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.


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. (2012). The Design of a Smartphone-Based Digital Musical Instrument for Jamming.
  2. Swift, B. (2011). Impish Grooves. Computer Music Journal, 35(4), 119–137. Retrieved from
  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.
  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).
  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.
  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.
  8. Sorensen, A., Swift, B., & Riddell, A. (2014). The Many Meanings of Live Coding. Computer Music Journal, 38(1), 65–76.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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).
  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
  25. Swift, B., & Hunter, A. (2018). Thoughts on an ANU Laptop Ensemble: Where Do New Media Creators Fit in the Modern University? Retrieved from
  26. 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. Colour Coded

    Lucy Chetcuti, Joanne Leong (curator)

    02 Aug '19 @ Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra

  2. Shirty Science Season 3 launch party

    Madison Hartill-Law (curator)

    13 Aug '18 @ Doughnut Dept., Canberra

  3. National Science Week '18 ACT Launch Event

    Dan McCusker (curator)

    10 Aug '18 @ Molo Bar, Australian National University

  4. Soundscapes Concert Series #21

    Reuben Ingall (curator)

    03 May '18 @ Smiths Alternative Bookshop, Canberra

  5. National Invention Convention '18 Closing Ceremony

    Elisha Deschamps (curator)

    19 Jan '18 @ Questacon, Canberra

  6. National Science Week '17 ACT Launch Event

    Madison Hartill-Law (curator)

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

  7. Collected Resonances: Session 2

    Chloë Hobbs (curator)

    26 Aug '15 @ ANU School of Music, Canberra

  8. Innovation ACT 2015 Launch

    Natalija Nikolic (curator)

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

  9. ACMC '14: Australasian Computer Music Conference

    Tim Opie (curator)

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

  10. John Hosking Farewell Reception

    28 May '14 @ Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra

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

    Tom Swann (curator)

    15 Mar '14 @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

  12. "Art, Not Apart" Festival

    David Caffery (curator)

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

  13. ICOMOS 2013: International Council on Monuments and Sites

    Jean-Phillipe Demarais (curator)

    02 Nov '13 @ Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra

  14. Revenant Media: Theremin '75 Exhibition

    Martyn Jolly (curator)

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

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

    Ollie Bown (curator)

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

  16. Beginning-Middle-End Festival

    Martyn Jolly (curator)

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

  17. ACMC '09: Australasian Computer Music Conference

    Andrew Sorensen (curator)

    03 Jul '09 @ Queensland University of Technology

  18. Transmissions in Sound

    Luke Penders (curator)

    15 Oct '08 @ ANU School of Music, Canberra