Marc Böhlen is trained as a stonemason. After receiving his Lizentiat in Art History and Archeology from the University of Zürich, he worked as a farm hand in British Columbia, Canada before studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Colorado and then Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Parallel to university based education, Böhlen worked in industry as technical staff at IBM Research Labs in Switzerland over the course of several years.
Böhlen is the recipient of the 2004 Artificial Life/VIDA award and the 2014 Vilcek Digital Art Prize. His works have been exhibited in Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, Spain, Croatia, Canada, US, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Norway, and the UK. Böhlen’s research has been supported by major technology companies. In 2010 Böhlen received a multi-year research grant from Intel Corp to study the impact of biosensing technologies on everyday life. In 2020 Böhlen received a grant from the ‘AI for Earth’ Initiative to study how machine learning techniques might benefit ethnobotany. In addition to his art practice, Böhlen has authored over 45 peer reviewed publications.
Artist-engineer Marc Böhlen / RealTechSupport delivers the kind of support technology really needs. His research focuses on two areas: public computational media and speculative robotics. Public computational media investigates computational media in their capacity to impact public concerns at scale. Speculative robotics considers robotics as a mode of artistic inquiry and makes use of quantitative methods of engineering to produce new qualitative conditions and experiences.