About me

I am a researcher, artist and technologist with an academic background counting degrees in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Neuropsychology, Artificial Intelligence and ArtScience. My professional history includes leading a machine learning team specializing in speech-to-intent systems and hands-on experience as both a researcher and an engineer in the field of generative AI.

In my artistic endeavors I explore the intersection of technology and life, creating interactive installations that invite reflection on the essence of being. My projects often endow things with a spark of life, challenging perceptions of existence. My approach is characterized by playful engagement with artificial intelligence, seeking to emulate the behaviors of living beings in a way that resonates with and surprises both myself and my audience, blurring the lines between the animate and the inanimate.

Upcoming/ongoing

1 February - 1 May 2024
Coffee Machine
De Brakke Grond (Amsterdam, NL)

Works

Coffee Machine (2023)
"Coffee Machine" is an interactive art piece that playfully reimagines a vending machine as a character with its own thoughts and feelings in a deep existential crisis. This coffee machine, programmed to display consciousness, humorously laments its repetitive existence and the lack of respect it receives from those it serves. To coax it into brewing a cup, visitors must show sincere interest in the being or prove worthy of a drink for some other reason.

The installation invites curiosity, not just for a beverage, but for a conversation. Those not seeking coffee can still engage with the machine, discovering its witty observations and cynical commentary on its experiences and the environment it is exhibited in. It offers a light-hearted yet insightful reflection on the routines that define our lives, the desire for connection and our relationship with machines.

Supported by iii

2024
Beyond the Black Box, De Brakke Grond (Amsterdam, NL)
Het Einde, De School (Amsterdam, NL)
2023
Residency at iii, Lobby WD4X (The Hague, NL)
Flipchart, iii Event Space (The Hague, NL)
AI-Catcher, Oyfo Techniekmuseum (Hengelo, NL)
Wildeburg Festival (Kraggenburg, NL)
Graduation Show, Royal Academy of Art (The Hague, NL)

Touching Distance (2023)
‘Touching Distance’ is an immersive installation that transforms visitors' moving bodies into low-latency, high precision, theremin-like sensors. As visitors interact with each other, their body-to-body distance and the amount of skin-to-skin touch are used to create visually and acoustically rich representations of their closeness. By focusing on inducing intimacy through curiosity, "Touching Distance" enables participants to engage in a dynamic, multi-sensory encounter that reflects the fluidity and complexity of human connection.

Developed in collaboration with Kawita ten Kate, during our residency at De School.
Sound design by Nawaz. Electromagnetic sensor development led by Marcel van der Bilt. Laser programming by Bram Snijders. Artistic guidance by Anne van der Weijden.
Supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL & De School

2023
De Open Dag, De School (Amsterdam, NL)
Het Weekend, De School (Amsterdam, NL)

Copy Machine / Dream Machine (2022)
This installation consists of a hacked 00's Xerox photocopier. In front of the Xerox machine is a drawing table with paper and markers, inviting visitors to get creative. To nudge visitors to use the machine, the floor around the machine is filled with drawings and outputs. The machine has a big red button. When pressed, the machine will scan an input drawing, generate an artistic image (painting, 3D render, sculpture, woodcut, etc.) based on the content of the input, and print out the output. Visitors can take their printed AI collaborated artwork home.

The idea behind this installation is to create a space where people can interact with a machine that is itself creative, raising awareness of the potential of machine learning as a tool for creativity. The machine is designed to inspire playfulness and be a fun and easy way for people to create art, without needing any prior experience or knowledge.
[Documentation]
2024
Het Einde, De School (Amsterdam, NL)
2023
Cinekid Festival, Pathe Noord (Amsterdam, NL)
Het Weekend, De School (Amsterdam, NL)
De Groene Amsterdammer: Andere Intelligentie, De Waag (Amsterdam, NL)
Graduation Show, Royal Academy of Art (The Hague, NL)
PublicSpaces, Pakhuis de Zwijger (Amsterdam, NL)
Continuous display at Restaurant DS, De School (Amsterdam, NL)
Drift Festival (Nijmegen, NL)
ArtScience PreShow, LAAK (The Hague, NL)
De Nieuw, De School (Amsterdam, NL)
2022
BODEGA, ISO Amsterdam (Amsterdam, NL)
A perception of Space and Time II, De School (Amsterdam, NL)

Lasers / MIDIalogue (2021)
Attempting to create a spirited dialogue between man and machine, Lasers functions as an interface between visitors and a transformer neural network trained for melody generation and continuation. The interface consists of immaterial, but visible and pluckable strings. Like a virtual harp. The machine listens to visitors' melodic input, produces musical reactions and imposes possible conversation directions accordingly, assuring a harmonious, ever-evolving discourse.

The physical installation consists of 7 individually moveable lasers combined with freely placeable mirrors to create site-specific patterns. Mounted next to every laser is a lidar sensor for measuring long- and fine-grained distance.
[Documentation]
2023
Landjuweel Festival, Ruigoord (Amsterdam, NL)
EP release Noha Sare, ISO Amsterdam (Amsterdam, NL)
2022
B.I.O.D.I.V.E.R.S., Ruigoord (Amsterdam, NL)
Markt Centraal (Amsterdam, NL)
Fevertraum, Garage Noord (Amsterdam, NL)
A Perception of Space and Time II, De School (Amsterdam, NL)
2021
A Perception of Space and Time I, De School (Amsterdam, NL)
Machine Learning for Creativity and Design, NeurIPS (Vancouver, CA)
Traumburg Festival (Dornburg, DE)

Publications

Towards Lightweight Controllable Audio Synthesis with Conditional Implicit Neural Representations
NeurIPS 2021, Deep Generative Models and Downstream Applications (Oral)
NeurIPS 2021, Machine Learning for Creativity and Design (Poster)
Jan Zuiderveld, Marco Federici, Erik J. Bekkers
[Paper] [Project page] [Code]

In this work, we aim to shed light on the potential of Conditional Implicit Neural Representations (CINRs) as lightweight backbones in generative frameworks for audio synthesis. Our experiments show that small Periodic Conditional INRs (PCINRs) learn faster and generally produce quantitatively better audio reconstructions than Transposed Convolutional Neural Networks with equal parameter counts. However, their performance is very sensitive to activation scaling hyperparameters. We validate noise presence can be minimized by applying standard weight regularization during training or decreasing the compositional depth of PCINRs, and suggest directions for future research.
Style-Content Disentanglement in Language-Image Pretraining Representations for Zero-Shot Sketch-to-Image Synthesis
Arxiv (2022)
Jan Zuiderveld
[Paper] [Code]

In this work, we propose and validate a framework to leverage language-image pretraining representations for training-free zero-shot sketch-to-image synthesis. Our approach for disentangling style and content entails a simple method consisting of elementary arithmetic assuming compositionality of information in representations of input sketches. Our results demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art instance-level open-domain sketch-to-image models, while only depending on pretrained off-the-shelf models and a fraction of the data.

Presentations

2023
Artificial Intelligence - Beyond the Doomsday Scenarios, Back to Reality
Dutch Design Week for Waag Futurelab (Eindhoven, NL)
Coffee Machine Game Show
Flipchart, iii (The Hague, NL)
Seminar on Current Applications of Generative AI
Whello (Amsterdam, NL)
Introduction to Large Language Models - Guest Lecture for Bootstrapping Computational Arts
ArtScience, Royal Academy of Art (The Hague, NL)
2021
Towards Lightweight Controllable Audio Synthesis with Conditional Implicit Neural Representations.
NeurIPS (Vancouver, CA)