About me

My most recent artistic bio

David NG McCallum is a Canadian new-media artist living and working in Eindhoven, Netherlands. McCallum’s work focuses on identifying, prodding and stressing systems that surround us. His work has taken the forms of textiles, improvised performance, DIY electronics and bicycles. He is currently an instructor in the Department of Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology; and is completing a PhD in Digital Representation at the Valand Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, investigating relationships between patterns in textile structures and software.

A more prosaic description

I am an artist who is interested in learning new things, and communicating the things that I learn about in my art practice. I have been calling myself an artist for a while, but that began only when the word "musician" no longer fit. I had a bachelor's degree in music composition, and spent many years writing lots of different kinds of music. When I was younger it was rock, which turned into ambient and strange dance music, which turned into live electronic performance.

The live performance was my introduction to using programming for an artistic practice. I was interested in making electronic performance as immediate as acoustic performance. This was motivated by a frustration of spending too much time behind a computer in a studio, as well as a hard-drive crash where I lost pieces of music that I had been working on for months. I wanted immediacy in my art. It began with dataflow languages like and Max/MSP. This practice eventually led to a broader new-media art practice.

For many years I was actively involved in artist-run centres in Canada, teaching technology to artists. These days, I teach at universities.

My art practice has been arrested by my PhD work for a few years. The PhD has experimented with applying approaches from glitch art to the codes of textiles, generating algorithms to produce traditional patterns like satin and houndstooth, and inserting error into the algorithms.

You can find examples of my work at my portfolio: sintheta.org.

My available time for the Fab Academy is not great. I am teaching two days a week at TU Eindhoven, I am commuting to Amsterdam for the Academy, and I am the active father of two amazing little boys. As such, my strategy is to complete the requirements of the weekly assignments as quickly as possible, so as not to fall behind in my obligations. I wish I could spend more time experimenting, but my life just isn't read for that yet! Most of the work here will have been done in 3 days or less.

Non-art stuff

I love collecting hobbies. Lately it's been whittling wood, but it also includes bee-keeping, fermenting food, baking bread, making beer, chemical photography, picking mushrooms, bushcraft, calisthenics and general fitness, knitting, mending clothes, canoeing, learning to sing, playing the ukulele, meditation, yoga.

I was extremely interested in computers as a child, but as an adult I am trying to formulate a new set of values. These include things like: our bodies are meant to move, we are meant to be outdoors, face-to-face contact is best, relationships with others are the most important thing, when interacting with others consider emotions and empathy before truth. I mention this because I used these in the idea-generation for the final-project proposal, as an attempt to harmonise my art practice with my values, which have lately been diverging.