Research

Ben performing at Soundscapes #21, Photo by Adam Thomas

I am a multidisciplinary researcher and Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University. I’m interested in computational art, data visualisation, human-computer interaction, hardware hacking/making (particularly in pursuit of creative ends) and the intersection of code, creativity and culture as those boundaries dissolve in the modern world. I lead the code/creativity/culture group at the ANU Research School of Computer Science (you should check out the c/c/c group’s projects page as well).

I am a livecoder, and have performed at both local and international arts festivals—you can find recordings of some of my sets on my livecoding page.

I love building things, and one thing I’m particularly excited about is the potential of liveness (real-time human-in-the-loop interactivity) in programming tools and workflows. I have made significant open-source code contributions to the international research and livecoding communities, especially through my work on Extempore: the state-of-the-art in livecoding languages.

To get a sense for my current ongoing research projects, head to the c/c/c website—that’s the most up-to-date list of all the things that me and my group are working on.

Come study with me

If you’re interested in doing Honours/Masters/PhD research with me, send me an email. I always have a few project ideas kicking around, but I’m also open to hearing about the project/big idea that excites you. Send me

  1. a one-paragraph description of the project you’re interested in doing, and
  2. a link to something you’ve made: a livecoding video, a project on GitHub, an academic paper—even a blog post

I get a lot of emails about this sort of thing, so including these two things is a great way to show that you’ve thought a bit about what sort of research project you’re interested in (and why I’d be a good fit). You should think hard about how to make your email stand out from the crowd.

Publications

If you’d like to read any of these but you don’t have access, send me an email and I can rustle you up a pre-print 😉

  1. Swift, B., & Hunter, A. (2018). Thoughts on an ANU Laptop Ensemble: Where Do New Media Creators Fit in the Modern University? Retrieved from http://www.code2k18.com
  2. Swift, B. (2011). Impish Grooves. Computer Music Journal, 35(4), 119–137. Retrieved from http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/COMJ_e_00098
  3. Swift, B., Gardner, H. J., & Riddell, A. (2009). Distributed Performance in Live Coding (pp. 1–6).
  4. Swift, B. (2013). Chasing a Feeling: Experience in Computer Supported Jamming. In S. Holland, K. Wilkie, P. Mulholland, & A. Seago (Eds.), Music and Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 85–99). Springer London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4471-2990-5_5
  5. Swift, B., Sorensen, A., Gardner, H. J., & Hosking, J. (2013). Visual Code Annotations for Cyberphysical Programming. In 2013 1st International Workshop on Live Programming (LIVE) (pp. 27–30). https://doi.org/10.1109/LIVE.2013.6617345
  6. Swift, B., Gardner, H., & Riddell, A. (2010). Engagement Networks in Social Music-Making. In Proceedings of the 22Nd Conference of the Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group of Australia on Computer-Human Interaction (pp. 104–111). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/1952222.1952244
  7. Martin, C., Gardner, H., & Swift, B. (2014). Exploring Percussive Gesture on iPads with Ensemble Metatone. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1025–1028). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2556288.2557226
  8. Sorensen, A., Swift, B., & Riddell, A. (2014). The Many Meanings of Live Coding. Computer Music Journal, 38(1), 65–76. https://doi.org/10.1162/COMJ_a_00230
  9. Swift, B., Sorensen, A., Martin, M., & Gardner, H. (2014). Coding Livecoding. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1021–1024). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2556288.2557049
  10. Wu, J., Swift, B., & Kirk, T. B. (2015). Texture Analysis of the 3D Collagen Network and Automatic Classification of the Physiology of Articular Cartilage AU - Duan, Xiaojuan. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, 18(9), 931–943. https://doi.org/10.1080/10255842.2013.864284
  11. Martin, C., Gardner, H., Swift, B., & Martin, M. (2016). Intelligent Agents and Networked Buttons Improve Free-Improvised Ensemble Music-Making on Touch-Screens. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2295–2306). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858269
  12. Martin, C., Gardner, H., & Swift, B. (2014). Metatravels and Metalonsdale: Ipad Apps for Percussive Improvisation. In CHI ’14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 547–550). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2559206.2574805
  13. Swift, B. (2012). Becoming-Sound: Affect and Assemblage in Improvisational Digital Music Making. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1815–1824). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2207676.2208315
  14. Swift, B., Sheridan, J., Zhen, Y., & Gardner, H. J. (2007). Mind-Modulated Music in the Mind Attention Interface. In Proceedings of the 19th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Entertaining User Interfaces (pp. 83–86). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/1324892.1324907
  15. Wu, J.-P., Swift, B., Becker, T., Squelch, A., Wang, A., Zheng, Y.-C., … Kirk, T. B. (2017). High-resolution study of the 3D collagen fibrillary matrix of Achilles tendons without tissue labelling and dehydrating. Journal of Microscopy, 266(3), 273–287. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmi.12537
  16. Chrzeszczyk, J., Howard, A., Chrzeszczyk, A., Swift, B., Davis, P., Low, J., … Ban, K. (2016). InfiniCloud 2.0: Distributing High Performance Computing across Continents. Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations, 3(2), 54–71-71. https://doi.org/10.14529/jsfi160204
  17. Swift, B., Sorensen, A., Gardner, H., Davis, P., & Decyk, V. K. (2016). Live Programming in Scientific Simulation. Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations, 2(4), 4–15-15. https://doi.org/10.14529/jsfi150401
  18. Browne, K., Swift, B., & Gardner, H. (2018). Critical Challenges for the Visual Representation of Deep Neural Networks. In J. Zhou & F. Chen (Eds.), Human and Machine Learning: Visible, Explainable, Trustworthy and Transparent (pp. 119–136). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-90403-0_7
  19. Browne, K., & Swift, B. (2018). The Other Side: Algorithm As Ritual in Artificial Intelligence. In Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. alt11:1–alt11:9). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3170427.3188404
  20. Purcell, A., Gardner, H., & Swift, B. (2014). Visualising a Live Coding Arts Process. In Proceedings of the 26th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Designing Futures: The Future of Design (pp. 141–144). ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2686612.2686634
  21. Martin, C., Gardner, H. J., & Swift, B. (2015). Tracking Ensemble Performance on Touch-Screens with Gesture Classification and Transition Matrices. In NIME (pp. 359–364).
  22. Martin, C., Gardner, H., Swift, B., & Martin, M. (2015). Music of 18 Performances: Evaluating Apps and Agents with Free Improvisation. In Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Conference of the Australasian Computer Music Association. The Australasian Computer Music Association.
  23. Swift, B., Gardner, H., & Sorensen, A. (2014). Networked Livecoding at VL/HCC 2013. In 2014 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC)(VLHCC) (pp. 221–222). https://doi.org/10.1109/VLHCC.2014.6883065
  24. Wang, Q., Nurmikko-Fuller, T., & Swift, B. (2019). Analysis and Visualization of Narrative in Shanhaijing Using Linked Data. In DH 2019: Proceedings of the International Conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. Retrieved from https://dh2019.adho.org
  25. Swift, B., Gardner, H., & Riddell, A. (2011). A Chasing After the Wind: Experience in Computer-Supported Group Musicmaking. In In Proceedings of "When Words Fail: What Can Music Interaction Tell Us about HCI?" Workshop.

