wriggle brains

James strives to create engaging interactive experiences, useful web services and beautifully functional software. Basically, he writes code and likes to design.

tl;dr

The internet boom days, September 1998, the mighty Google just days old and James starts out on his career, with his first job working as a Macromedia an Adobe Shockwave web app programmer and interaction designer. This was a time when such an occupation seemed quite an exotic and exciting thing to be doing.

Early on in his career, thanks to a misspent youth tinkering with computers and making music with samplers and sequencers, James began to specialize in reactive audio visuals and musical games and interfaces for the music industry.

James' interests have subsequently extended into areas such as the social and mobile web, the quantified self, graph networks and databases, autonomous social agents, responsive design and web typography.

Throughout his career James' roles have ranged from creative, strategy and technology consultancy through to research and development and creating the designs and writing the code for finished products and services.

As a Creative Technologist he continually researches and evaluates new standards, technologies and methodologies, with an eye on future best practices and technologies available for front end development. Playing with these technologies he explores the opportunities they present for new web products and services.

He's currently fanatical about Javascript, NodeJS and GruntJS. He's also beginning to love Sass and works hard to maintain and update his expertise in the incredibly fast paced world of front end design and development in order to cater for new formats and devices.

James can work independently as a full stack web developer. He can also call upon a group of experienced and talented web professionals, to reliably deliver larger projects from conception and strategy through to construction, testing and deployment.

When not at his desk James loves to hang out with his two children Tait and Oona and his wife Abby. Otherwise you'll probably find him on a tennis court somewhere.

Please feel free to contact James by to discuss projects large or small, design or development, for art or business. Alternatively you can connect with him on the sites and services listed below.

SketchPad
Still image captured from SketchPad, a generative processing applet.
  • James is one of those very rare developers that combines true creativity and innovation with a deep technical understanding and ability. James has global respect as one of the earliest and best web artists. A great self starting thinker and doer, highly recommended.

    Fiddian Warman - Associate Lecturer, Digital Creativity and New Media Management at Birkbeck, University of London. Via LinkedIn.
    Date
    Job Title
    Creative Technologist,
    Developer & Designer
    Company
    Freelance
    Role

    After a brief hiatus as a full time father (toughest job he's ever had!) James continues his freelance work for clients large and small and has a couple of exciting personal projects currently in development.

  • James makes the most complex ideas and data a joy to interact with through genuinely innovative design. And when iterating through a project he brings clear, insightful communication to internal meetings and to interactions with clients.

    Rob Myers - Free Culture Consultant, Artist, Hacker & Former Philter Phactory C.T.O. Via LinkedIn.
    Date
    Job Title
    Head of Design & C.C.O
    Company
    Philter Phactory Ltd.
    Role

    In 2009 James co-founded The Philter Phactory, an internet startup that aggregated, parsed and spliced social media feeds into bespoke autonomous social agents. These agents could be crafted into rich and detailed personas, perhaps to embody a particular demographic and would autonomously follow a daily routine about which they posted on their blogs. The public version of this was launched in 2010 as weavrs.com,* provoking a good deal of interest in the media. Alongside the public offering several private, bespoke versions of Weavrs were commissioned by large marketing agencies around the world.

    As Head of Design at the Philter Phactory, James oversaw product user experience including the brand identities and logos for both the company and it's products, user interface design and information architecture, usability testing, the generation of proposal documents and presentations, the writing of documentation and coding the front-end functionality.

    As Chief Culture Officer James was responsible for processing the daily deluge of cultural data to assess and anticipating future trends and cultural developments that could present opportunities for the company and it's products. He also monitored how the company's offerings measured up to it's competitors and remained relevant to it's users. An important aspect of this role was to establish and maintain an internal culture that was healthy, conducive to productivity and attracted and retained talented and motivated employees.

    As a Co-founder James helped plan company strategy, attended monthly board meetings, met and presented to clients and helped manage and recruit developers, designers and researchers.

    It's safe to say that this was quite a busy time. James left the company in 2012 in order to spend more time with his young family.

    *weavrs.com ceased operations early in 2013, due in part to significant changes to the Twitter API rules.

  • Working with James made my job very easy. He is creative, methodical, calm under pressure and above all very good at what he does. He contributes to the process in a constructive and imaginative way and produces high quality work to schedule. It is always a pleasure to work with James and I have no hesitation in recommending him.

    Emma Quinn - Programme Manager - Digital R & D Fund for the Arts at Nesta & former Senior Project Manager at Soda Creative. Via LinkedIn.
    Date
    Job Title
    Creative Technologist,
    Developer & Designer
    Company
    Freelance
    Role

    In 2002 James was asked to produce an app for the online gallery due to mark the launch of the Sony PS2, which was being curated by Hi-ReS!. He later worked on several other projects for Hi-ReS! and it was around this time that he met the founder of greyworld, Andrew Shoben. He went on to re-build and design greyworld's website, created an event scheduling controller interface for The Source, the 32m high kinetic sculpture they created for the London stock exchange and worked on successful proposals for them, such as the one for Bins and Benches and the bespoke software to create generative tile patterns for the exterior of the new Woking Art Gallery.

    Working as a freelance creative and technology consultant, other clients during this period include The Associated Board Of The Royal Schools Of Music, Poke and Kin Records.

