An artist, programmer, designer, maker, and educator since 1998. Through combinations of making, programming, academic research, and writing I critically examine the formation of technological objects and the social eddies that surround them. I have recently submitted a PhD within the department of Design, Goldsmiths University of London and currently teach at the Creative Computing Institute at University of the Arts London. I have variously worked as an internationally exhibited artist, a researcher with Citizen Sense (a European Research Council project), and in the world of technical development and design. I work independently and in multidisciplinary teams. I have created art installations, sensor-driven devices, reactive video and robotic installations, strange contraptions, and software platforms. Settings include art galleries, public spaces, research and teaching environments, informal education, and participatory projects with adult and youth groups.
2022: The housing database made visible: An artist and activist-led investigation into relational machines, aspirations, and urban regeneration
Keene, Tom, 2022. PhD thesis. URL: http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/files/2022TomKeenePhDThesis.pdf. Supervised by Dr Alex Wilkie and Dr Graham Harwood. Examined by professor Matthew Fuller and Associate Professor Andrew Goffey. Published under a CC BY-NC-ND Creative Commons license.
2021: The Shadow Database: Activism, Art, and Aspiration within Urban Regeneration
Keene, Tom. 2021. In: Re@ct: Social Change Art Technology, pp.112–126, special issue of Media-N, Vol. 17 No. 2 (2021): co-edited by Sarah Cook, Joseph DeLappe, and Laura Leuzzi. ISSN: 1942-017X. URL: http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/files/ShadowMediaN.pdf.
2019: Demolition Machines: Making and Thinking with Databases of Urban Regeneration
Keene, Tom. 2019. In: The Critical Makers Reader: (Un)learning Technology. Institute of Network Cultures, pp.196–205. [Book Section]. URL:http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/files/DemolitionMachines-TomKeene.pdf
2016: The Peoples Plan
Cressingham Residents (inc. Variant Office; Gniewosz, Gerlinde; Keene, Tom; Parkes, Jo; Plant, Andy; Douglas, Pam), 2016. The Peoples Plan. URL: http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/files/PeoplesPlan.pdf
2018: What you are told might not be the truth
Keene, Tom. 2018. In: Inspire 2 resist. pp.15–18. URL: http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/files/InspireResist.pdf
2016: Becoming Civic: Fracking, Air Pollution and Environmental Sensing Technologies
Gabrys, Jennifer; Pritchard, Helen; Calvillo, Nerea; Keene, Tom and Shapiro, Nick. 2016. Becoming Civic: Fracking, Air Pollution and Environmental Sensing Technologies. In: Eric Gordon and Paul Mihailidis, eds. Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 435-440. ISBN 0262034271 [Book Section] Official URL: http://civicmediaproject.org/works/civic-media-pro.
2014: From Cloud to Cupboard
Presented at the 5th STS Italia Conference, “A Matter of Design: Making Society through Science and Technology”, held at the Politecnico di Milano 12-14 June 2014.
2013: Evil Media Distribution Centre
A contributor to a Collection of Texts exhibited at Transmediale Berlin 2013. “The Roomba Vacuum Cleaner” & “Shift Register: 7400 series”. URL: http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/archive/txt-evilmedia
2011: The Apple Barrier: An open source interface to the iPhone
Paper for EVA 2011 Voted ‘best presentation of the conference’. Keene, Tom. 2011. In: Dunn, S. with J. Bowen and K. Ng (eds.). EVA London 2011: Electronic Visualisation & the Arts. Proceedings of a conference held in London 6-8 July. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, 2011, pp 252-7. URL http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/files/TheAppleBarrierTomKeene.pdf.
2009: Aristotle’s Office: 9 Objects & an Interface
Keene, Tom. Paper for EVA (Electronic Visual Arts Conference), London 2009. Keene, Tom and Kyprianou, Kypros (2009). Aristotle’s Office. In: Seal, A. with S. Keene and J. Bowen (eds.). EVA London 2009: Electronic Visualisation & the Arts. Proceedings of a conference held in London 6-8 July 2009. BCS, 2009. pp. 285-7. URL http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/files/2009-aristotlesOffice.pdf.
2010: People, Signs & Resistance: On The Front Line
Booklet & Publication for the ‘Sam The Wheels’ project, 2010. URL: http://theanthillsocial.co.uk/STWbooklet.pdf
2018 Wardens public engagement award, Goldsmiths University of London.
2015 Four-year, fully-funded PhD provided by the ‘Design Star’ doctoral training school.
2011 Electronic Visual Arts conference. Awarded prize for the best presentation of the conference as voted for by delegates.
