DATA Event 66.0

WHEN: Wednesday August 5th 7.00 – 9.00pm

WHERE: CONNECT (formerly CTVR) Dunlop Oriel House, Corner of Fenian Street & Westland Row, Trinity College Dublin


What Does Software Want? Recent Artistic Projects and Research

Ben Grosser

School of Art + Design

National Center for Supercomputing Applications

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


What does it mean for human creativity when a computational system can paint its own artworks? How is an interface that foregrounds our friend count changing our conceptions of friendship? Why do we become emotionally attached to software systems and what does this attachment enable for those who made them? Through his investigations of computational agency and aesthetics, Ben Grosser will present a series of works that examine the cultural, social, and political implications of software.


Artist Ben Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that explore the cultural, social, and political implications of software. Recent exhibition venues and festivals include Eyebeam in New York, The White Building in London, the Media Arts Future Festival in Spain, the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, FILE in São Paulo, and Museum Ludwig in Cologne. His works have been featured in WiredThe AtlanticThe Guardian, the Los Angeles TimesCreative Applications Network, Neural, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, FastCoDesign, GizmodoEngadgetAl JazeeraCorriere della SeraEl País, and Der Spiegel. The Huffington Post said of his Interactive Robotic Painting Machine that “Grosser may have unknowingly birthed the apocalypse.” The Chicago Tribune called him the “unrivaled king of ominous gibberish.” Slate referred to his work as “creative civil disobedience in the digital age.” Grosser’s recognitions include First Prize in VIDA 16, an international award recognizing works investigating art and artificial life, a Net Art Grant and Commission from Rhizome, and the Expanded Media Award for Network Culture from the Stuttgarter Filmwinter. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art + Design and a Faculty Affiliate in Critical Technology Studies at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.