Sofian Audry is a Montreal-based artist who uses computer programming as his primary medium, creating works through different forms such as robotics, electronics intervention, interactive installations and net art. He holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Sciences and Mathematics (2001), a M. Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Montreal (machine learning and language modeling, 2003), an M.A. in Communications from UQAM (interactive media, 2010) and a Ph. D. in Humanities from Concordia University (2016). He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sofian is actively involved in his community as the president of artist-run center Perte de Signal and as a co-developer of the open source video mapping software MapMap. His work has been presented in Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa in many festivals and exhibitions.
"Fascinated by autonomous, adaptive and self-organizing systems, I use technologies from artificial intelligence and artificial life in the construction of evocative machinic assemblages. Through them and the relationships they develop with the real world, I wish to engage directly in natural-cultural processes. My open-ended and stratified works expand through different complexity levels, like life itself.
Computer programming is the cornerstone of my practice. I see it not only as a tool but also both a material and a creative practice. My algorithms are built within multiple materials such as image, light, sound and movement, creating dynamic artworks with diverse and hybrid forms. My dedication to using open source software and material, combined with my practice’s specific fusion of art and science speaks to my engagement in alternative dialogues for knowledge creation and dissemination.
My practice borrows from experimental science and hacking. I develop my projects iteratively through short research and development cycles in which ideas, forms and matter collide. Each new project becomes another opportunity to engage in a dialogue with matter, to enact the world around me. I picture myself working through this situation as an embodied agent, exchanging with my environment in an ongoing feedback loop.
My recent works depict autonomous electronic agents evolving directly in non-controlled, often hostile environments. I explore the ways in which these precarious, often ephemeral assemblages, may evolve in their environment and adapt to it. Taking as a starting point the desires and motivations of these artificial agents, I invert, so to speak, the locus of control: neither the artist nor the audience have direct control over the agent. My biggest challenge is to propose new forms of aesthetic experience through the development of adaptive works using machine-learning algorithms."
– Sofian Audry