Grand opening for Mattias Rickardsson's website.                         Don't bookmark me, I'll bookmark you!



spring-autumn 2005

9 was 6 if

9 was 6 if (Christian Andersson, 2005)

A wonderful artwork/installation by Christian Andersson, constructed and built by Svante Hermansson, Christian himself, and me. After one man-year(!) of research and hard labour, it was finished and shown at the Nordic art exhibition A Whiter Shade of Pale at the Studio A museum of non-figurative art in Otterndorf, Germany, and then at the Göteborg International Biennal of Contemporary Art in Gothenburg, Sweden.

NEWS UPDATE: The movie is now available. Watch it on Vimeo!
Also available in lower quality on Facebook, Google Video, YouTube (shorter version), or as a download (55MB wmv).

Please note that the movie is a true visual documentation of the art installation, no movie tricks or computer renderings.

1/4000 s and more



I occasionally snap some shots. Mostly when it's time for music festivals or when people around me are just extraordinarily pretty.

On Picasa you can see some of my photos from Norbergfestival, the GEIGER festival, and a nice exhibition at the GAS festival featuring flyer art from Koloni and record sleeves from Gothenburg labels Kning Disk, iDEAL, and Radium 226.05. Feel free to take a look. Or check out an old little portfolio of mine, but it's kind of outdated.

since 1996


Svenska Analogsympatisörer
(Swedish Analogue Sympathizers)
is a mailing list founded in 1996 by some dozen Swedish members of the international Analogue Heaven list. The topic of discussion is analogue synthesizers/drummachines/sequencers in particular, and sound and acoustics in general. Since the start, we have been slowly growing to over 150 members. Several of them are among the most skilled in the world in this field.

We have exchanged ideas, knowledge and hardware; we have made music and friends IRL and revived many wonderful old instruments; and we have had a fine dinner with Dr Robert A. Moog in association with his reception of the Polar Music Prize in 2001. Bob Moog's inventions, first the Moog Modular systems and then the Minimoog synthesizer, has paved the way for electronic music as we know it today. Bob passed away in 2005, but his thoughts will live forever.

spring 2007 - ...



Gothenburg Electroacoustic Institute
for Grants, Events and Research.
The newly founded culture society GEIGER will arrange one musical event every month in Göteborg. Most of them will be small clubs, some of them will be a bit larger concerts, and once in a while we will arrange a festival. Focus lies on experimental music, sound art, improvisation, electronica, etc.

The first klubb GEIGER of 2007 took place a snowy evening at REX. Visit us and see what happens next. Why not become a member?

spring 2006 - ...

musical musical instruments

musical musical instruments

This is my master's thesis at the Art & Technology programme. The topic is musicality in pattern-based musical instruments. The secret weapons are evolutionary algorithms and artificial neural networks. (But don't tell anyone!)

Through the last three decades, the instruments have gradually taken over most of the roles of the musician. But what happened to musicality and interplay? The musician is now often just a composer, while the instruments & sequencers are the director, the note sheets, and the musicians. So, we have gotten ourselves an orchestra full of musicians with no ideas, no opinions, no taste, no sense of musical styles, and no ability to interplay with each other. Great. It's about time to make something about it - it's time to make musical instruments musical.

Examples will be added here as they come to life in my lab. Stay detuned.

october 6th, 2006



For the 5th year in a row, we arranged our electronica lounge club sync24 on the annual Kulturnatta culture night event here in Göteborg. With 4 electronic live acts, 8 DJs on two different stages, a video lounge, and a modern dance performance, it became the biggest & best sync24 ever - and we won't stop here.

During the summer we contributed to a tiny headphone festival held in a flat, where 5 artists performed live in the flat and 5 others live via internet streams from Toronto, Amsterdam, Geneva, Berlin, and Tokyo!   We like it small, too.

Visit us and take a look at pictures & sounds from our various events, and apply for our infomail.

winter 2005-2006

intelligent fridge poetry

This is a result of our autonomous agent research at The Viktoria Institute (see "employment" in the blue column).
Our intelligent fridge poetry magnets; each having an LCD display to show a word, and communication diodes to its sides; represent a little community of communicating embodied agents which learn an adjacency-based grammar from user interactions. The user places agents next to other agents on the fridge, removing and replacing them if the word they display is ungrammatical given the current context, thereby indicating grammatical acceptability. After some time of use, the magnets will have learned how different words can be (or rather, have been) combined, and they can then come up with their own suggestions of words depending on their neighbouring words at the moment.