2008 £50,000 grant provided by the National Heritage Lottery Fund for the ‘Sam The Wheels’ oral history, art, and film conservation project.
2019 Presented “Database (e)State: Resisting, thinking, and acting with machines of urban regeneration” at the “Re@ct: Social Change Art Technology Symposium” in Dundee, Scotland.
2019 Presented “Database (e)State” at the “Free and Open Source Technologies, Arts and Commoning Practices: An Unconference about Art, Design, Technology, Making, Cities and their Communities”, University of Nicosia in Nicosia, Cyprus.
2018 Special Purpose Vehicle // Shadow Database: Talk and roving exhibit at the ‘Social Art Summit’, Sheffield.
2018 How to save a home: Housing databases, regeneration, and activism: Workshop delivered at the ‘Data Justice’ Conference in Cardiff University.
2017 Exhibited “Search Drill” in “Between Rock and a hard place” at the V3 Gallery, London. An exhibition questioning the privatisation of publicly owned land and buildings.
2013 WiFunGi: Presented at the V&A as part of the Urban Prototyping Festival London (2013), collaboration with Caryl Man.
2013 Kerbside Diaries: A project that explored how people travel in Southend-on-Sea. It used an experimental data recording device to open up conversations on experiences and perceptions of people’s day-to-day journeys. A collaboration with YoHa.
2013 Everything But The Kitchen: A cultural lab articulated as a radical kitchen space. This collective exhibition was produced in London as part of the Open Systems Association.
2013 We Have A Situation: Appointed (By Furtherfield) as the lead artist for London in the development of a series of live, trans-border, online-offline participatory performances addressing current cross-cultural European issues.
2012 Moving Forrest, devised by Shu Lea Cheang: Contributor to a twelve day prelude moving across the city culminating in a spectacular series of disturbing performances in Chelsea College of Art Parade Ground.
2010 Cybernetic Bacteria: Installation, Unleashed Devices, Watermans Gallery, London.
2010 Aristotle’s Office “Shaky plant”: Empty Shops Micro-Installation, The Apollo Video Shop, Herne Hill, London
2008 “People Signs & Resistance: On The Front Line” Participatory arts exhibition, 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, Brixton, London.
2007 Aristotle’s Office: Installation, Lighthouse, Brighton.
2006 Gasworks To Dome: Participatory art project, Presented as part of Stream Arts peninsular programme.
2004 Kuk Dong: Participatory arts film production, Brixton, London.
2022-2023 Assistant Lecturer at the Creative Computing Institute, University of the Arts, London (UAL). Leading a unit for BSc students and teaching coding and physical computing. Teaching across five units for the Diploma in Creative computing.
2021-2022 Teaching of MA journalist and UX students for the ‘Digital Sandbox’ module run by the Department of Computing, Goldsmiths, University of London.
2019-ongoing On the board of directors for the Cressingham Gardens Resident Management Community Interest Company. An organisation tasked with taking over management (from Lambeth Council) of the 306 homes on Cressingham Gardens housing estate in South West London (see PhD below).
2017-ongoing Talks/panels/seminars. These include: leading a seminar at the Royal College of Art ‘Public Research Group’ (London, 2020); presenting my work “portraits at Robin Hood Gardens” organised by Four Corners photography gallery (London); and contributing to the panel discussion “Regeneration and its discontents” at London South Bank University.
2016-2021 Led PhD seminars as part of a ‘Design Matters’ seminar series hosted by the Department of Design, Goldsmiths University of London.
2016-2022 Full-time PhD within the Department of Design, Goldsmiths University of London. An artist and activist-led investigation into the role of council housing databases within processes of urban regeneration. Supervised by Dr Alex Wilkie and Dr Graham Harwood.
2014-15 Member of The Bicrophonic Research Institute (BRI): ** An association that makes music and audio landscapes to be triggered and played by you the cyclist.
2016 Taught a few sessions on the ‘Interactive Media Critical Theory and Practice’ MA in the Cultural studies department, Goldsmiths, University of London.
2015 Taught sessions and also worked as an acting technician for the ‘Interactive Media Critical Theory and Practice’ MA in the Cultural studies department, Goldsmiths, University of London.
2013-15 Technical Researcher: Citizen Sense, a European Research Council Project led by Jennifer Gabrys within the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London
2011 Biosensing and Networked Performance: Workshops delivered for ISEA 2011 in Istanbul. In this two-day workshop participants built and calibrated their own iPhone compatible/connectable galvanic skin response sensors (GSR) to record subtle changes in their emotional arousal.
