Future Places 2010: People

Here is where you’ll read about the people of Future Places 2010.


Heitor Alvelos

Heitor Alvelos has a PhD in media culture from the Royal College of Art in London. He is Professor of Design at the University of Porto, and Associate Director of ID+: Institute of Research in Design, Media and Culture. Heitor is on various international advisory boards (including Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Prix Ars Electronica for Digital Communities, and Crime Media Culture), and has lectured extensively in Europe and the U.S. His main research areas are collaborative media, post-subcultural environments and cultural criminology.

Heitor works with music projects and media labels, including: Touch (UK), Cronica Electronica (Portugal), Autodigest (AWOL) and un (Portugal). Current curatorship includes Nomadic.0910 – meetings between art and science, and the 2011 Conference of the European Academy of Design.

Karen Gustafson is the University of Texas-based manager of the Digital Media Program of the UT Austin|Portugal Program. She completed her PhD in Radio-Television-Film in 2006, with major topics of study including U.S. telecommunications policy, media and social construction, and digital divide issues. Her interests also include gender studies and historiography, with master’s research focusing on online communities and conspiracy theory.

Bruce Pennycook is a Professor in Composition, especially electronic music and media. He holds a joint appointment in the School of Music, College of Fine Arts and the Department of Radio-Television-Film, College of Communication. Dr. Pennycook specilizes in new media and audio technologies including music visualization, film/video music, interactive music performance and network-based audio.

He received a Doctor of Musical Arts at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University in 1978 then taught at Queen’s University in Canada from 1978-1987 in both the Department of Music and the Department of Information and Computer Science. From 1987 to 1999, Pennycook taught at McGill University in Montreal where he developed new undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Music, Media and Technology. From 1998-2000 he held the position of Vice-Principal for Information Systems and Technology, McGill University.

Pennycook’s compositions include electroacoustic and acoustic pieces for solo, chamber and large ensemble and these are performed in the US and Canada. He has published many articles on various aspects of music technology and new music practices. He has also worked as a consultant for government, industry and other post-secondary institutions in Canada and the US.


Siva Vaidhyanathan is a cultural historian and media scholar at the University of Virginia. He is awaiting the publication of The Googlization of Everything from the University of California Press. He has written two previous books: Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). He also co-edited (with Carolyn de la Pena) the collection,Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals, including American Scholar, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.COM, Salon.com,openDemocracy.net, Columbia Journalism Review, BookForum, and The Nation. After five years as a professional journalist, he earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Vaidhyanathan has taught at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, New York University, and is now a professor of Media Studies and Law at the University of Virginia. He is also a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for the Future of the Book.

Blaine L. Reininger was born July 10, 1953 in Pueblo, Colorado, and founded Tuxedomoon with Steven Brown in San Francisco in 1977, in association with experimental multimedia theater group The Angels of Light. Blaine was the first member of Tuxedomoon to record a solo album, with Broken Fingers appearing in 1982. After leaving the band early in 1983, Blaine collaborated with Sleepers guitarist and occasional TM member Michael Belfer on Night Air. Produced by Blaine with Gareth Jones, this masterful part-vocal, part-instrumental album proved a significant critical and commercial success on release on 1984.

After fruitful collaborations with Mikel Rouse and Vini Reilly of the Durutti Column (featured on the accomplished Instrumentals CD), Blaine released the powerful in-concert set Live in Brussels in 1986, followed by a string of further studio albums, including Byzantium, Book of Hours, Songs From the Rain Palace and The More I Learn the Less I Know. His film and theatre soundtracks include Radio Moscow, Manic Man and most recently Elektra. Blaine also continues his long-standing duo work with Steven Brown, which has included several film, theatre and ballet soundtracks, as well as superlative piano/violin recitals of the kind preserved on the Live in Lisbon CD. Currently Blaine L. Reininger resides in Athens, and pursues parallel careers as a solo artist, actor and Tuxedomoon member.

Iury Lech is a transdisciplinary videoartist, sonic sculptor and experimental writer, that shows a bewildering, visionary and unclassifiable style which permeates the tired avant-garde discourse.

