Memo Akten is an artist from Istanbul, currently based in London, UK. Using computational and algorithmic approaches he develops systems that explore the collisions between man and machine; and the repercussions on our relationship with nature, science, technology, culture and tradition. Combining conceptual work with investigations into form, movement and sound he works across many disciplines including video, sound, light, sculpture, dance, software, online works, large-scale immersive installations and performances.
Within these mediums, what he produces is ultimately an utterly unique, moving, thought provoking and stunning romp for the senses through the many dimensions of our world that all too often perhaps go undiscovered or unexplored. Whether it’s creating an interactive forest made of lasers or a robotic drone ballet, Memo always seeks to push the boundaries of emotion and technology and straddle the line between harmony and tension, chaos and serenity, nature and mechanics.
Rooted in his obsessions with science, trying to understand the world and human nature; he draws inspiration from fields such as quantum mechanics, astrophysics, molecular & evolutionary biology, abiogenesis, neuroscience, anthropology, philosophy. Integrated with his art practice, he is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London, investigating the intersections of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive science, data dramatization and artistic, expressive human computer interaction.
In 2007 he founded The Mega Super Awesome Visuals Company (MSA Visuals), an art, design and technology studio. Since 2009 his works ‘Body Paint’ and ‘Gold’ have toured with the V&A’s Decode exhibition. In 2011, with two new partners MSA evolved into Marshmallow Laser Feast whilst Memo continued working on personal commissions, notably his collaboration with Quayola entitled ‘Forms’, which won the prestigious Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica in 2013. Meanwhile, the immersive 360 installation – ‘Laser Forest’ – was part of the Barbican’s Digital Revolutions exhibition. After a string of other hugely successful, influential and large-scale projects – including a Super Bowl commercial and music video for rock band U2 – Memo left MLF at end of 2014 to focus on personal artworks, collaborations and research.
His work has been exhibited and performed around the world at venues such as The Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK), Tate Britain (London, UK), Royal Opera House (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).
Memo is also a lecturer, teacher, and strong supporter of open-source and believer in the sharing of knowledge, many of his tools and libraries are freely used around the world.