Dr Eleanor Dare


  • Eleanor Dare is the Acting Head of Programme for  Digital Direction, a 15 month masters course addressing the future of storytelling,  She is responsible for the implementation, development and day-to-day management of the programme, she delivers and evolves the curriculum while developing her own research, as well as networking with cultural partners, academics  and industries. 

  • Biography

  • Eleanor Dare has taught computer programming and digitally themed subjects at Goldsmiths, the University of Derby, the Open University, the University of the Arts and the Royal College of Art. Her current writing and programming research is concerned with water, computation and creative non-fiction, a project provisionally entitled 'Immersion'. She collaborates with Alexandra Antonopoulou on the Phi Books project and transmedia storytelling.

    She started her (adult) academic and artistic life at Wimbledon School of Art, where she studied painting. She describes herself as a fine artist with a particular interest in creative non-fiction and the limits of computational logic. Her practice as a visual artist has always been accompanied by writing; for her, they work to catalyse each other.

    After completing a degree in painting, Eleanor became involved in a number of magazines such as Spare Rib and Shocking Pink, drawing illustrations and laying out pages as well as drumming up advertising revenue – in those days they all did everything! At the same time, she had a number of sci-fi and other fictional stories and poems published by feminist publishers such as Virago, Pandora and the Women’s Press. Later, she ran her own studio and gallery where she sold her paintings and started to record and crudely edit soundscapes. She then went on to the London College of Communication (then called the London College of Printing) to study Sound Design and Sonic Arts, completing an MSc in Arts Computing at Goldsmiths (2006), Department of Computing, She became deeply engaged with computer programming, at first because programming sound is more efficient and flexible than creating sounds by manually editing them, and started to investigate the algorithms that enable computers to process sounds and images, asking the question could they be ‘creative’ like human beings? Her MSc (practice based) was concerned with artificial intelligence and artist’s books – asking could a computer create such a thing as an artists’ book and could it try to understand human readers? Her MSc and PhD at Goldsmiths (2007–2011) addressed this question, investigating the limits of symbolic logic and artificial intelligence to emulate embodied and situated human creativity. Eleanor contingently concluded there is a medium specificity to algorithms that interests her more than making computers behave like people.

    While at Goldsmiths (2005–2012) she taught programming to a range of post-graduate students, including artists, musicians and architects. Eleanor became a Lecturer in Arts Computing, working on the premise that anyone can learn how to program and everyone has creative mathematical potential. During this period she developed a number of brain-driven interfaces – these systems used the brain as a controlling mechanism (via electrical currents emanating from user’s foreheads), one interface matched gallery visitors to artworks via a combination of psychometric testing and brain activity. She collaborated with the Curator Dr Lee Weinberg to evolve this system, and called it the Visual Art Navigation and Interrogation System (2010–2011). They presented this work at a number of international conferences and wrote about it, one of the papers 'Algorithms for Social Curation'(2011), is available at the Brunel University journal: Body Space and Technology.

    Eleanor Dare has embarked on a long creative writing and computing collaboration with Dr Alexandra Antonopoulou, called the Phi Books Project (2008– ongoing). They have co-authored and illustrated two artists’ books based on an algorithmic collaborative methodology. Since then the project has evolved to include motion capture, interactive films, Twitter feeds, blog posts and performances, in what might be framed as a longitudinal transmedia storytelling project. They have written a number of peer reviewed papers and a book chapter about this work, as well as presenting it internationally, including at the International Festival of Electronic art at Sydney (2013) and Istanbul (2011). They have also worked on a project called The Digital Dreamhacker (2012–2013); Eleanor programmed a system for capturing dream themes from users and generating web-scraped images of the dreams, drawing upon a collective dream imaginary. They presented this work internationally and published papers about it. Eleanor has authored quite a few papers about her work, including two published by MIT Press (2012, 2016).

