Short bios

From Hackers & Designers

Ramon Amaro

PhD researcher Ramon Amaro is part of the editorial team of Big Data & Society. Ramon Amaro is a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, with a background in Mechanical Engineering and Sociological Research. His doctoral research looks at the philosophical dimensions of the mathematical modeling of social processes. Drawing on the theories of Gilbert Simondon, in concert with W. E. B. Du Bois and Franz Fanon, Ramon finds interest in modalities of interrelation generated through statistical and data-driven infrastructures and processes.

Ramon graduated from the University of Essex with an MA in Sociological Research, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a BSe in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to coming to the UK, Ramon was a design engineer for General Motors Corporation and a policy manager for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Alternative Fuels Division.

Lecture Summer Talks: Training and the problem of data: What would it take to adopt fugitive statistics

Jeremy Bailey

Jeremy Bailey is a Toronto-based Famous New Media Artist whose work explores custom software in a performative context.

“Since the early noughties Bailey has ploughed a compelling, and often hilarious, road through the various developments of digital communications technologies. Ostensibly a satire on, and parody of, the practices and language of “new media,” the jocose surface of Bailey’s work hides an incisive exploration of the critical intersection between video, computing, performance, and the body. The unique terrain of Bailey’s work sits between a collision of the rarefied and the populist.“ (Rhizome)

Lecture Gestural Interfacing

Constant Association for Art and Media

Constant is a non-profit association, an interdisciplinary arts-lab based and active in Brussels since 1997. Constant works in-between media and art and is interested in the culture and ethics of the World Wide Web. The artistic practice of Constant is inspired by the way that technological infrastructures, data-exchange and software determine our daily life. Free software, copyright alternatives and (cyber)feminism are important threads running through the activities of Constant. Constant organizes workshops, print-parties, walks and ‘Verbindingen/Jonctions’-meetings on a regular basis for a public that’s into experiments, discussions and all kinds of exchanges.

Workshop Code, text and text-to-speech

Luis Rodil-Fernández

Workshop Algorithmic Kitchen

Selby Gildemacher

Selby Gildemacher is part of PIEK!, a contemporary and dynamic multidisciplinary art group from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Their work involves an humoristic and ironic view on contemporary society. It is often site and time specific, uses interactivity to make the viewer an accomplice.

Workshop Toy Hacking

James Bryan Graves

James Bryan Graves is a freelance software engineer, computer scientist, lecturer, and community organizer. James moved to the Netherlands in 2009 from the United States of America. He founded Hackers & Founders Amsterdam in 2011, a 2000+ member community of entrepreneurs and programmers. Hackers & Founders opened a non-profit community organized coworking space in the Herengracht in Amsterdam in 2014. The co-working space houses 85+ members. James is also working on a web literacy program called Curious Monkeys for children aged 9-12. James has been collaborating with Anja and Selby on Hackers & Designers since the very beginning. jbg on Twitter

Workshop Toy Hacking

Anja Groten

Anja Groten is an independent designer and researcher based in Amsterdam. She completed her postgraduate studies at the design department of the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam where she graduated in 2011. Anja Groten investigates the possibilities of an agonistic design practice and is interested in using external forces during her working process. By designing collective moments she aims to go into discussion with the public and simultaneously provokes confrontation and the unexpected.

Workshop Toy Hacking

Rosa Menkman

Rosa Menkman is a Dutch artist and theorist who likes to focus on visual artifacts created by accidents in both analogue and digital media. The visuals she makes are the result of glitches, compressions, feedback and other forms of noise. Although many people perceive these accidents as negative experiences, Rosa emphasizes their positive consequences. She believes these artifacts facilitate an important insight into the otherwise obscure world of media resolutions. By combining both her practical as well as her academic background, she intends to merge her practice into a grand theory artifacts (a study of glitch ecologies).

Lecture Discrete Cosine Transform

An Mertens

An Mertens (Turnhout, BE) is a core member of [Constant_Association_for_Art_and_Media|Constant Association for Art and Media], a Brussels’ based artist-run organisation for art and media with a focus on free software, feminist methodologies and free culture. With Constant An initiates research projects on how algorithms transform (literary) creation. Her experimental novel Tot Later is published by De Bezige Bij Antwerpen.

