People at CISL

david allen

david allen
Research Associate
Focus Area: 
Computational Arts
Natural Interfaces
Live Performance

MFA 2015, Electronic Arts Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
BFA 2003, Pratt Institute, New York, NY


david allen is a Hispanic-American computational artist whose work weaves threads of movement into experiential patterns using kinesthetic interfaces. As the design team leader at CISL, allen collaborates with Students, Faculty, and Staff to both envision interactions with new interfaces, and to facilitate their development into plausible real-world applications. As part of a personal art practice, allen performs under the pseudonym “david aloka” in collaboration with dance companies, musicians, and theatrical groups to develop computational systems for live performance. With fine arts degrees from Pratt Institute and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, allen’s collaborations have been instantiated at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Illuminus Boston, and Illuminus on Lawn D; and presented at MIT Hacking Arts, Drexel University, Rutgers, and GameFest.

In a previous life, allen developed video games for iOS, Nintendo Wii, DS and DSi platforms; volunteered for the Indie Megabooth at Penny Arcade Expo East, Boston Festival of Indie Games, Game Developer’s Conference, and ACM SIGGRAPH; volunteered and organized the Games in Education Symposium and Global Game Jam; and became a lifelong member of International Game Developers Association.

Speaking Engagements

  • 2016 Kinesthetic Interfaces for PDI Studio 5, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Troy, NY
  • 2015 preformIO preceding Performing Arts panel, MIT Hacking Arts | Cambridge, MA
  • 2015 ALL YOUR GAMES are belong to us, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey | Newark, NJ
  • 2014 Outrageous Game Futures, GameFest, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Troy, NY
  • 2013 artGINEERING, Drexel University | Philadelphia, PA

Grants & Awards

  • 2016 NYFA Sponsorship for pre:SENSE | New York, NY
  • 2016 DEC CA Arts Grant for pre:SENSE in collaboration with Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company & Maria Zemantauski, Arts Center of the Capital Region | Troy, NY
  • 2015 REVEAL Grant for in collaboration with Blind Elephants, Emerging Ventures Ecosystem, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | Troy, NY
  • 2013 Most Creative Hack, MIT Hacking Arts | Cambridge, MA

Performances & Exhibits

  • 2017 pre:SENSE in collaboration with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and Maria Zemantauski, Tech Valley Center of Gravity | Troy, NY
  • 2014 Sculpted Guardians Illumined, Illuminus Boston | Boston, MA
  • 2013 HARLEQUIN, Illuminus on Lawn D | Boston, MA