His audio-visual works, for which he has also composed the soundtracks, have been shown and selected at the festivals Art Futura, Ars Electrónica, ISEA, Festival Video Images Contre Nature,Concurso de Video de Navarra, Sonar, Festival de Vídeo de Musical de Vitoria-Gasteiz, Semana Internacional de Cine de Barcelona, Casa Encendida, Videoformes, Art Tech Media…
Jana Winderen is an artist educated in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in London, with a background in mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology from the University in Oslo. Jana Winderen researches the hidden depths with the latest technology; her work reveals the complexity and strangeness of the unseen world beneath. The audio topography of the oceans and the depth of ice crevasses are brought to the surface. She is concerned with finding sound from hidden sources, like blind field recording, and to give us a better understanding on how creatures of the ocean uses sound to orientate themselves, meet each other and hunt for prey.

Mike Harding has been running Touch for nearly 30 years, with Jon Wozencroft. He also curates and creatively produces live events, Ash International and many other projects. Lecturer, publisher, editor, curator… He studied Modern History at The University of Durham and is the UK Ambassador of Elgaland-Vargaland.

Rádio Zero is a university radio in Lisbon, Portugal, streaming 24/7 on the web promoting free access to broadcasting and allowing any person access to radio. It strives to instigate and promote unorthodox or exploratory uses of radio, as content, form or technology.

Radio Zero is one of the founding partners of the Radia network of radios is responsible for the bienal Radio Art Festival in Lisboa, RadiaLx. Implicitly connected with its phylosophy is the development of radio software technology targeting community radios, which have different needs from other type of broadcasters.

Valentina Nisi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Madeira where she teaches Service Design as part of the Carnegie Mellon|Portugal Program. Her research interests focus on bringing digital stories out into real space, merging architecture, environment and landscape with multimedia narrative experience. She holds a Phd from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and worked for 4 years in MIT MediaLabEurope’s Story Networks research group investigating the potential of wireless mobile technologies in cinematic non-linear narratives.

Ian Oakley is an assistant professor at the University of Madeira and an adjunct assistant professor at the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on the design, development and evaluation of multi-modal and embodied interfaces. He holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow, UK and has spent three years doing post-doctoral research at MIT MediaLabEurope’s Palpable Machines group. He has also spent two enlightening years working in industrial R&D in South Korea.

Medialab-Prado is a program of the Department of Arts of the City Council of Madrid, aimed at the production, research, and dissemination of digital culture and of the area where art, science, technology, and society intersect.

Many workshops for the production of projects, conferences, seminars, encounters, project exhibition, concerts, presentations, etc. take place in its versatile space. All activities are free and open to the general public.

Their primary objective is to create a structure where both research and production are processes permeable to user participation. To that end, Medialab-Prado offers a permanent information, reception, and meeting space attended by cultural mediators, as well as open calls for the presentation of proposals and participation in the collaborative development of projects.

One of the most recent projects led by Medialab-Prado has been Neighborhood Science: The gates have been opened for “citizen science”, in which neighbours can organise not just the management and development of knowledge, but also its application in decision making and re designing the public agenda. They can open wide ranging debates on the town planning, environmental, cultural, education or technology policies developed by governments and have a significant impact on how local politics work or the living conditions in the local neighbourhood.

Marc Behrens works on several cerebral and physical levels. His works mainly consist of concrete electronic music, installations, the occasional photograph or video. Recent activities include field recording trips to remote western China and the Amazon rainforest, founding an incorporation as a social art work, and staging a rite of passage for an investment banker.

Behrens has performed and exhibited extensively across Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, North America, and East Asia, and developed collaborations with Achim Wollscheid, Bernhard Günter, Francisco López, Jeremy Bernstein, Nikolaus Heyduck and Paulo Raposo, among others.

Pablo Peinado is former director of Zero, a pioneer magazine of LGTB culture in Spain, a post he held for seven years. Director of Visible Madrid and A Coruña Visible festivals, as well as the “Certamen Internacional Leopoldo Alas para textos teatrales LGTB”. Pablo Peinado is also the creator and curator of “Colección Visible”, one of the main collections of LGTB art in the world. In 2009, Colección Visible was exhibited in eight American countries, under the sponsorship of the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. As an artist and curator, Pablo has developed over sixty exhibitions, performances and installations, focusing on social and LGTB issues. http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Peinado

