Research

Ben performing at Soundscapes #21, Photo by Adam Thomas

Research interests

I am an internationally-recognised interdisciplinary scholar and new media artist. I am a Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University—Australia’s top-ranked (#24 QS world ranking 2018/2019). My expertise spans computational art & music, data visualisation, human-computer interaction, AI/machine learning, and user experience (UX) design.

I am the founder and director of the code/creativity/culture (c/c/c) studio, an interdisciplinary research and teaching collective which specialises in making things which explore the way that code (software), creativity (especially the arts) and culture (life) intersect in the modern world.

As a livecoding artist I have performed at international arts festivals, including the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) and the International Conference on Live Coding (ICLC). I’m the vice president of the Australasian Computer Music Association (ACMA).

I am a maker of open-source software tools for music, creative code, data analysis/visualisation, and more. I’m one half of the core development team for the Extempore programming environment GitHub stars, the state-of-the-art in livecoding languages. Extempore’s users are a worldwide community of programmers, artists, musicians, and data visualisation practitioners. I have more than 10 years experience as an OSS community manager, technical writer, software engineer and creative code outreach ambassador.

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, 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.

Peer-reviewed publications

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007

2020

Disruption and Creativity in Live Coding (2020)

by Ushini Attanayake, Ben Swift, Henry Gardner and Andrew Sorensen

in VL/HCC '20: IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (pdf)

doi: 10.1109/VL/HCC50065.2020.9127204

Camera Adversaria (2020)

by Kieran Browne, Ben Swift and Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller

in CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/3313831.3376434

Eating Computers Considered Harmful (2020)

by Kieran Browne, Ben Swift and Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller

in Alt.CHI '20: Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/3334480.3381810

Enacting Collective Ownership Economies within Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (2020)

by Kieran Browne and Ben Swift

in Proceedings of "Worker-Centered Design: Expanding HCI Methods for Supporting Labor" Workshop at CHI'20 (pdf)

Artists and Master-Coders in the Consensual Domain (2020)

by Tony Curran, Weidi Wang and Ben Swift

in Proceedings of "Where Art Meets Technology: Integrating Tangible and Intelligent Tools in Creative Processes" Workshop at CHI'20 (pdf)

Analysis and Visualisation of Complex Familial Relationships in Greek Mythology (to appear) (2020)

by Yaya Chenyue Lu, Ben Swift and Greta Hawes

in DH '20: Proceedings of the International Conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (Peer-Reviewed Poster)

2019

Reducing Latency in a Collaborative Augmented Reality Service (2019)

by Wennan He, Ben Swift, Henry Gardner, Mingze Xi and Matt Adcock

in VRCAI '19: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and Its Applications in Industry (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/3359997.3365699

Two Perspectives on Rebooting Computer Music Education: Composition and Computer Science (2019)

by Ben Swift, Charles Patrick Martin and Alexander Hunter

in ACMC '19: Proceedings of the 2019 Australasian Computer Music Conference (pdf)

doi: 10.25911/5e37e8d92ff89

Analysis and Visualization of Narrative in Shanhaijing Using Linked Data (2019)

by Qian Wang, Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller and Ben Swift

in DH '19: Proceedings of the International Conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (pdf)

2018

Critical Challenges for the Visual Representation of Deep Neural Networks (2018)

by Kieran Browne, Ben Swift and Henry Gardner

in Human and Machine Learning: Visible, Explainable, Trustworthy and Transparent ({Springer International Publishing}) (pdf)

doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-90403-0_7

The Other Side: Algorithm As Ritual in Artificial Intelligence (2018)

by Kieran Browne and Ben Swift

in Alt.CHI '18: Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/3170427.3188404

Thoughts on an ANU Laptop Ensemble: Where Do New Media Creators Fit in the Modern University? (2018)

by Ben Swift and Alexander Hunter

in Code2k18: A Media Conference of Platforms, Devices and Screens

2017

"Social Hypergraph Analysis": Towards an Operationalisation of Actor-Network Theory Using Hypergraphs (2017)

by Timothy Graham, Robert Ackland, Marian-Andrei Rizoiu and Ben Swift

in 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (pdf)

