance?

Stelarc will also for the first time publicly present The Articulated Head installation during NIME++, a robotic embodiment of his earlier Prosthetic Head. The Articulated Head features a 6 DoF robot arm with the embodied conversational agent having real-time interactivity made possible with its sound location and visual tracking capabilities and its attention model. The Articulated Head is part of the Thinking Head project, a 5-year research project led by the MARCS Auditory Labs, UWS. The Thinking Head project is one of the three Thinking Systems Initiatives, jointly funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).