    LinkedIn profile:  www.linkedin.com/in/dr-eleanor-dare-09b93bb

    The Digital Dreamhacker: www.flickr.com/photos/92979910@N05

    The Phi Books: phibooksland.blogspot.co.uk

    UAL Digital Fluency: digitalfluency.myblog.arts.ac.uk

    Old Visual Art Navigation System site: vains-pro.wix.com/vains

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  • Practice

  • Eleanor Dare has a PhD in Arts and Computational Technology from Goldsmiths (2007-2011) Department of Computing, supported by a full doctoral studentship from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

    Her doctoral thesis and MSc at Goldsmiths were concerned with computer programming practices, subjectivity and Artificial Intelligence for interactive and responsive books. The title of her thesis was 'Navigating Subjectivity: South a Psychometric Text Adventure.'

    Since completing her PhD in 2011 she has continued to research the ways in which computational systems try to understand humans, especially what happens when computers attempt to generate human-like cultural expressions. Inevitably, this has resulted in an increasing concern with the significance of situatedness and embodiment – two factors which, she argues, are always implicated in human activity. In pursuit of this investigation she has variously electrocuted myself, walked trails in response to  blood sugar levels, burnt pixels out of images when  alpha waves (electronic brain signals) have decreased, created a computational writing system defined by the height of the Thames, and swam in rivers, ponds and canals to investigate the material specificity of watery experience.

    Eleanor continues her practice as a creative programmer and interaction designer, devising systems for variously: capturing and visualising dreams, enacting plays live across Egypt and Scotland, using brain-based interfaces to match gallery visitors to artworks, blowing up and burning images via galvanic skin and brainwave responses, programming intelligent books that change according to their readers and many other projects.

    She is currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at the OU with a 15,000-word creative non-fiction work on water and memory. She is expanding this work into further research on 3D Modelling of water, computer simulation and narrative. Eleanor continues to collaborate with Dr Alexandra Antonopoulou on the creative transmedia storytelling project ’The Phi Books’ (2008– ongoing) and is a peer reviewer for the Spark journal.

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Publications

    (2008–2018 and ongoing) The Phi Books project is a current and historical collaboration with the designer and children’s book writer Alexandra Antonopoulou. The project is about collaborative writing, computing and space; this project is still active and is listed throughout Eleanor's journal and conference activities. Eleanor and Alexandra have joint published a number of papers and taken part in many conferences in which they have presented this work based on two Phi Books (artists’ books). The Phi books have been presented at Copenhagen University, Berlin University, Goldsmiths University of London, Istanbul Sabanci University, and Stockholm University; also exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum London, publications with Leonardo journal and a book chapter in an edition called 'Writing between disciplines'. The project has now been used by other artists as a methodology – in which borders, walls and doors support and expose creative collaborative practice.

    Dare, E. (2017) 'An Artist’s Expert System: second order cybernetics for matching users to bespoke books' in, Conference Proceedings: International Conference on Information Systems and Management Science, ISMS. 

    Campkin, B. and Duijzings, G. (eds) (2017) Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies. London: UCL & I. B. Tauris.

    Antonopoulou, A. and Dare, E. (2016) 'Emerging Forms of Collaboration: Communities of Practice Online through Networked Fictions, Dreams and Stories',  in Kok, A. and Lee, H. (eds) Cultural, Behavioral, and Social Considerations in Electronic Collaboration. IGI Global.

    Dare, E. and Papadaki, E. (2016) 'Bare nothingness - situated subjects in embodied artist's systems', in Deliyannis, I., Kostagiolas, P. and Banou, C. (eds) Experimental Multimedia Systems for Interactivity and Strategic Innovations. IGI Global.

    Antonopoulou, A. and Dare, E. (2013) 'The Digital Dreamhacker: Crowdsourcing the dream imaginary' in, Proceedings of the ISEA International Festival of Electronic Art, Sydney 2013.

    Antonopoulou, A. and Dare, E. (2011) 'Phi territories' in Sahin, O. (ed) 17th International Symposium of Electronic Arts2011. Istanbul: Leonardo.

    Journal Articles

    Dare, E. (2018) 'AI/VR: situated animation in the Library of Babel' IEEE Trans. Vis. Comput. Graph. 24 (4).

    Dare, E. (2018) 'Out of the Humanist Matrix: Learning taxonomies beyond Bloom' Spark: UAL Creative Teaching and Learning Journal, (forthcoming).