2011 Shyness: Development of iPhone prototypes to be used as a networked performance tool, sharing galvanic skin response data.
2009-10 InQbate: Artistic experimentation and full software/hardware system audit and redesign of this £1m interactive media space at the University of Sussex.
2009 recollection.kettlesyard.co.uk: An oral history archive that reflects how people think and feel about Kettle’s Yard.
2009 Cybernetic Bacteria: A Dublin Science Gallery Commission. Welcome Trust, Ulster Bank, Trinity College Dublin.
2008-10 Sam The Wheels: Exhibition, Publication, Participatory workshops. Screening at Tate Modern. Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.
2007 Gasworks To Dome: A Stream Arts commission to design and develop and website in collaboration with local residents that encourages people to both explore and contribute to the history of East Greenwich and the Greenwich Peninsula. Heritage Lottery Funded. www.theanthillsocial.co.uk/projects/gasworks-dome
2007 Aristotles Office: 9 Objects and an interface: Answer machine, Bin, Fan, Filing cabinets, Lamp, Plant, Telephone, Watercooler. Tom Keene and Kypros Kyprianou, Brighton, a Lighthouse commission.
2006 Exploring 20th Century London: Development of custom project management platform for a partnership between the Museum of London, London Transport Museum, Jewish Museum, London Museum of Croydon. Jointly funded by the MLA Designation Challenge Fund and the London Museums Hub.
2005 Under Their Skin:Participatory video production, working with a group of elderly residents and young people living in deprived areas of south London. Greenwich Council & Arts Council England and Lottery Funded.
2005 Arts for social change, Johannesburg, South Africa: A group investigation into applying artistic processes toward social change within socially challenging environments.
2005 Mozambique: Donated laptops and delivered workshops in the creation of a student newspaper at the Escola Secundária de Nampula, Northern Mozambique.
2005 Kuk Dong: Participatory arts film and web project produced with young people from a council estate in Tulse Hill. Funded by Lambeth Council.
2004-06 Mutiny Arts:Co-Director of this participatory arts organisation.
2003-2004 Kaleidoscope: setup and delivery of a web development company providing work and mentoring for those with histories of drug and alcohol related problems.
2000-2002 Digital Architecture (Director of R&D) Headed the technical and creative development of innovative CD-ROM’s, websites, content management tools and broadband applications.
1998 to 2000 Freelance programmer, photographer, project co-ordinator, designer and researcher. Clients included Simulacra Media, The Countryside Agency, the NHS, Sci-Fi channel, World Rally Championship, and Edinburgh International Festival.
Goldsmiths, University of London; University of Sussex; University of Cambridge (Kettle’s Yard). Creative partnerships: Queen Mary, University of London; Museum of London; Greenwich / Camden / Lambeth / Brent / Norfolk Councils.
Arts Organisations / groups / individuals
YoHa, Kypros Kyprianou, Shu Lea Cheang, Anna Dumitriu, Furtherfield, Tate Modern, Space Media arts (Hackney), SCAN (new media arts agency), Stream Arts (Participatory Arts organisation, East Greenwich), The Hayward Gallery, 198 Gallery (Visual arts space, Brixton), Lighthouse (Arts organisation, Brighton).
2016-2022 PhD “The housing database made visible: An artist and activist-led investigation into relational machines, aspirations, and urban regeneration”. Hosted by the department of Design, Goldsmiths, University of London.
2012-13 MA (Distinction) ‘Interactive Media Critical Theory and Practice’. Cultural studies department, Goldsmiths, University of London.
1994-98 BA(hons) 2.1, Photography Film & Television, Napier University, Edinburgh.
1993-94 Foundation (Distinction) Photography, London College of Printing, London.
Research Qualitative and quantitative research techniques.
Making Material, mechanical and electronic prototyping. Integration of wireless and networked technologies. Use of metals, wood, electronics, and workshop equipment.
Web / mixed media Interaction, interface, visual, and information architecture design. Video and audio editing including multi-track recording and studio engineering. Base understanding of Blender & Unity.
Workshops Experienced in delivering arts, technical, and academic workshops in a wide variety of community and educational settings across all age groups.
Photography Digital, 35mm, 120mm, 5x4 cameras. Colour + B&W wet printing and digital printing processes.
Management Company Director, project director, creative director, accounts management, scoping and reporting, commissioning, events and exhibition curation and management, academic administrative tasks.