Dr Mike Blow

Dr Mike Blow

Lecturer in Interactive Media

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)


Programme Lead BA/BSc Digital Art and Technology

Lecturer in Interactive Media Design

Module leader 
DAT401: Strategies for Art and Design stage 1
DAT501: Strategies for Art and Design stage 2
DAT406: Digital Making
DAT506: Emerging Technologies Lab
iDAT514: MRes Synthesis
iDAT510: MRes Project

Additional Teaching
DAT602: Everyware
DAT605: Premediation
DAT610,611,612: Dissertation and Final Year Project supervision
MRes supervision

Year tutor stage 2


PhD: On the Simultaneous Perception of Sound and Three-Dimensional Objects. Awarded by the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University under Ray Lee, March 2015.
MSc (Distinction): Evolutionary and Adaptive Systems. Awarded by Sussex University, Oct 2005.
BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 2.1. Awarded by Brighton Polytechnic 1992.

Having worked in and studied engineering, science and art I have a wide range of experience and a multidisciplinary approach both toward teaching and creative practice. I am also interested in differences and similarities in research methodologies between the sciences and arts, especially the relationship between result-focussed and process-based methods and practice-based postgraduate study.

Practically my experience covers electronic engineering, artificial life, robotics, programming, sound art and music production, and finds expression in interactive public art installations and publications.

Professional membership

Fellow of HEA.
Member, UCU.
Member, Musician's Union.

Research interests

Sound art and experimental music
Cross-sensory correspondences and synaesthesia
Biological and computational creativity
Artificial life

Other research

Contributing member of Sound and Art research group and ARC, UoP.

Creative practice & artistic projects

Selected Recent Projects

Pod (2009/2013)
Collaboration with artist Alison Ballard
Shown at Plymouth Art Weekender (2015), also at the Barbican in London (2014) and Oxford Light Night (2014).

Pod presents a tactile sound experience with low frequency sounds pulsing from large, 2m diameter inflatable spheres. The audience are encouraged to touch and hug the spheres for a multisensory experience of the sound filling them.

More on Pod

Aeolus' Cabinet (2013) Shown at Waterman's Gallery Brentford (2013) and Cheltenham Jazz Festival (2015)
A cabinet containing winds collected from around the world. Each drawer, when opened, plays the sound of a famous wind such as the Mistral or Chinook. Visitors can listen to the wind sounds individually or create compositions by opening multiple drawers. When the drawers are closed, the sounds stop and the piece looks like a standard index-card cabinet.

More on Aeolus' Cabinet

Shadowplay (2015) Shown at Cheltenham Jazz Festival (2015)
Shadowplay is an interactive sound sculpture which presents a control panel of light sensors illuminated by a single overhead bulb. The control panel allows visitors to create their own remix of audio loops by casting shadows on the sensors.

The first exhibition of this work, at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2015, featured loops recorded by musicians playing in the festival including Jamie Cullum and Kit Downes, allowing the audience to create their own 'jazz supergroup'.

More on Shadowplay

Deep Listening (2012)
Collaboration with MIT Media Lab
Sound Installation, River Runs Project, Oxford 2012.

Deep Listening allows the passengers on a raft to listen to underwater sounds as they drift downstream using a hydrophone in the water and solar-powered loudspeakers on the raft.

Part of the 'River Runs' project by Urbonas Studio and Tracey Warr, the piece modified one of the project's handmade lilypad rafts, aiming to enhance the act of drifting by evoking a deeper consciousness of the river using sound.

More on Deep Listening

Solar Work #2 (2012)

Sound Installation, Audiograft, Oxford 2012.

Solar Work #2 presents a line of solar-powered sound devices in the landscape.

The piece investigates the possibility of creating a 'field of small sounds' that respond to the sun and draw visitors through the landscape. By hanging multiple sound-producing elements (housed in brass gramophone horns) in trees, in a line across the landscape, the piece draws people visually as well as sonically.

'Small sounds' (based on the work of Rolf Julius) are, as the name suggests, usually quiet; but they draw the listener in and force them to listen more acutely. They can be used to draw attention to other sounds in the environment, as they exist in concert with those sounds and can engage in a dialog with them, rather than drowning them out.

The use of green energy allows electronic artworks to be placed in otherwise-impossible places and to open people's ears to sounds in the environment that they might otherwise ignore.

