A weekend creating electronic art

Greenwich Peninsula, London

16th-17th May 2015


Fifty artists-hackers and hacker-artists got together over a weekend in a big space to create an art exhibition from scratch and demonstrate the expressive potential of new technology and the power of radical collaboration in art. The digital works of art created include, but are not limited to interactive installations, visualizations, web services, small physical objects and more.

Kick off was on Saturday morning with a meet & greet and inspirational flash talks by guest artists. Participants formed groups and collaborated on an idea. We provided food and drinks, fast internet, 3D printers, hardware for quick prototyping and help by skilled volunteers. We convened again on Sunday morning and participants continued working until the afternoon when their projects were shown to guests and each other during a flash exhibition.

The hackathon's theme was: "trickery" (details)

Prizes and awards

Resulting Artworks

A fantastic time was had by all at the Art Hackathon and great, novel works were created. We've collected an archive of some of the best.

What we learned

We've collected some things we learned along the way while running the show behind the scenes in these blog posts:

Caitlin & Liz - Diaries analysis | Participation-Observation Analysis | Research Outcomes

Tom - So you want to organise a hackathon...

Theo - ...pending

Jimmy - What happened at arthack

Furthermore, in collaboration with our two in-house anthropoligists we collected a lot of data in the form of surveys, tweets, photos, interviews and videos and we plan to publish our conclusion on how to run a hackathon, what worked and what didn't in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

If you're planning to organize a similar event and have questions, drop us a line at hello@arthackathon.co.uk. We're happy to share what we learned.


Theodoros Papatheodorou

creative technologist, educator

Tom Chambers

web developer, artist

Inspirational guest artists

We invited some of the most exciting digital artists to provide inspiration and advice for your projects and serve as jury on the the final day.

Joel Gethin Lewis

creative technologist

Brigitta Zics

artist & researcher

Daniel Shiffman

educator, creative coder and co-founder of the Processing Foundation

Di Mainstone

artist & movician

Marco de Mutiis

media artist/digital curator

Russell Miller

visual artist

Xavi Sole

artist, digital creative

Nick Rothwell

composer, performer, software architect, programmer, sound artist

Nimrod Vardi

digital curator



arrival and sign in
welcome and flash-talks by guest artists
pitching and team building
start hacking
closing of first day


breakfast and hacking resumes
setup exhibit and present
closing of hackathon


6 Penrose Way, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0EW

The hackathon was hosted by Ravensbourne in its open plan, state-of-the-art building which was specifically designed for collaboration, winning the prestigious RIBA award for most innovative higher education building in London and it has:

  • ultra-fast internet access
  • collaborative work spaces and quiet corners
  • multiple 3D printers
  • electronic equipment
  • great transport links to central London

The event is fully catered but there are also many cafes nearby.


What is a Hackathon?

It is an event in which people from various backgrounds collaborate intensively in a short timespan to develop something awesome.

What is an Art Hackathon?

An Art Hackathon is a hackathon where creatives and technologists collaborate in order to create digital works of art. These include, but are not limited to, interactive installations, visualizations of data, web services or small physical objects.

Why are you doing this?

We are very enthusiastic about the expressive potential of machines and we believe in non-utilitarian beauty through technology. This all becomes even more exciting and fun when one gets to collaborate with other people in a short, intensive sprint.

Who should apply?

Anyone possessing some technical/artistic skill should apply. We welcome web developers, musicians, software architects, painters, textile hackers, hardware geeks, designers, architects, scientists and everyone inbetween. As long as you have something you can contribute to a team you are welcome to register for the event.

How can I apply?

To apply, please fill out the registration form, with some information about you, your background and your reasons for wanting to participate. The submission deadline is midnight 3rd of May, 2015. There are only 50 places at the event and we will screen applications to make sure that we create a good balance of skills and backgrounds. Successful applicants will be notified a few days later. Participants will be asked to pay a £20 registration fee to attend the Hackathon.

Why should I pay?

Thanks to the generous contribution from our hosts, hardware sponsors and the help of volunteers we are able to organize this event at a minimal cost. However, free events have a no-show rate of around 40%. In order to maximize the value and success of the hackathon we need to make sure that everyone who signs up shows up on the day. For this nominal fee you'll get to be inspired by guest artists' presentations, enjoy access to great hardware and of course network and collaborate with brilliant people over a whole weekend. Meals and drinks will also be provided throughout the two-day event.

Will I be fed?

Yes! We'll provide food and to keep you working on your hack throughout the weekend.

What should I bring?

We ask participants that they bring their laptops as we can not provide computers. We'll provide some microcontrollers, raspberry pis, 3d printers and some other devices. If you have any devices that you would like to work with yourself, or offer to others to use in their projects, please bring them along as well.

Should I start working on my hack before the event?

We encourage you to develop your project at the event and not arrive with a half-finished project. Having 50 artists and hackers in the same space presents the unique opportunity to work together on things you might not do alone; Take advantage of that. That being said, bringing an idea to pitch to others is very useful to a hackathon.

What will happen to my idea/project?

All the intellectual property generated during the event will belong to you and/or your team.

Does my hack have to be open-source?

No, but we encourage you to make it available under an open source licence. We recommend GPL v3.

Collaborators & Sponsors

London Hackspace