My name is Charlie Williams and I am a technology artist, software developer and musician. I’m also nonbinary and a dad. I’m originally from Chicago but for the last eight years I’ve been based in the UK. (I’m on track to get citizenship here just before Brexit drastically reduces its value.)
My career journey has consistently brought me to unexpected places: I started my professional life as a classical pianist, then became more interested in new music, which led me to composing.
My pieces grew to use technology in more and more advanced ways until I realised I needed to learn to code in order to achieve what I was trying to do. I started by learning Arduino and Processing, then openFrameworks, then native iOS development with Objective-C and finally Swift! (Swift is the best. I will talk with you for as long as you like about why Swift is great.)
Once I got into coding, I was hooked— now I do software contract gigs layered in between art projects. My art practice has continued to become more physical-object based and technically-oriented: right now I am working on an installation involving a wall-sized web of Arduino-type microcontrollers, living on exposed custom PCBs, all communicating with each other using pulses of infrared light, to form a dynamic, evolving colony with its own circadian rhythm. (I might bring a few to Stockholm and set up a mini version!)
I am constantly finding new things to be inspired and amazed by in the work of algorithmic artists like Casey Reas, Diana Lange, Ben Fry, and Daniel Shiffman, and robot-sculptors like Andy Cavatorta. In the near future I hope to do more work with robotics, advanced fabrication, and machine learning.
I’m excited to meet you all at MTF Stockholm!