    Aslam, S. and Dare, E. (2015) 'Skype, code and shouting: a digitally mediated drama between Egypt and Scotland', Leonardo, Vol. 48, No. 3. London: MIT Press.

    Dare, E. (2013) 'Blood-Sugar Roulette: a case study of bio-geometric body-art', Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus, Vol. 00, No. 01, Media-N.

    Dare, E. (2012) 'Black Boxes and God-Tricks: an Account of Using Medical Imaging Systems to Photograph Consciousness in the Context of a Digital Arts Practice',  Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol. 18 No. 3. London: MIT Press.

    Antonopoulou, A. and Dare, E. (2012) 'Phi Territories, Neighbourhoods of Collaboration and Participation', Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Vol. 05, No. 01. Intellect Books.

    Dare, E. (2011) 'Post-Desktop Publishing:  An interactive book for an era of ubiquitous digitality' in  International Journal of the Book, Vol. 8, No. 01 (2011). Common Ground Research Networks.

    Dare, E. and Weinberg, L. (2011) 'Algorithms for Social Curation' in Body Space and Technology Journal, Vol. 11. Brunel University London.

    Dare, E. (2011–2012) 'Figure and Ground, the body as a locus of narrative and knowing' in GLITS–e English and Comparative Literature Journal . Goldsmiths, University of London.

    Workshops, Conferences and Symposia 

    Dare, E. (2018) Normative validity and the quantified academic self at Post-H(uman) index? Politics, metrics, and agency in the accelerated academy, Cambridge University, 29-30 Dec 2018.

    Dare, E., Dutson, C., Ferrarello, L. and Ikoniadou, E. (2018) Conference or Workshop, Decolonising the computational imagination: Human and machine creativity as situated practice at The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation for Behaviour (AISB) Annual Convention 2019, Falmouth, 16-18 April 2019.

    Dare, E. (2018) Ontological platforms: deconstructing Moodle and the ideology of personalised learning at Capitalism, Social Science and the Platform University, Cambridge, 13–14 Dec 2018.

    Dare, E. (2018) Digital Fluency and digital epistemology at Royal College of Art Autumn Teaching Conference, London, 17 Sep 2018.

    Dare, E. (2018) Munging Analytica: God tricks, con tricks and yet more views from above at RCA Cross College Symposium: Feminisms and Materialisms, London, 25 May 2018.

    Dare, E. and Antonopoulou, A. (2018)  Phi_VR_books: Collaborative documentation of our recent digital past at 22nd Annual Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts (DRHA 2018), Valletta, Malta, 09–12 September 2018. 

    Dare, E. (2018) Turpin's Cave: choice and deception in a virtual realm at 22nd Annual Digital Research in the Humanities and the Arts (DRHA 2018), Valletta, Malta, 09–12 September 2018. 

    Dare, E. and Heaney, L. (2018) MA Digital Direction, MA Information Experience Design at Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, London, UK, 9–13 July 2018.

    Dare, E. (2018) The Second Death Of The Author? Immersive Book Forms Using Ar/Vr And Ai at The Media Production Show, London, 12–13 June 2018.

    Dare, E. & Antonopoulou, A. (2018) 'The life of a book: Agency, Autonomy, and VR Fictions'. Movement 2018, London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2017)  'New approaches to STEM and STEAM Education, a case-study of MA Digital Direction, Royal College of Art'.  International Forum on Education of Art, Science and Technology (EAST), Beijing.

    Dare, E. (2017) Key note speaker with Alexandra Antonpoulou. Greenwich University Animation Conference, Greenwich University, UK.

    Dare, E. (2017) Chaired two conference panels and presented the paper ‘Fractal & Linear Borders: Mapping Boundaries to Sound’. Co-presented paper 'The Phi Books: Borders, Doors and Walls as a Collaboration Methodology', with Dr Alexandra Antonopoulou. Somewhere In Between: Borders and Borderlands, London College of Communication, UAL, UK.

    Dare, E. (2017) Workshop presentation, Central Saint Martins, UAL, UK.

    Dare, E. (2014) Cities Methodologies 2014: Buildings on fire: Towards a new approach to urban memory. Slade Research Centre, UCL, UK.