Curated/invited livecoding performances

  1. Shirty Science Season 3 launch party

    Madison Hartill-Law (curator)

    13 Aug '18 @ Doughnut Dept., Canberra

  2. National Science Week '18 ACT Launch Event

    Dan McCusker (curator)

    10 Aug '18 @ Molo Bar, Australian National University

  3. Soundscapes Concert Series #21

    Reuben Ingall (curator)

    03 May '18 @ Smiths Alternative Bookshop, Canberra

  4. National Invention Convention '18 Closing Ceremony

    Elisha Deschamps (curator)

    19 Jan '18 @ Questacon, Canberra

  5. National Science Week '17 ACT Launch Event

    Madison Hartill-Law (curator)

    11 Aug '17 @ National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra

  6. Collected Resonances: Session 2

    Chloë Hobbs (curator)

    26 Aug '15 @ ANU School of Music, Canberra

  7. Innovation ACT 2015 Launch

    Natalija Nikolic (curator)

    12 Aug '15 @ John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra

  8. ACMC '14: Australasian Computer Music Conference

    Tim Opie (curator)

    10 Jul '14 @ Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne

  9. John Hosking Farewell Reception

    28 May '14 @ Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra

  10. "You Are Here" Festival - in case of sound: round one

    Tom Swann (curator)

    15 Mar '14 @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

  11. "Art, Not Apart" Festival

    David Caffery (curator)

    15 Mar '14 @ Kendall Lane Theatre, New Acton, Canberra

  12. ICOMOS 2013: International Council on Monuments and Sites

    Jean-Phillipe Demarais (curator)

    02 Nov '13 @ Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra

  13. Revenant Media: Theremin '75 Exhibition

    Martyn Jolly (curator)

    25 Oct '13 @ ANU School of Art Gallery, Canberra

  14. Musical Metacreation (MuMe) Algorave at ISEA 2013: International Symposium on Electronic Art

    Ollie Bown (curator)

    15 Jun '13 @ 107 Projects, Redfern, NSW, Australia

  15. Beginning-Middle-End Festival

    Martyn Jolly (curator)

    24 Sep '09 @ ANU School of Art Gallery, Canberra

  16. ACMC '09: Australasian Computer Music Conference

    Andrew Sorensen (curator)

    03 Jul '09 @ Queensland University of Technology

  17. Transmissions in Sound

    Luke Penders (curator)

    15 Oct '08 @ ANU School of Music, Canberra