Wintersemester 2010/11

"Hacker as Artist"

We will discuss the discipline and mindset necessary to be effective in creating technical projects, and compare this with the way an artist approaches the world. After a brief overview of the experiences which led me to work in the field of embedded software, I will share some of my thoughts on becoming a famous fartist, and invite comments from the audience.

Jesse D. Zbikowski was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts (USA) in 1977, year of the dragon. He taught himself computer programming by typing random numbers into a Commodore 64 until he figured out how to animate an ASCII decapitation scene. In the nineties he moved on to coding x86 assembly language demos under the name of Zed, learning his technique from such masters as Shifty (the gweep).

In 2007 Jesse contributed to his first large-scale machine art project, "Orb SWARM" (M. Prados / J. Foote), developing embedded Linux systems software to support autonomous navigation. Following this he began a partnership with the San Francisco-based Flaming Lotus Girls machine art group. With UX designer Erik Swedberg, he created visual controls for fire and lighting effects on their "Angel of the Apocalypse" and "Soma" installations. In his spare time, Jesse enjoys drinking.

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