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Kyle McDonald

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Kyle McDonald
Self-portrait of artist Kyle McDonald
OrganizationFree Art and Technology Lab

Kyle McDonald is a media artist.[1] McDonald creates visually appealing models using code, and releases tool kits for other artists to customize their own art as they see fit.[1] McDonald was recently an adjunct professor at New York University Tisch School of the Arts' ITP. He is a member of F.A.T lab (Free Art and Technology Lab), and a community manager for OpenFrameworks.[1][2][3] He was a resident at STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.[4]



Kyle McDonald worked on certifying AI images. He identified fakes called "generative adversarial networks"(GANs).[5] They essentially take data into a neural network, and it is "trained" to produce the best possible image. While most images generated by these types of networks have become increasingly tough to dicipher, McDonald claims credit for positive identifications and offers proof for his marked deep-fakes. For example, GAN's have a tough time with background images because they home in on the face in the image, and as a result, produces a random one.[6]

As part of his work/research, McDonald and his partner Lauren McCarthy worked on a project called MWITM(Man/Woman in the middle).[7] Essentially, there was a server that would intercept the messages, and two chatbots, one for each artist, would communicate automatically without any direct messaging. The messages created were based on the communication style of the users, and were trained over time.

Work by McDonald has inspired Spotify's "Listening Together" feature.[8]

Other accomplishments


"Social Soul," 2014[9]

"Light Leaks," 2018[10][11]

"Meaningful Interactions," 2016[12]

"The Thrill of Terrapattern, A New Way to Search Satellite Imagery," 2016[13]

"Meet Terrapattern, Google Earth's Missing Search Engine," 2016[14]

"The Augmented Hand Series -- Playful, dreamlike, and uncanny," 2015[15]

"An Addictive Experiment in Annotating Footage from a London Street," 2015[16]

"Exhausting a Crowd," 2015[17]

"Wifi Whisperer," 2016[18]

"Highsight," 2015[19]

"Untitled Digital Art," 2014[20]

"Sharing Faces," 2016[21]

"How We Act Together," 2016[22]

"Hacking Surveillance Culture," 2014[23]


  1. ^ a b c "Kyle McDonald". kylemcdonald.net. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  2. ^ "openFrameworks". openframeworks.cc. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  3. ^ "F.A.T." F.A.T. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  4. ^ "Kyle McDonald". kylemcdonald.net. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  5. ^ "Kyle McDonald – Artist Profile (Photos, Videos, Exhibitions)". AIArtists.org. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  6. ^ McDonald, Kyle (2018-12-14). "How to recognize fake AI-generated images". Medium. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  7. ^ "MWITM (Man / Woman In The Middle) — Lauren Lee McCarthy". lauren-mccarthy.com. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  8. ^ "Spotify's listening party shows when people stream same songs". Mobile Marketer. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  9. ^ "Search on Vimeo". vimeo.com. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  10. ^ "Light Leaks: A Shimmering Room Filled with Fifty Disco Balls and Hundreds of Reflected Points of Light". Colossal. 2018-04-10. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  11. ^ "New Media Art Finds Audience Through Cool Experiences". spectrumnews1.com. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  12. ^ "Meaningful Interactions". SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT. 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  13. ^ Meyer, Robinson (2016-05-27). "The Coolest New Way to Use Satellite Imagery". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  14. ^ Twilley, Nicola. "Sky of the Beholder". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  15. ^ "The Augmented Hand Series – Playful, dreamlike and uncanny". CreativeApplications.Net. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  16. ^ "An Addictive Experiment in Annotating Footage from a London Street". Hyperallergic. 2015-06-04. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  17. ^ www.oberon.nl, Oberon Amsterdam, Exhausting a Crowd | IDFA, retrieved 2020-05-10
  18. ^ Stinson, Liz (2016-06-04). "'Wifi Whisperer' Siphons Your Data in the Creepiest Way Possible". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  19. ^ "STRP". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  20. ^ "Untitled Digital Art (Augmented Hand Series)". Pinterest. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  21. ^ Robertson, Adi (2014-08-28). "Artist builds a video mirror with a thousand faces". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  22. ^ Cianciotta, Aurelio. "How We Act Together, screen based human imitation | Neural". Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  23. ^ "Schedule | sxsw.com". SXSW Schedule 2014. Retrieved 2020-05-10.