Michael Lew [LEV] (Switzerland/Uruguay) is an award-winning new media artist, film director/producer and interactive media designer, with backgrounds in engineering (electronics, computer, signal processing, networks, artificial intelligence, interactive narrative, live video processing) and the arts (acting, filmmaking, performance, music), working with all forms of the moving image.
His interactive film installation work and live experimental video have been shown in electronic art festivals across Europe and the US. He has received multiple awards for his work in film and new technologies, such as the Logitech 2000 Innovation Award, and the New Media Award from the Montréal Festival of New Cinema and New Media for breaking new grounds in non-linear filmmaking in 2003. His nomadic research lab on the future of cinema and computational cinema is currently hosted at the Laboratory of Media & Design, EPFL. The lab explores topics such as : narratology, interactive narrative, artificial intelligence, new camera and display systems, interactive video. Michael is currently co-chairman for Switzerland of the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, and a member of ACM and IEEE.
Michael currently works as an advisor, designer, developer and contractor on visionary technologies for film, performance, video game and architecture, through his design and production studio : LEV STUDIO sàrl, founded in 2007.
Between 2004 and 2007, he was a Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts / Interactive Media Division, where he inaugurated a special graduate class on computational filmmaking. He has taught and lectured internationally on computational film (Canadian Film Centre – Toronto, American Film Institute Digital Content Lab – Los Angeles, Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen – München, HEAD – Geneva, etc.).
In August 2006, he curated and produced the ‘Live Cinema Nights’ program, a series of live avant-garde audiovisual computer based performances, as part of the 13th edition of the Inter-Society of Electronic Arts (ISEA2006) Symposium in San Jose, CA.
From 2001-2004, he was a Research Fellow at the MIT Media Lab Europe in Dublin, Ireland where he developed technologies, prototypes and art installations on the future of cinema.
He regularly writes, publishes, and gives workshops on computational film and interactive art. He has advised directors such as David Lynch, Peter Greenaway, Lars von Trier, and Marie Brassard.
Michael obtained his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in 2000. In 1999, he was a visiting researcher at the AI Lab, Motorola Labs in Paris, France. In 1997, he was a visiting researcher at the Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, working on novel architectures for MPEG-2 video streaming. In Lausanne, he co-founded the hilarious and ingenious Avracavabrac improv theatre group ; In Dublin, he used to run a Café philosophique at the Cobblestone pub, whose purpose was to bring people from different backgrounds to discuss philosophical topics. Michael speaks more than five languages.
As long-term projects, Michael is developing several film & video projects and a new programming language / authoring tool for interactive video.