Marc Downie - The OpenEnded Group

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Part artist's talk, part manifesto, this lecture will describe recent work by the New York based art collective The OpenEnded Group. This work spans film, public art, dance and installation. Always in collaboration, always in real-time their practice has spawned a parallel series of investigations into the tools and representations used to make digital art. This thought has become embodied in a new open source platform for programming art called Field. What kinds of tools do we need to survive the complex forms that we can create? what kinds of interactions can we have with the code that we write? and what kinds of collaborations and communities of artists might arise around these platforms? At stake in these questions is nothing less than the artist's relationship to digital media itself.

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About Marc Downie

Marc Downie is an artist and artificial intelligence researcher. Born in Aberdeen, UK, he has an MA in natural science and a MSci in physics from the University of Cambridge, graduating at the head of his class with the Mott Prize in the Natural Sciences. In 2005 he obtained a PhD from MIT’s Media Lab, writing a thesis entitled “Choreographing the Extended Agent.” Downie’s complex algorithmic systems are inspired by natural systems and a critique of prevalent digital tools and techniques. His interactive installations, compositions, and projections have presented advances in the fields of interactive music, machine learning, and computer graphics. In addition to extensive collaborations with his key colleagues Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar, Downie has worked with Merce Cunningham, Bill T. Jones, and Trisha Brown. While he was at the MIT Media Lab, he collaborated extensively with colleagues there, playing key roles in projects such as as AlphaWolf (A Prix Ars Electronica honorable mention in 2002), Dobie (SIGGRAPH 2002), and (void *) (SIGGRAPH 2000), and Jeux Deux (2006). Downie’s solo works include the series Musical Creatures (2000-3), which have been exhibited internationally. Downie has made his multimedia authoring system Field available to others as an open source project.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Teri Nagel
  • Created:11/14/2010
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016