Abajo Izquierdo is a multidisciplinary artist whose exhibitions and performances have been presented in London, Venice, Brussels, Mexico City, Miami, Buenos Aires, Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid. His work ranges from the intimate to the socially complex, often working with painted nudes that end up as video pieces or large-scale photography. Abajo Izquierdo is also a painting and photography teacher, and is represented in various collections, including Ayuntamento de Madrid, Centro de Arte de Caja Burgos, and Junta de Castilla y León. http://www.abajoizquierdo.com

‘± maismenos ±’ surfaces in 2005 as a personal project developed in an academic research context. It quickly became a reference of creative intervention in Portuguese urban circles, due to its viral mechanics as well as the various media it wove itself into.
Initially, ± presented itself as a brand against brands, its utopian mission being the antidote to advertising: ± may be found as illegal marks over a wide variety of urban environments, just as it may surface as an art installation.
According to the author, Miguel Januário, ± is the visual representation of the collapse of capitalist systems (+ – = 0), clearly conveying a standpoint in regards to it – while also acting as a blank canvas, a particularly open-ended icon where the citizen may be able to project anything they wish, fear or suspect.
For more information, look up maismenos on Facebook, or walk around the streets of Porto with an open eye.

Sem Palco is a nonprofit cultural association whose mission is to foster the crossing of different forms of creative expression. The acknowledgment of artistic innovation, as well as the rapprochement between art and society, are central objectives for areas such as theater, performance, film and visual arts, and Sem Palco wants to contribute to this process, both individually and in interaction.

P2P, to be presented at futureplaces 2010, seeks to illustrate the core philosophy of the Sem Palco Cultural Association, which sees itself as a group of people with very different assets around a common objective, and interested in investigating new performative and artistic possibilities. On the other hand, the name of the collective (Sem Palco means StageLess) shows an interest in developing projects outside the usual sites and circuits of presentation. Two examples of this are the performances Measures between Bars (developed for the cells of the Faculty of Law of the University of Porto) and GRT (designed especially for a vintage store of lamps and decor), both in 2009. Sem Palco describe themselves as working within arts research and experimental practice, while also interested in capturing public that is usually reluctant or devoid of habits of cultural consumption. The fact that Sem Palco play thematically on issues pertaining to the areas of science, engineering, but also of literature and ethics, for example, allows them to build bridges with people and institutions generally remote from the creative processes.

The Schist Villages / Aldeias Do Xisto Network is a sustainable development project of a regional scope, promoted by ADXTUR — Agência para o Desenvolvimento Turístico das Aldeias do Xisto. This project embraces villages which deal with problems as human desertification, the private sector’s inertia and a lack of local identity. Without disturbing the traditions, heritage and culture in these villages, new ways for improvement are pursued.

In cooperation with Aldeias Do Xisto, designers Bruno Carvalho (PT), Runa Klock (NO) and Sanneke Duijf (NL) aim to facilitate a Social Design project in villages in the county of Fundão in 2011. This project will have a focus on design-thinking and Socially Responsive Design. Existing traditions, crafts and resources will be used as assets for improvement and taken to another, more sustainable level. Inhabitants will be actively involved in order to provide them with tools for output, as well as to develop new services, communication systems and products which are fit for purpose.

Verónica Orvalho born in 1976, mother of a lovely boy. Holds a Ph.D. in Software Development (Computer Graphics) from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya  (2007), where her research centered on “Facial Animation for CG Films and Videogames” . She has been working in IT companies, such as IBM  and Ericsson , and Film companies, like Patagonik Film Argentina  since 1994. She has given many workshops and has international publications related to game design and facial animation in conferences like SIGGRAPH  and Symposium in Computer Animation . She has received international awards for several projects: “Photorealistic facial animation and recognition”, “Face Puppet” and “Face In Motion”.

Verónica is currently a full time professor of Porto University, head of the Porto INteractive Center and Computer Graphics group, and co-founder and CTO of Face In Motion (http://www.faceinmotion.com) . She is also a former research member at the Event Computational Lab (http://moving-event.org/)  working on virtual reality and character animation. Current and past collaborations include several film and game companies (Blur Studios, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Portugal, Dygra Films ), and research groups (Stanford University, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya). Her current research focuses on developing new methods related to motion capture, geometric modeling and deformation, and real time animation.