UNESCO Arts, Science & Technology

Simon Penny
Interactive Media Art

Simon Penny is an Australian artist, theorist and teacher in the field of Interactive Media Art. His art practice consists of interactive and robotic installations, which have been exhibited in the US, Australia and Europe. His current project "Traces" is a telematic interactive environment using networked CAVEs with machine- vision sensing in each CAVE. This project is a development on directions pursued the machine vision driven interactive digital video installation "Fugitive", first shown at ZKM Multimediale5, and again at EMAF98 (European Media Art Festival, Osnabruck). Other recent projects include the emergent complexity sound installation Sympathetic Sentience (I, II and III, with Jameison Schulte) and the autonomous robotic artwork Petit Mal.

Penny is Associate Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University where, among other things, he teaches Gizmology, Robotic Art Studio and Theory of Interactive Art. He established the Electronic Intermedia Program at the University of Florida 1990-93, curated Machine Culture (arguably the first international survey exhibition of interactive art) at SIGGRAPH '93 in Anaheim CA. He edited the anthology Critical Issues in Electronic Media (SUNY Press 1995). He publishes and speaks on Culture and Technology and Electronic Media Art. His essays have been translated into seven languages. His recent publications include: "The Virtualisation of Art Practice: Body Knowledge and the Engineering World View" (CAA Art Journal Fall '97), "The Darwin Machine: Artificial Life and Interactive Art", (New Formations UK,#29,Technoscience Issue, 1996) and "Cyborg Art and Systems Aesthetics: the Legacy of Jack Burnham" (Sculpture Magazine, Jan '99). Recent awards include Cyberstar 98 (GMD/WDR, Germany) and a residency at the Institut fur Bildmedien, ZKM Karlsruhe, spring '97.