More on Solar Work #2

Selected Exhibitions

Pod, Science Museum London, 5 year exhibit opening 12/10/16

Colony, Arts by the Sea Bournemouth, 08/10/16

Landscape: Islands residency, Brighton, 08/16

Plymouth Art Weekender, 25/26/09/15

Live performance, Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford, 15/05/15

Parabola Arts Center, Cheltenham Jazz Festival 01-03/05/15

Audiograft 2015 03/15

POD, Oxford Light Night, 21-22/11/14

POD, the Barbican London, 01-02/03/14

Audible Forces Manchester Media Festival, 25-27/10/13

POD, Whitley Arts Festival Reading, 25/10/13

Audible Forces Lakes Alive Festival, 09-11/08/13

Audible Forces Stockton Festival, 02-04/08/13

Audible Forces Greenwich and Docklands Festival, 21-23/06/13

Audible Forces Salisbury Festival, 25-26/05/13

Screening Nature, Whitechapel Gallery London, 18-19/05/13

Audible Forces Norfolk and Norwich Festival, 17-19/05/13

Audible Forces Brighton Festival, 03-05/05/13

Audiograft 2013 group sound show, Oxford, 25/02/13 - 03/03/13

BEAM festival, Brunel University London, 22-24/06/12

Audiograft 2012 group sound show, Oxford, 28/02/12 - 04/03/12

Spotlight group show, Oxford, 02/12/11

Time machines solo show, Oxford, 13/09/11 - 16/09/11

Kinetica Art Fair 2011, London 04/02/11 - 07/02/11

Audiograft 2011 group sound show, Oxford, 14/02/11 - 20/02/11

Stadium, University of Brighton Grand Parade Gallery, Brighton, 13/07/10 - 31/07/10

Subtle Objects: Pickup, Jubilee Library, Brighton, 22/05/10 - 30/05/10

Sonic Art Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, 25/02/10 - 27/02/10

Trouble Tune, Royal Festival Hall London, 22/11/09

Fortune Factory, Phoenix Gallery Brighton, 24/10/09

Tilt: Light and Colour, Bash Creations London, 09/10/09 - 11/10/09

Abandon Normal Devices: Interface Amnesty, Static Liverpool with Cybersonica, 26/09/09

POD, Shunt London, 05/08/09 - 09/08/09

Hinterlands, Trafalgar Works Gallery Portslade, 12/07/09 - 09/08/09

Undercurrents, Grey Area Brighton, 20/03/09

Sonic Art, Blank Gallery Portslade, 02/05/09 - 16/05/09

Machines for Singing at 'Theatre Noise', Central School for Speech and Drama London, 22/04/09 - 24/04/09

Cybersonica AV Lab work in progress, The Basement, Brighton, 08/11/08

Machines for Singing, Gardner Arts Center, 16/06/06 - 25/06/06

Big Blip '04, University of Brighton, 10/09/04 - 11/09/04

Research groups

  • i-DAT (Institute of Digital Art & Technology)

All publications are available via Academia.edu.

Mike Blow (2016). Pod: A Multi-Sensory Sound Interface. Proceedings, third International Conference on Live Interfaces 2016. Sussex University.

Mike Blow (2015). Disrupted Architecture: Reimagining Buildings through Sound. Proceedings, International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) 2015.

Mike Blow (2015). PhD Thesis: On the Simultaneous Perception of Sound and Three-Dimensional Objects. Oxford Brookes University.

Mike Blow (2012) SolarWork#2, A Solar-Powered Sound Artwork, Leonardo Music Journal special edition on sound art (in press)

Mike Blow (2010) Subtle Objects: Pickup - an Interactive Sound Artwork, Proc Sight Sound Space and Play 2010, Leicester deMontfort University

Michael P Blow, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Andrew Appleby, Chrystopher Nehaniv, David Lee (2006) Perception of Robot Smiles and Dimensions for Human-Robot Interaction Design. Proc. The 15th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN06).

Michael P Blow, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Andrew Appleby, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, David Lee, The Art of Designing Robot Faces - Dimensions for Human-Robot Interaction, Proc. AMC/IEEE HRI06, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 2006, pp. 331 - 332.

Michael P Blow, Stigmergy: Biologically-inspired Robotic Art, Proc. AISB 2005, Hatfield, UK

Michael P Blow, There Does Not, in Fact, Appear to Be a Plan: A Collaborative Experiment in Creative Robotics, Proc. AISB 2005, Hatfield, UK