Martin Zeilinger

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Short bio (tl;dr):

I am an Austrian researcher and curator currently based in Dundee, Scotland, where I work as Senior Lecturer in Computational Arts and Technology at Abertay University. My work focuses on artistic and activist experimentation with emerging technologies (primarily blockchain and AI), intellectual property issues in contemporary art, and aspects of experimental videogame culture. The most recent outcome of this work is a monograph on AI art, creative agency, and the limits of intellectual property (meson press 2021). I have co-curated Vector Festival (Toronto) since 2014, and organised the 2019 MoneyLab symposium (London). My research has been published in books including Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain and the MoneyLab Reader 2, and journals including Philosophy & Technology, Culture Machine, and Media Theory.


You can reach me on Twitter, through this contact form, or at my institutional email: m [.] zeilinger [@] abertay.ac.uk.


Longer bio:

After many years in Vienna, Toronto, and London, I am currently based in Dundee, Scotland, where I hold a research and teaching position as Senior Lecturer in Computational Arts & Technology at Abertay University.

Much of my work focuses on artistic and activist experimentation with emerging technologies – specifically artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technologies (aka, the blockchain and ‘crypto art’). This frames a broader interest in digital art, appropriation-based art practices, theories of cultural ownership and intellectual property, political economies of new media, and aspects of experimental videogame culture.

A common thread running through many of my activities is the exploration of how concepts such as authorship, creativity, originality, agency, and ownership are reconfigured in emerging tech contexts; how these concepts become legally and/or algorithmically encoded in service of capital; and how digital artist/activist communities respond critically to these developments.

The most recent result of this interest is a monograph on AI art, creative agency, and the limits of intellectual property (meson press 2021). On the broader topic of copyright issues in digital culture, I co-edited the interdisciplinary collection Dynamic Fair Dealing with Rosemary J. Coombe and Darren Wershler (Univ. of Toronto Press 2014). My research is also published in books including the MoneyLab Reader Vol. 2 (Institute of Network Culture 2018), Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain (Torque Editions 2017), and Sampling Media (Oxford Univ. Press 2014), and journals including Leonardo (forthcoming), Culture Machine (2021), Media Theory (2019), and Philosophy & Technology (2018).

In addition to research and teaching, I am involved in various curatorial activities. The most long-running of these is the Toronto-based Vector Festival, which I have co-directed and/or co-curated since 2014.

I also frequently advise artists and creative practitioners on intellectual property questions – most commonly around issues related to fair dealing/fair use. In this capacity, I have served as consultant and/or expert witness on a number of legal cases.


This website is quasi-permanently under construction, and built with various open source tools (Jekyll, Ruby, Liquid, YAML, Sass, Git). In the not unlikely event that the site might be misbehaving, here is an external link to downloadable copies of most of my publications. Last updated 18 May 2021)