Banff Convergence



I’m super happy to announce that I’ve been selected for the Convergence Residency program, at Banff Centre, in Alberta Canada.

Taking place in a little over two-weeks, Convergence offers a space for ” artists to research, conceive, prototype and present new artistic works, tools, techniques and perspectives for electronic music, sound, and visual creation. “.

There’s some amazing mentors in tow – Robin Fox, Uwe Schmidt, Dasha Rush, Markus Heckmann and Kieth Fullerton Whitman to name a few.

I have to say I’ve always wanted to do a residency at Banff Centre – it strikes me as an amazing place, so I’m super excited to be able to attend the centre with such a relevant residency. For Convergence I hope to write new music and form a link with the visual material I’m currently working on.

Lately here in Australia I’ve been exploring some new music tools over the Summer months, while on break from my Masters.

I recently purchased two Elektron music making machines – the Analog RYTM drum machine, and Analog Four synthesiser. Its been awesome learning them and getting with the Elektron way of working – in particular the Overbridge protocol which allows fully two-way midi communication and control via Ableton Live, and perfect sync between software and hardware. It also allows for full multi-channel recording of the devices – it’s such a great blend of the analog and digital that I am such a fan of. Together with Push 2 which is also a part of my current setup, it makes for such a malleable, flexible music making system thats also just so fun to make music with! Check out Overbridge below:

Once I return from Banff I’ll be right back into the thesis writing phase of my degree, before wrapping up with the final examination exhibition.

Exciting and busy times ahead!

Orbital Systems

Things have moved so fast with my research lately I haven’t really commented on it. But there’s a focus for my current project now. Some of that is visible on my tumblr – otherwise here is a bit of an update on where things are headed.

Some of my previous projects used NASA imagery in an animated way – whether that was looking in, via satellite imagery of Earth, or outwards with cosmic perspectives brought to us by the Hubble, I recently realised that this has been a space my work has operated in. To be honest it hadn’t totally hit me – maybe in some ways that’s because I was working with the imagery produced by satellites. But on closer thought I saw that I’d been working with satellites as a subject in and of themselves.

Hubble in orbit


If Airfield used imagery by satellites pointed directly at Earth, and Noumina was directed outward, this new work comes to be about that middle point – the orbital perspective – as Ron Garan calls it. This new project, which I am tentatively titling EO (as an abbreviation for elliptical/Earth orbit, or earth observation) comes to be about this perspective, the location of satellites and their horizonal views from Low Earth Orbit.



Airfield arose out of the proliferation of imagery that entered into the public consciousness via technologies like Google Earth. And perhaps Noumina came to be following the 2009 upgrade maintenance mission to the Hubble, which returned it to full functionality, allowing for its highest quality images since launch.

The EO project responds to the images that have been produced aboard the International Space Station, either taken by astronauts, or the recently installed HDEV video camera system which provides a live HD feed of the Earth from the point of view of the ISS. This ‘Orbital Perspective’, I feel, is one that belongs in the lineage of images produced via spaceflight such as Earthrise, the Blue Marble, and Pale Blue Dot.



What is the significance of the images produced aboard ISS, and how have they altered our perception of the planet and ourselves? While my research project attempts to investigate these questions in part, it is also an abstraction of it. In my project I am using software to create orbital virtual cameras and art ‘satellites’ that rotate around a spherical body. This has put me into contact with a wide range of so-called ‘orbital artworks’ – projects that either use an orbital methodology or process, or works that involve orbital spaceflight and the images it produces.

In the ramp up to the completion of the project I’ll be posting more bite sized chunks of research as they relate to EO and its accompanying exegesis.

Visual Research

I’ve created a new visual research blog on the Tumblr platform.

It’s more of an ongoing mood-board, a visual mind-dump of where my current thoughts are at, and visual stuff I create, or find online/IRL.

It’s also a mix of Instagram, and things that go to Facebook. Facebook is a bit of a strange one, because stuff often gets lost, hidden or deleted. I often post there, and in some ways this new blog is an attempt to capture some of whats lost there.

Instagram is great for capturing life moments, in your work or your time off, but I don’t really use Instagram to post other peoples stuff. So this Tumblr will be useful for that. Who knows I may create a second Instagram at some stage. But the Tumblr is a nice archive I think, a mix of all things. .Gifs and videos to come soon, too.

And then there’s just a ream of images I download from the Internet, so a lot of that will go up here.

I thought about creating a physical mood-board, but I guess printing things out and sticking them up on a wall doesn’t really make sense anymore. Digital happened so much more quickly. Maybe a few life-size posters of the major stuff go up in the studio.

I also avoided Tumblr for the longest time. But I don’t think my intention here is to cultivate any kind of network or followers, it’s just a digital visual diary that anyones welcome to look at.


For a long time I haven’t really made anything. Nothing at all really. Just rambling scribbles about what to do next while I held down a part-time job.

I guess I kind’ve had to get out of debt, but maybe I just needed a little time & space.

You build things up for a while, little ideas, or maybe you make mental collages of what you’re going to do next.

A lot of artists work with gradients at the moment, and I guess I’ve always liked them, too.

I’ve thought about doing a kind’ve moving image piece that uses gradients in a really soft, ambient way.

Just kind’ve floating through colour clouds.

I’ve started my Masters Degree at Monash University in Melbourne, specialising in digital art.

So finally I have some space to create.

I imagine for a while it will be a bit all over the place till I find some footing again, but for now here’s a little gradient image I made today in VDMX.


Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 4.35.52 pm

Huge amount of time between posts! I’ve been working a lot and also applying for Masters programs.

