Lifelike Embodied Agents : Programming Artificial Behaviors as Art and Craft

11 - 12 March 2017, 9:00 - 18:00


Agent-based art is an approach to new media art that use autonomous systems such as robots, virtual characters, chatbots, artificial life systems, generative videos, and other artificial devices and programs, as a means to build aesthetic experiences.


In this 2-days workshop, participants will learn the basics of behavior programming for agent-based art. We will get familiar with both theoretical and practical dimensions of agent-based art in embodied artificial systems, such as cybernetics, artificial intelligence, artificial life, machine learning and “new AI”. We will learn about different techniques to help design artificial behaviors, including reactive robotics, behavior trees, and finite state machines, and will apply them in the production of a prototype.



  • An intermediate-level knowledge of Arduino and electronics (*)
  • Participants need to come with their own laptop

(*) Participants with only a basic knowledge of Arduino and electronics can still participate if they are skilled with another programming environment/language such as Processing, Max/MSP, PureData,Java, Python, C/C++, etc.


Schedule (subject to change): 

Day 1: The morning session will focus on the theory and practice of agent-based art, while the afternoon session will introduce a set of techniques and assist participants in applying them in practice.


  • Presentations
  • From cybernetics to deep learning: Agents in art and science history
  • Introduction to agent-based art and behavior aesthetics


  • Data processing on the Arduino
  • Techniques for behavioral design (reactive robotics, behavior trees, hierarchical finite state machines)
  • Studio session

Day 2: The day will be fully dedicated to create, design, and program a prototype of agent-based artistic system. The workshop will end with a presentation of the results and sharing of experiences.

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 softwar MapMap. His work has been presented in Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa in many festivals and exhibitions.

48 hours cancellation notice is required for any reimbursement. 

Regular 250.00$
Reduced 200.00$

11 - 12 March 2017, 9:00 - 18:00