Peter Beyls

Basic Info

Name: Peter Beyls
Country of Origin: BE
Gallery Representation: Gallery DAM, Berlin, Germany


Peter Beyls is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of computer science and the arts. Born in Belgium, he studied music and computer science at various institutions including the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels and the Slade School of Art at UC London. He also received his PhD in computer science from the University of Plymouth for his research on evolutionary computing applied to real-time interactive music systems.

Beyls develops generative systems in music, the visual arts and hybrid formats. He has published extensively on various aspects of digital media, including on the application of artificial intelligence to artistic pursuits. His work has been widely exhibited and performed at conferences like Siggraph, ICMC, and ISEA.  Beyls conceives of computer media as an active partner in a creative process, a methodology he refers to as “conceptual navigation. Software is written in order to explore ambiguous intentions. Once an idea is formalized in a program, one can evaluate its imaginative potential by way of the feedback that program provides. Since a program reflects the objectives of the artist, programming is considered a method of aesthetic introspection. Software is thus instrumental as a functional, materialist means [to allow] the active manipulation of otherwise purely conceptual constructs.”

Beyls’ pieces have primarily centered on generative systems, including extensive series of machine drawings, interactive music systems that incorporate machine learning, and interactive audiovisual installations. In his work, he grapples with the problem of translating digital and virtual artifacts back into the tangible analog world to make them available as human experiences. To him, “this raises questions of how digital art is connected to the sensual parameters of human physicality and how it can be referenced/understood from the whole of human culture and the massive depth of its history.”

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