Memo Akten is an artist from Istanbul, currently based in London, UK. His work explores the collisions between man and machine. Fascinated by trying to understand the world and human nature, he investigates technology’s role in learning more about ourselves, how we connect with each other, and our relationship with nature, science, culture and tradition. Combining conceptual work with investigations into form, movement and sound he works across many disciplines including video, sound, light, dance, software, online works and large-scale immersive installations and performances.
Integrated with his art practice, he is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London at the intersections of artistic, expressive human-machine interaction and data dramatization with artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive computing. He draws inspiration from fields such as quantum mechanics, astrophysics, molecular & evolutionary biology, abiogenesis, neuroscience, anthropology and philosophy.
In 2013 his collaboration with Quayola ‘Forms’ won the Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica. Since 2009 his works ‘Body Paint’ and ‘Gold’ have toured with the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Decode exhibition. In 2014 his work with Marshmallow Laser Feast ‘Laser Forest’ was part of the Barbican’s Digital Revolutions exhibition. His work has been exhibited and performed around the world at venues such as Royal Opera House (London, UK), Tate Britain (London, UK), Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow, RU), La Gaîté lyrique (Paris, FR), Holon Museum (Tel Aviv, IL), EYE Film Institute (Amsterdam, NL), STRP Biennial (Eindhoven, NL), FILE Festival (Sao Paolo, Rio, BR), Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Lisbon, PT).
In 2007 he founded The Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company (MSA Visuals), an art, design and technology studio. In 2011, with two new partners this evolved into Marshmallow Laser Feast. In 2014, after a string of hugely successful, influential and large scale projects – including a Superbowl commercial and music video for rock band U2 – Memo left MLF to focus on personal artworks, collaborations and research.
A strong supporter of open-source and believer in the sharing of knowledge, many of his open-source tools and libraries are used globally, he is one of the core contributors to the openFrameworks project, and he gives lectures and workshops around the world.