Memo Akten


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My biggest inspiration is nature, and trying to understand the nature of nature, science.
As opposed to taking inspiration directly from the observable aesthetics of what I see around me, I’m inspired by the processes and behaviour that create and shape them.

Trying to understand and abstract these phenomena, to visualise the invisible, extract and amplify the unseen relationships which sculpt and drive our world. Using these processes to create abstract new forms, animations and sounds, creating an unfamiliar familiarity. Analogous to painting a sunset on a stormy sea, I’m fuelled by the idea of studying, abstracting and visualising the nuclear fusion inside the sun powering our planet, the photons scattering in the atmosphere to create a crimson sky, the fluid dynamics driving the wind and the waves crashing onto the shore. If anything I’m just trying to expose the poetry of nature.



Memo Akten is a visual artist, musician and engineer based in London. Inspired by the processes that shape nature, he explores the space between art and science, between the abstract and figurative; to extract and amplify the unseen relationships within images, space, movement, sound and time. His work is driven by the urge to make the seemingly impossible possible and to awaken our childlike instincts to explore and discover.

In 2013 his work FORMS, a collaboration with fellow visual artist Quayola, won the Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica in the Animation category. His work has been exhibited and performed worldwide including Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Royal Festival Hall, London; Holon Museum, Tel Aviv; Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow; STRP Biennale, Eindhoven; Creators Project New York, Sao Paulo, Beijing; The Roundhouse, London; File Festival, Sao Paulo, Rio; Aldeburgh Music Festival; Sydney Biennale; Edinburgh Film Festival and more (see

A strong supporter of open-source and believer in the sharing of knowledge, he is one of the core contributors to the openFrameworks project and gives lectures and workshops around the world. In 2011 he co-founded Marshmallow Laser Feast; a collective of like-minded artists, designers, engineers.

While his primary crafts include writing software, working with and appropriating new technologies; above all his work focuses on creating powerful emotional and evocative experiences. His output covers a range of disciplines including installations, performances, films, music videos, online works and mobile applications.

Memo was born and grew up in Istanbul, Turkey. Fascinated by the hacker demo-scene of the 1980s, he started programming music & graphics demos at an early age on the 8-bit computers of the era. In 1997, after completing a BSc in Civil Engineering, he moved to London where he worked in the video games industry as an artist, designer and programmer. Leaving the video games industry in 2003 to pursue more immersive and experimental experiences, he now balances his time between personal work, collaborations, research and commissions.