With that 2013 has come to a close – for me, the past year didn’t turn out to be a huge year for my own personal work – but it was a good chance to do some community projects.

2014 is looking like a huge new phase in my own creative work – I’ve been accepted into a Masters research degree at Monash University in the school of Art, Design and Architecture.

I’m hoping to spend a lot of time looking into 3D, in game engines like Unity, apps like Maya, and exploring web technologies like three.js and also Javascript and HTML5 in general.

My thesis proposal is currently titled ‘Software Cinema’, and the 2 year program is an amazing chance to explore the tools, themes and theory surrounding this idea.

I was thinking of starting a new blog or website to document this work, but maybe I will continue here with this theme and look for now.

For now I’m super excited and can’t wait to get started. More to come 🙂

rip scroll-type


Scroll-type is no longer updated as of today, and is due to lapse. Links will be broken, maids will cry.

I’ve migrated most of the photos from ST over to, for a full archive in the future.

I ran scroll-type as a travel photoblog for a couple of years, and it was fun ! 🙂

Makes more sense to have it all integrated into the one.

Bye-bye, ST.


Renew Docklands

Ok, some pretty exciting news here! 😀 This one has been in the works for a while…

My friend James Wright has asked me to be involved in an amazing new community project, Renew Docklands Community Arts!

We’ve been given a brand-new, disused food-court to use as we see fit … and we’re turning it into a community media-arts space!

It’s an absolutely amazing space as you can see in the images below… and what an amazing opportunity.

The story of Docklands has been a difficult one to say the least, with countless shops and businesses having closed doors for years, and entire retail areas being impossible to lease. That’s where Renew Docklands comes in. Artists and small business owners are able to apply for the use of the space rent-free, on a month-by-month basis.

The hope is that new cultural activity will re-inject interest in the area, inpsiring more and more business into the area.

It’s been tried before and it works! – you can read all about Renew here:

The next big step for us is to prepare the space for launch, so we’ve started a Pozible campaign to help with the process!

This has been a real goal of mine for years, I’m totally stoked to see something beginning to happen 😀


Well, here we are, 2 weeks into 2013.

I don’t really have any resolutions this year. Last year I decided my resolution would be to start collecting vinyl records. I think I managed to collect about 19, which is a nice start. I’ll have to post a list sometime.

I haven’t got a record player yet, but I did get a nice ‘audiophile’ amp, by Harman Kardon.

I think I’ve realised I’ve kinda been neglecting my sites lately, and maybe spending too much time on Facebook.

On the plus side I have been getting into Ableton Live a fair bit, and making some new music. Also organising my myriad Processing folders into something a little more cohesive and manageable. I think I need to come up with a new filing structure when I use that program.

Anyway, I think I might have had the wrong idea about art for a while. If there is such a thing. I’ve just been checking out Rafael Rozendaal’s site and some of his recent posts got me thinking to post more and upload/finish more work.

I think I’ve been focusing too much on some kind of off-in-the-distance work that I never quite finish. So maybe it’s time to change how I approach my work, and what kind of stuff I’m going to be doing going forward.

I had a pretty good 2012 but it also had it’s fair share of challenges. I can’t say I’ve been pining for 2013 or anything. But maybe that’s my resolution – to shift more of a focus back to the website, uploading and posting more video, images, text and music.

mattleafdotcom is dead

Well the inevitable has happened. is dead.

I was unlucky enough to have been hosted on an old server with Laughing Squid and had to migrate to their new cloud system, which completely destroyed all linking on my site. I’m sure there’s a smart way to fix it, but I honestly can’t be bothered spending any more hours on it.

On the plus side, I’ve managed to import my old blog posts into my new site, making my new web home.

There’s even a nice little archive page available from the top, with all the post icons auto-sized (which is pretty fancy). So maybe a blessing in disguise.

Anyways a lot of projects and stuff missing from this site at the mo (will have to do a little tweaking). And kinda wasn’t sure about amalgamating the two projects into one, but at least I don’t have to manage two websites anymore 🙂

mattleaf was my first website and the backend has always been a total train-wreck of hacked code. PRGRMS is a much cleaner, fresh and responsive theme, which will probably serve me well for the next couple years (i hope!).

For now, will automatically re-direct here, to

And also, my new twitter name is @prgrms ~

Spring Update ~


Wow, September ? It’s been a real long time between posts! I’ve been so busy!! I’ve barely had a chance to dive into this new site and really set things up properly…

Well now it’s done! – there’s a full show photo section from live shows easily accesible from the top of the site.

And I’ve changed the format a little – everything’s on the front page now. Still – lots more to come – getting some sound recordings tied up of the live shows over the past couple months, plus some new stuff too. Look out!

Been back in Australia in couple of months now but it really feels like the year has just flown by. I did so much in the States! Was only there for a month but it felt like a year! EYEO Conference, a bunch of shows, making new friends and getting stuck into some cool programming workshops. Been trying to do as many sketches in Processing as I can and will also start uploading way more of that to the web too… 😀

Recently just go back from 2 week residency at BIG CI in New South Wales plus a live show in Sydney with my JUMP mentor Ollie Bown.

We got some cool stuff happening between Processing, Ableton, and VDMX using Net Utils. Will have some demo’s of that work soon.

Till then check out a recently uploaded demo ambient track on Soundcloud, which I made completely on an OP-1 ( which I’ve been having a blast with , btw ).

I’ve probably been posting to Facebook about most things way more than I should – if that’s your thing you can follow me here:

+ There’s loads of photos of everything up on Scroll-Type too, check it out ~

More soon!