Michael Murtaugh is founder of automatist.org, a new media design firm specialised in community databases, interactive documentary, and tools for new forms of reading and writing online. He also teaches in the Master Media Design and Communication programme at the Piet Zwart Institute. He is a member of Constant, a Brussels based collective engaged in the fields of free and open source software, feminism, copyright alternatives, and collaborative networks. With Constant he has been working on Active Archives, a platform for diverse material ranging from texts to images and video. Seeing the project as both technical and cultural, the system facilitates, re-use of material while enriching content through metadata, vocabularies, and taxonomies.
He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1994); subsequently he was part of the Interactive Cinema group, led by Glorianna Davenport at the MIT Media Lab where he completed a master's degree (1996).
His work has been shown at Documenta 13 and at Kunsthal Aarhus and he is a regular participant in events related to digital archiving and free software and design. He is based in Brussels.
- The Automatist Storytelling System: Putting the Editor's Knowledge in Software, MIT, 1996. Master's thesis.
- "Interaction", in Software Studies: A Lexicon, ed. Matthew Fuller, MIT Press, 2008, pp 143-149.
- "Do (not) Repeat Yourself", in Fun and Software: Exploring Pleasure, Paradox and Pain in Computing, ed. Olga Goriunova, Bloomsbury, 2014.
- "Eleven Orderings", in Report from the Gutenberg Galaxy (Blaker), 1, eds. Karin Nygård and Ellef Prestsæter, Blaker: Rett Kopi, 2015, pp 13-15.
- with Geoff Cox, and Nicolas Malevé, "Archiving the Data-body: Human and Nonhuman Agency in the Documents of Kurenniemi", in Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History: Erkki Kurenniemi in 2048, eds. Joasia Krysa and Jussi Parikka, MIT Press, 2015.
- with Ellef Prestsæter, Matthew Fuller, Nicolas Malevé, "Vandalist Iconophilia", Concreta 05, Valencia: Concreta, 1 Jun 2015.
- Annet Dekker, "Michael Murtaugh: Portable SKOR", May 2012.