Half performance artist, half software engineer, Golan Levin manipulates the computer to create improvised soundscapes with dazzling corresponding visuals. He is at the forefront of defining new parameters for art.

Why you should listen

Having worked as an academic at MIT and a researcher specializing in computer technology and software engineering, Golan Levin now spends most of his time working as a performance artist. Rest assured his education hasn't gone to waste, however, as Levin blends high tech and customized software programs to create his own extraordinary audio and visual compositions. The results are inordinately experimental sonic and visual extravaganzas from the furthest left of the field.

Many of his pieces force audience participation, such as Dialtones: A Telesymphony, a concert from 2001 entirely composed of the choreographed ringtones of his audience. Regularly exhibiting pieces in galleries around the world, and also working as an Assistant Professor of Electronic Time-Based Art at Carnegie Mellon University, Levin is unapologetically pushing boundaries to define a brave new world of what is possible.

His latest piece, Double-Taker (Snout), is installed at the Pittsburg Museum of Art.

What others say

“Golan Levin's work combines equal measures of the whimsical, the provocative, and the sublime in a wide variety of online, installation and performance media. ” — Onedotzero

Golan Levin’s TED talks

Golan Levin on the TED Blog
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The week in comments

August 1, 2009

It reads like everyone was inspired by the talks this week (including two more released from TEDGlobal 2009), which feature philosopher Alain de Botton on success, scientist Elaine Morgan on aquatic apes and artist/software engineer Golan Levin on his interactive art. Lets get to the comments: On Elaine Morgan’s talk: We evolved from aquatic apes: […]

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Art

Art that looks back at you: Golan Levin on TED.com

July 30, 2009

Golan Levin, an artist and engineer, uses modern tools — robotics, new software, cognitive research — to make artworks that surprise and delight. Watch as sounds become shapes, bodies create paintings, and a curious eye looks back at the curious viewer. (Recorded at TED2009, February 2009 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 15:33) Twitter URL: http://on.ted.com/24 […]

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Wordle, an addictive new web toy

June 18, 2008

Jonathan Feinberg, a sometime collaborator of artist Golan Levin (watch Levin’s TEDTalk), has given the world an addictive new web toy. Wordle turns any block of text into a word cloud — like a tag cloud but prettier. It’s hard to stop using it once you start. TEDTalks transcripts produce these handsome results: ABOVE: Erin […]

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Quotes from Golan Levin

Imagine spending seven years at MIT and research laboratories, only to find out that you’re a performance artist.
Golan Levin
TED2004 • 424K views Apr 2007
Beautiful, Ingenious