    Dare, E. (2012) Joint paper with Shabina Aslam Live Interfaces, Leeds University, Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Research in Music, UK. 

    Dare, E. (2012) Digital Futures Series, Victoria and Albert Museum, Sackler Centre, London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2012) International Festival of Digital Art, Watermans Art Centre, London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2011) Staging Illusion, Sussex University, UK.

    Dare, E. (2011) Collaborative Curating and New Media, The Centre for Creative Collaboration, London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2011) Co-presented a paper with Lee Weinberg and a paper with Dr Alexandra Antonopoulou, as well as a solo presentation.  ISEA2011 Istanbul the International Festival of New Media, Electronic and Digital Arts. Istanbul, Turkey.

    Dare, E. (2011) Joint presentation with Dr Alexandra Antonopoulou, 'Phi Books', Thursday Club. Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2011) 14th Annual International Creative Writing Conference. Imperial College, London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2011) Media and the Senses. Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2011) Panel discussion with With Dr Lee Weinberg, University of Haifa Curatorship Conference. University of Haifa, Israel.

    Dare, E. (2011) 'Tensers and detensers: lost memories and embodied traces, about photography and memory', Colloquium on Life Writing. Czech Scrolls Museum, Kensington, London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2011) Now: Legacies and Amnesia: An international Interdisciplinary Colloquium. Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2010) ‘Post-desktop publishing: future books in an era of ubiquitous digitality. The Implications of intelligent and pervasive book forms', International Conference on the Book. St Galen University, Switzerland.

    Dare, E. (2010) Collaborative paper presented with  Dr Lee Weinberg, Brunel University DRHA 2010 Sensual Technologies: collaborative practices of interdisciplinarity conference. Brunel University, London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2010) After Fiction: European Doctoral Seminar in Culture, Criticism and Creativity. Copenhagen Doctoral School, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Dare, E. (2010) ‘Phi Meta-film’, Presentation with Alexandra Antonopoulou, Inter-Art symposium with Berlin and Copenhagen Universities. Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

    Dare, E. (2010) ‘Robot aesthetics and analogue interventions: humans and machines in the incunabulum’, Aesthetics and History Symposium. Research School of Aesthetics, Stockholm University,  Sweden.

    Dare, E. (2009) ‘Phi Books Research Territories through Narrative’, Presentation with Alexandra Antonopoulou, InterArt International Research Training Group. Interart Studies, Berlin, Freie Universität, Germany.

    Dare, E. (2008), Non-linear Narrative in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Artistic Practices. Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

    Selected Exhibitions and Projects

    (2018)  Dare, E. and Antonopoulou, A. APPROXIMATELY 800cm3 OF PLA, Phi Object, University of Wisconsin, USA.

    (2014) Cities Methodologies 2014: Buildings on fire: Towards a new approach to urban memory, Slade Research Centre, UCL, UK.

    (2012) Prism Project, London Design Festival 2012, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

    (2012) Springtime produced by Ankur Theatre Productions and directed by Shabina Aslam. Created a set of computer games to help actors originate characters. Tron Theatre, Glasgow, UK.

    (2012)The Olympics of the Everyday,  produced by Ankur Theatre Productions Glasgow. Technology Artist for the project. You Tube film here: https://youtu.be/xB5JfV2BUi8 

    (2011) Media and the Senses, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

    (2010), Sounds Like Graffiti, a project directed by Shabina Aslam. Heuristic tools for generating writing, were used in workshops to help the participants generate material for this project. Designed and edited a prototype recording system and edited a book to accompany the project.

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  • Awards and Grants

  • (2017) Teaching and Learning Fund for a Digital Fluency project across UAL.

    (2007–2011) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council full doctoral studentship.

  • Research students

  • Lawrence Lek, Simon Picard, Amina Abbas-Nazari

Selected work


Research interests

Eleanor Dare is interested in the limits of symbolic logic to communicate embodied experiences. Many of these limits can be exposed by examining points of breakdown, not only in computational systems, but in human systems, for example the limits of our memory and language. Her work as an artist and researcher continues to investigate the implications, in particular, of creativity and artificially intelligent expressive systems.