    James enjoyed an artist's residency in 2005 at the The Digital Research Unit in Huddersfield and exhibited at the Generative-X show, curated by Daniel Brown for the ICA in London and at exhibitions at Sonar in Barcelona and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, both curated by Lia and Miguel.

    While living in Brighton James worked on several projects with the Bafta Award winning Soda Creative. Including kiosk software to add messages to a giant LED ring in the London Science Museum and a prototype animation and story telling app for kids called Animoodle.

    After moving to Dorset in 2006 James continued to work freelance and enjoyed working on several projects with Sep Kamvar, including an independent online fashion brand complete with a custom built webstore and subsequently a mini-site for the book version of We Feel Fine, Kamvar's seminal social media art collaboration with Johnathan Harris.

    Passing By, a personal project launched early in 2007, invited people to post clips to Youtube and tag them with either #passingby-looking-left or #passingby-looking-right. These clips were automatically sequenced into two seamless journeys by a custom web app, each clip fading into another with a consistent direction of travel to form two ever growing collaborative movies. After a mention on Boing Boing the project garnered a good deal of attention and clips were contributed by people from all around the world, from Bolivia to the Trans Siberian Express.

    James spent much of the first part of 2009 working with Campbell Walmsley to take LooseCubes from her initial vision to a working prototype. LooseCubes went on to become the world's largest office sharing community covering over 2000 locations in 74 countries.

    During this period James also met his wife Abby, moved to Dorchester in Dorset and his two children were born. Exciting Times!

  • James is an inspired creative that makes technology beautiful. It's a pleasure to work with him and you can be assured that James will bring value to any project — making it better and pushing it further. James gives you an incredible confidence to deliver the impossible.

    Bridget Jung - Chief Creative Officer at DigitasLBi. Via LinkedIn.
    Date
    Job Title
    Senior Art Director
    Company
    Digitas Europe
    Role

    As much as he'd loved his time at Kleber, James was itching to work on some more personal projects and Mark Beeching at Digitas Europe offered him the opportunity to work within a fantastic creative team on sites for blue chip brands. This was to be one of the most productive times of his career so far. Working part time at Digitas left him with the spare time he needed to focus on personal projects like modifyme and algaerhythms as well as his own client projects such as the site for Boards of Canada.

    Modifyme was awarded Best In Show in the Boston Cyberarts Festival at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in April, 2001 and James' site for Boards of Canada achieved a distinction in the Net Excellence category at Ars Electronica in 2003.

    During the first 3 weeks of June, 2001, James built a browser based web app for Codemasters as a promotional version of the MTV Music Generator II. Browser based music creation apps have come a long way since but this was one of the first to offer a fully functional eight track sample sequencer providing sequenceable volume and pitch shifting events, a sample loop point editor, a palette of beats and samples provided by The Gorillaz and the facility to save the songs you compose, both locally on your machine and up to the server from where others could load, listen to and edit them.

  • James is an inspired and capable designer and developer, able to turn his hand to any problem and dive in without hesitation, and to come up with clever solutions to complex problems. He's always happy to talk and communicates his ideas clearly, though doesn't get distracted and maintains his focus to deliver above par and on schedule.

    Dorian Fraser Moore - Designer & Technologist at The Useful Arts Ltd, Formerly C.T.O & Co-Founder of Kleber Design. Via LinkedIn.
    Date
    Job Title
    Interaction Designer
    & Developer
    Company
    Kleber Design
    Role

    His time at Kleber Design was brief but was among the most enjoyable in his career to date. The founders, Dorian Moore and Chris McGrail had a well deserved reputation for excellent and innovative websites that had attracted a glittering list of music industry clients. While there James had the pleasure of coding and designing Macromedia Adobe Flash and Director Shockwave web apps for Leftfield, Moloko, Tipper, Kid Koala, Fatboy Slim and Warp Records artists Plaid and Boards of Canada.

  • James was always very good at learning whatever technical skills were needed to solve complex problems, and coming up with original and elegant solutions. He has a great imagination, is a good communicator and is a lovely bloke.

    James Tarling - Flash, web and multimedia developer, former Front End Lead Developer at Brann Interactive. Via LinkedIn.
    Date
    Job Title
    Interaction Designer
    Company
    Brann Interactive & Circle UK
    Role

    After graduation James was lucky enough to gain his first professional experience writing Macromedia Adobe Director Shockwave web apps for clients such as Peugeot and Guinness. In March 1999 he took a couple of weeks holiday from his job at the company to focus on finishing off the final year project from his degree, thesquarerootof-1.

    To his great surprise his newly launched site quickly received thousands of visitors per day and was twice awarded Macromedia's site of the day.

He was such a pleasure to work with even though many of our discussions were had at 6am my time via Skype. He wrote the foundation for Loosecubes and helped me design what the site experience should be. He helped me interview and recruit additional developers to our team as well. Had we not lived so far away from each other I would have begged James to continue on and found the company with me. He's a creative mind and technical expert, but most of all he is a great friend and partner. I enjoyed every moment I spent working with James. He is incredibly fair about financial matters and treats you as a true thought partner.

Campbell Walmsley - Founder of Loosecubes. Via LinkedIn.

Further endorsements and recommendations are available on James' LinkedIn profile.

treeness