The short paper we came up with was accepted by the IUI 2006 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces in Sydney, Australia. We were contacted by New Scientist, mentioned in ABC News and subsequently in fiftyeleven blogs.

Read the short paper! (PDF)

november 10th, 2005

random walk

For a whole day, my body was subject to a random walk in Gothenburg's public transportation system. The first arriving tram or bus was entered, just to be left at the next junction - at which the process was repeated ad infinitum. A series of photos taken at all the stops is the basis for a short film.
Watch it! (21MB avi)

summer 2005

robot research

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More info added soon. Contact me for an update.

autumn 2004

the prayer booth

An alternative technology-mediated experience

an installation by Jiannis Georgiadis, Petra Vargová, and Mattias Rickardsson

It is a booth where one can enter and express his inner feelings and concerns in any language he wishes, which are then translated into the language of nature - bird, mosquito, dolphin and other animal voices - and subsequently broadcasted through speakers outside the booth.

The prayer booth is an interactive installation where the device does not attempt to understand the meaning of one's words, just the 'flow' and other salient emotional features of one's voice. It is not intended as a two-way communication device, hence there is no provision for feedback. It merely employs the language of nature as a carrier for one's concerns and provides an audible indication that these concerns are getting somewhere. Besides, our everyday conversations in the ears of whatever or whoever is out there might sound as mosquito talk indeed.

summer 2005

SR P2 sound contest

Swedish Radio channel P2 announced a sound contest to find a new "channel sound". P2 focuses on art music, jazz and other improvised music, folk and ethnical music, and minority languages. The requested new sound signature was to be used around and between programmes, as well as in trailers.

My proposal, based on the concept of TWO (as opposed to one, and essentially different from any higher number), where the same sound snippet should be played twice, was way too conceptual. I still wonder what the winning idea was - I haven't noticed it on the radio.

spring 2005

Gbg souvenir design contest

2005 was the design year in Sweden, and the Gothenburg tramway company announced a design competition to establish an official Gothenburg souvenir based on the theme & colours of one of the city's most recognized symbols - the tram.

One of my initial ideas was to make a toy tram for the well-known wooden Brio toy railway, but as I considered this proposal a bit too obvious (and not a very good souvenir on the whole), I focused on a t-shirt design using the three typical tram colours plus a graphic. A t-shirt is certainly a very obvious and common souvenir, but it has also become one of the most interesting design items ever. More than any other garments, people choose t-shirts to communicate their message, or to express their personality. Souvenir t-shirts are rarely brilliant from a design point of view, so it would be a good time to combine that.

The first prize was awarded to a clothing detail, the second prize to a Brio toy tram, and the third prize to a graphic pattern that according to the jury would suit for example t-shirts. Hmmm. Interesting.

summer 2005

Venice biennale & Ars Electronica

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More info added soon. Contact me for an update.

anno 1973

Volvo 1800 ES

"Now that I've been given this lovely Volvo sports car, I guess I'll have to learn to drive."
(Marilyn Cole, Playboy Playmate of the Year - 1973) Read her interview...

This somewhat bizarre estate version of the P1800/1800S/1800E sports car was on the market in 1972-73. A Danish rear end on the car that was designed by a young Swede in Italy and originally built in England. The 1800 ES had a short production run, but once in a while its characteristic lines appear again in new Volvo models. First in the 480 in the 1980s, a little in the V40 in the 1990s, more in the XC90 and V50 now, and more than ever in the brand new C30 coupé.

My own 1800 ES is hibernating in the garage at the moment, but soon it will be out in the open air again. Wonderful!

october 6th, 2005

public intervention

A simple art project that turned into a study of human egoistical behaviour and the right of possession. What happens with objects placed as obstacles in the middle of a central pedestrian street? What happens as people realize that nobody seems to own the objects? When does an ordinary person suddenly turn into a thief?
More info added soon. Contact me for an update.