Workshop Code, text and text-to-speech


Metahaven is a studio for design and research based in Amsterdam. Since its launch in 2007, the team — founded by Daniel Van der Velden and Vinca Kruk — has pursued collaborations with organizations that traditionally don’t seek out graphic design as a platform or medium. Examples include the whistleblower platform WikiLeaks, the Icelandic Modern Media Institute (IMMI), and the diplomatic advisory group Independent Diplomat. An interdisciplinary group of writers, editors, critics, and curators, the collective has been able to expand upon the foundation of designer as form-maker and break free from the traditional confines of the studio. Its avant-garde aesthetics and intellectual approaches have lead to exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Metahaven has also written extensively about the internet as a political and creative space.

Workshop Error Messages

Michael Murthaugh

Michael Murtaugh (Champaign, Illinois, USA) designs and researches community databases, interactive documentary, and tools for new forms of reading and writing online. He teaches on the Masters Degree programme in Design and Communication at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam.

Workshop Code, text and text-to-speech

Ruben Pater

Ruben Pater creates visual narratives about geopolitical issues under the name Untold Stories. Through his work Ruben creates new relations between journalism and design.

Workshop Domestic Drone Defence

Stëfan Schäfer

Stëfan Schäfer is a designer and researcher based in Amsterdam. His research deals with the conversion of images from representative objects to participative subjects. This includes modes of image production and distribution as well as occurring consequences and shifts of meaning while traversing divers media. At this moment Schäfer is investigating the "compensation of physical absence with virtual presence" and vice versa.

Lecture (Un)willingly Memorialized — Images and the dead in the Digital Age

Tijmen Schep

Tijmen Schep co-founded SETUP, a podium for anyone in Utrecht who is interested in the fusion of culture and technology. SETUP strives to grow a critical group of people that dares to design this brave new world, and infuse it with human values, freedoms and opportinuties for creativity. To make this happen SETUP organises events such as workshop, lectures and presentations where people can share new knowledge, questions, best practices and best failures.

Workshop Domestic Drone Defence

Arjan Scherpenisse

Arjan Scherpenisse is a software developer and entrepreneur. He holds a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Amsterdam and a Bachelor of Design from the Rietveld Academy. After having worked for different Amsterdam-based Internet companies, Arjan founded his own company, MiracleThings, in 2011, working for clients such as Asics, TV broadcaster AT5 and mobile company Sharewire. As an all-round software developer Arjan loves big challenges and works with a broad range of technologies and platforms. Varying from interactive installations to native apps and from high volume responsive websites to complex back-end systems. The projects he finds most fun are the ones involving a physical component: art installations, photo booths, RFID voting booths, ping-pong ball cannons, et cetera.


Workshop Applied Bio-Robotics

Andrey Smirnov

Andrey Smirnov (1956) is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, collector, writer, composer, researcher and developer of new techniques in computer music. He is a Senior Lecturer and a Head of the Sector for Multimedia at the Center for Electroacoustic Music at Moscow State Conservatory and a Professor at the Rodchenko School for Photography and Multimedia where he teaches courses on history and aesthetics of electroacoustic music, sound design and composition, new musical interfaces and physical computing.

In 1992-2012 he was the founding director of the Theremin Center in Moscow. He has conducted numerous workshops and master classes in the U.S., Europe and Russia, and participated in various festivals and conferences. Since 1976 he conducts research on the development of electronic music techniques and gestural interfaces. His collection of the historical documents and original electronic musical instruments has been combined with extensive research into the history of music technology with broad experience in composition, interactive performance and curatorial activities.

Workshop DIY theremin making

Dr. Vadim Zaytsev

Dr. Vadim Zaytsev, also known in the social media as @grammarware, is a lecturer and a coordinator of the Software Engineering Master of Science programme at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) in Amsterdam. He has acquired PhD in 2010 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the field of software language engineering, in which his current main research interests lie. He has done such research at Universität Koblenz-Landau in Germany (2008–2010) and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in the Netherlands (2010–2013). Prior to that, he received MSc cum laude degrees from Rostov State University in Russia (applied mathematics, model checking) and from Universiteit Twente in the Netherlands (telematics, grammar-based testing). Besides hardcore software language engineering with grammar(ware) technology, his interests and research activities tend to invade such topics as software quality assessment, source code analysis and transformation, modelling, metamodelling and megamodelling, programming paradigms, declarative and functional programming, dynamic aspects of software languages, maintenance and renovation of legacy systems and others. He is also actively practicing open science and open research, contributing to a range of open data and open source projects, co-organising and presenting at (mostly academic) events.

Workshop Language Design