This Site

The aim of blog is to provide a hub that brings together my academic research and my creative output, and occasionally also some rambling thoughts about neither of those things. The research focuses on the perception and measurement of complexity in visual and audio media, whilst the creative practice leads and supports the research through the production of experimental artworks.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the production and perception of aesthetic complexity in the visual and sonic arts, and how this relates to evaluations of artworks. Please see the Research section for further details.


My name is Guy Birkin. I live in Sneinton, Nottingham (UK), which is conveniently close to the city centre but also not too far from a bit of greenery, fresh air and wildlife. One of my favourite places is Colwick Woods, just a mile from the city and a few paces from my house (the image at the top of this page shows sunset over Sneinton from the woods).

Education includes a PhD and MA in fine art at Nottingham Trent University and BA(Hons.) in contemporary art practice at the University of Northumbria. I was employed in the laboratory at Mansfield Brewery until its closure in 2001, then worked as college science technician, specialising in biology and microbiology. This work provided valuable experience for my doctoral research, which used a scientific approach to study visual complexity in art, combining methods from experimental psychology and information theory. I am currently employed at CFE, undertaking research in the area of policy strategy for education and skills. Recent work includes a project on the A-level in Art & Design for the University of the Arts London.

My experience with musical instruments began with the piano, moving on to the pipe organ and church bells, then a short spell playing steel drums, before settling with the guitar. I played guitar for a couple of skate rock bands at university, then played bass for Moriarty (indie rock) and The Amber Herd (folk/rock). Current interests focus on generative and computer music, using techniques including Fourier analysis and granular synthesis.

2 Responses to About

  1. Mark says:

    Hi. Ive got a very intresting specto image. From an audio file I got from a very intresting place.
    I was hoping someone here would know a great deal about this sorta thing.
    And be able to take a quick look, and give me a lil feedback on what they think.

    I can email the images ASAP. Jusr let me know where to.

    • Guy says:

      Hello Mark. This sounds intriguing. I wouldn’t claim to know “a great deal” about spectrograms, but you’re welcome to send images. My email address is: guybirkin[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk.

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