Life is music. Music is life.
Or, in my case, music is artificial life.

some kind of CV


In 2007 I graduated from the Art & Technology international master's programme at the IT University of Göteborg. ("IT" is a truly amazing political term, I still haven't ever heard it being used seriously by anyone in the actual field. (Om du menar ADB, säg ADB, liksom.)) My degree is Master of science in applied information technology specializing in art and technology. Practical title, huh? :-)

Educational merits are often highly overrated, compared to the ideas, interests, and talents that really form a person's intellect. Old wisdom as well as new inventions are built on intuition and experience - not on skills. But anyway, here's the list:

2004-2007:  Art & Technology international master's programme, IT University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Degree: Master of science in applied information technology specializing in art and technology. Master's thesis: Towards Musical Musical Instruments - Genetic Evolution of Pattern-Based Sound Structures. (See Projects to the left.)

1993-1999:  Engineering Physics master's programme, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Selected courses taken in the fields of audio & acoustics, complex dynamical systems, programming, and optoelectronics.
Master's thesis: WAP for AutoPC: Design of a WML Browser, M Alinder & M Rickardsson, April 1999.

1990-1993:  Technical gymnasium specializing in electrical engineering, Peder Skrivares skola, Varberg, Sweden. National math championship: 25th place. National physics championship: 26th place. Final paper: Chaos & Fractals.

1981-1990:  Comprehensive school, Bläshammarskolan and Håstensskolan, Varberg, Sweden. In 9th grade; national math championship: 3rd place. Great fun!

1983-1993:  Musical studies & practice, municipal music school, Varberg, Sweden.

1974-1981:  Lego & Professor Balthazar.


Summer 2005:  The Viktoria Institute
Out of over 130 applicants, five students were selected by FAL (Future Applications Lab) to work within the international ECAgents (Embodied and Communicating Agents) research project.

The aim of this project is to "develop concepts, tools, and models for analysing collections of both natural and artificial agents, and algorithms, definitions of dynamical systems, and performance analysis tools for designing artefacts that consist of evolving populations of interacting and communicating embodied agents."

More specifically, we were there to investigate concepts like autonomy, agent, embodied, communication, and emergence. Handpicked from different disciplines like cognitive science, interaction design, complex systems, and computer linguistics, we developed use cases and simple prototypes for some future scenarios.

One scenario, or potential product, was the Intelligent Fridge Poetry in the Projects column to the left. The short paper we came up with was accepted by the IUI 2006 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces in Sydney, Australia. New Scientist also contacted us for a possible future article.
Media mentions: ABC News
Blog mentions: we-make-money-not-art | dommynicius | Stick Poet Super Hero | Virtual Possum | | Choriamb | RSS-Spider | StumbleUpon | Oglyadach | Smartwiredhouse | techkwondo | carpdeus | foetuspost | | 2020hindsight | Submit Response | feeds4all | epacris | fallowgleanings | | we-need-money-not-art | redwolf | smartmobs | starbucksunion | youareworthmore | liquidfridge | physorg | digg | fionabunny | cheesedip | engadget | heterotopias | 21revolution | paulstamatiou | gadgetphreak | smarteconomy | smartdownloads | readnews | | labrune | electronicwritingcourse | | | rbanks | etc.
Which ones would you trust?

2005:  artist Christian Andersson
We put a man-year of research and development into completing the artwork 9 was 6 if (see left column).
Practical multidiciplinary engineering at its best, based on both theoretical reasoning and artistic ideas.

1999-2004:  Mecel AB
Software development (why is implementation called development?) and testing (why do software companies use so blunt and inappropriate tools that they need to spend the most time on finding and correcting their own bugs?) of car infotainment systems (why does my 1940's Philips all-tube FM radio heat up and start quicker than a new car stereo with several MIPS under the hood?) and other automotive electronics (why do new cars with high-tech diagnosis systems need more days in car repair shops than before?)


My site is finally online!
No more "soon..."
As you see, all info is not complete yet, but will soon be added where it's needed. The goal is of course to avoid future expensive memoir ghostwriter wages. ;-) If you want to be updated, please just tell me.


this is not a blog

It's proper information.
Blog  n.  1. occasional collections of good articles that would deserve a much better destiny;   2. malignant epidemic fragmentary copies of text and images from other websites, obscuring the true and up-to-date original information sources in search engines;   3. over-intimate online diary disease spread by exhibitionistic but uninteresting reality show wannabes.

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