High-resolution study of the 3D collagen fibrillary matrix of Achilles tendons without tissue labelling and dehydrating (2017)

by Jian-Ping Wu, Ben Swift, Thomas Becker, Andrew Squelch, Allan Wang, Yong-Chang Zheng, Xuelin Zhao, Jiake Xu, Wei Xue, Minghao Zheng, David Lloyd and Thomas Brett Kirk

in Journal of Microscopy 266(3) (pdf)

doi: 10.1111/jmi.12537

2016

InfiniCloud 2.0: Distributing High Performance Computing across Continents. (2016)

by Jakub Chrzeszczyk, Andrew Howard, Andrzej Chrzeszczyk, Ben Swift, Peter Davis, Jonathan Low, Tin Wee Tan and Kenneth Ban

in Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations 3(2) (pdf)

doi: 10.14529/jsfi160204

Intelligent Agents and Networked Buttons Improve Free-Improvised Ensemble Music-Making on Touch-Screens (2016)

by Charles Martin, Henry Gardner, Ben Swift and Michael Martin

in CHI '16: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2858036.2858269

Live Programming in Scientific Simulation (2016)

by Ben Swift, Andrew Sorensen, Henry Gardner, Peter Davis and Viktor K. Decyk

in Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations 2(4) (pdf)

doi: 10.14529/jsfi150401

2015

Music of 18 Performances: Evaluating Apps and Agents with Free Improvisation (2015)

by Charles Martin, Henry Gardner, Ben Swift and Michael Martin

in ACMC '15: Proceedings of the 2015 Australasian Computer Music Conference (pdf)

Tracking Ensemble Performance on Touch-Screens with Gesture Classification and Transition Matrices (2015)

by Charles Martin, Henry Gardner and Ben Swift

in NIME '15: Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (pdf)

doi: 10.5555/2993778.2993870

Texture Analysis of the 3D Collagen Network and Automatic Classification of the Physiology of Articular Cartilage AU - Duan, Xiaojuan (2015)

by Jianping Wu, Ben Swift and Thomas Brett Kirk

in Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering 18(9) (pdf)

doi: 10.1080/10255842.2013.864284

2014

Exploring Percussive Gesture on iPads with Ensemble Metatone (2014)

by Charles Martin, Henry Gardner and Ben Swift

in CHI '14: Proceedings of the 2014 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2556288.2557226

Metatravels and Metalonsdale: Ipad Apps for Percussive Improvisation (2014)

by Charles Martin, Henry Gardner and Ben Swift

in CHI '14: Extended Abstracts of the 2014 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2559206.2574805

Visualising a Live Coding Arts Process (2014)

by Arrian Purcell, Henry Gardner and Ben Swift

in OZCHI '14: Proceedings of the 26th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2686612.2686634

The Many Meanings of Live Coding (2014)

by Andrew Sorensen, Ben Swift and Alistair Riddell

in Computer Music Journal 38(1) (pdf)

doi: 10.1162/COMJ_a_00230

Coding Livecoding (2014)

by Ben Swift, Andrew Sorensen, Michael Martin and Henry Gardner

in CHI '14: Proceedings of the 2014 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2556288.2557049

Networked Livecoding at VL/HCC 2013 (2014)

by Ben Swift, Henry Gardner and Andrew Sorensen

in VL/HCC '14: IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (pdf)

doi: 10.1109/VLHCC.2014.6883065

2013

Chasing a Feeling: Experience in Computer Supported Jamming (2013)

by Ben Swift

in Music and Human-Computer Interaction ({Springer London}) (pdf)

doi: 10.1007/978-1-4471-2990-5_5

Visual Code Annotations for Cyberphysical Programming (2013)

by Ben Swift, Andrew Sorensen, Henry Gardner and John Hosking

in LIVE '13: 1st International Workshop on Live Programming at ICSE (pdf)

doi: 10.1109/LIVE.2013.6617345

2012

Becoming-Sound: Affect and Assemblage in Improvisational Digital Music Making (2012)

by Ben Swift

in CHI '12: Proceedings of the 2012 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/2207676.2208315

The Design of a Smartphone-Based Digital Musical Instrument for Jamming (2012)

by Ben Swift

in ANU Library Open Research PhD dissertations() (pdf)

doi: 10.25911/5d5157b18b58f

2011

A Chasing After the Wind: Experience in Computer-Supported Group Musicmaking (2011)

by Ben Swift, Henry Gardner and Alistair Riddell

in Proceedings of "When Words Fail: What Can Music Interaction Tell Us about HCI?" Workshop at British HCI (pdf)

Impish Grooves (2011)

by Ben Swift

in Computer Music Journal 35(4)

2010

Engagement Networks in Social Music-Making (2010)

by Ben Swift, Henry Gardner and Alistair Riddell

in OZCHI '10: Proceedings of the 22nd Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/1952222.1952244

2009

Distributed Performance in Live Coding (2009)

by Ben Swift, Henry Gardner and Alistair Riddell

in ACMC '09: Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Computer Music Conference (pdf)

2007

Mind-Modulated Music in the Mind Attention Interface (2007)

by Ben Swift, James Sheridan, Yang Zhen and Henry Gardner

in OZCHI '07: Proceedings of the 19th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (pdf)

doi: 10.1145/1324892.1324907

Curated/invited livecoding performances

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2009 | 2008

2020

smoke (2020)

featuring Fi Sullivan, Ben Swift and Kieran Browne, curated by c/c/c studio

30 Jan '20 @ PK Big Band Room, ANU School of Music (video)

ICLC'20 Algorave (2020)

featuring Ben Swift and Giovanni Muzio, curated by Giuseppe Torre and Neil O'Connor

07 Feb '20 @ https://www.flannerysbar.ie (video)

2019

Colour Coded (2019)

featuring Ben Swift, Kieran Browne and Charles Martin, curated by Lucy Chetcuti and Joanne Leong

02 Aug '19 @ Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra (video)

2018

National Invention Convention '18 Closing Ceremony (2018)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Elisha Deschamps

19 Jan '18 @ Questacon, Canberra

Soundscapes Concert Series #21 (2018)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Reuben Ingall

03 May '18 @ Smiths Alternative Bookshop, Canberra (video)

National Science Week '18 ACT Launch Event (2018)

featuring Ben Swift and Kieran Browne, curated by Dan McCusker

10 Aug '18 @ Molo Bar, Australian National University (video)

Shirty Science Season 3 launch party (2018)

featuring Ben Swift and Kieran Browne, curated by Madison Hartill-Law

13 Aug '18 @ Doughnut Dept., Canberra

2017

National Science Week '17 ACT Launch Event (2017)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Madison Hartill-Law

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

2015

Innovation ACT 2015 Launch (2015)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Natalija Nikolic

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

Collected Resonances: Session 2 (2015)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Chloë Hobbs

26 Aug '15 @ ANU School of Music, Canberra (video)

2014

"Art, Not Apart" Festival (2014)

featuring Ben Swift and Torben Sko, curated by David Caffery

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

"You Are Here" Festival - in case of sound: round one (2014)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Tom Swann

15 Mar '14 @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

John Hosking Farewell Reception (2014)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Alistair Rendell

28 May '14 @ Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra (video)

ACMC '14: Australasian Computer Music Conference (2014)

featuring Ben Swift and Andrew Sorensen, curated by Tim Opie

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

2013

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

featuring Ben Swift and Andrew Sorensen, curated by Ollie Bown

15 Jun '13 @ 107 Projects, Redfern, NSW, Australia (video)

Revenant Media: Theremin '75 Exhibition (2013)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Martyn Jolly

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

ICOMOS 2013: International Council on Monuments and Sites (2013)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Jean-Phillipe Demarais

02 Nov '13 @ Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra

2009

ACMC '09: Australasian Computer Music Conference (2009)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Andrew Sorensen

03 Jul '09 @ Queensland University of Technology

Beginning-Middle-End Festival (2009)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Martyn Jolly

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

2008

Transmissions in Sound (2008)

featuring Ben Swift, curated by Luke Penders

15 Oct '08 @ ANU School of Music, Canberra

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