Christa Sommerer: The Art and Science of Interface Design


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Prof. Dr. Christa Sommerer, Interface Cultures, Institute for Media, University of Art and Design in Linz (AT) talks during the exhibition finissage about the art and science of interface and interaction design. In this lecture early artistic and social notions of interactivity will be addressed and the general question on how art, science and industries can merge in the area of interface design and interface culture will be discussed.

Artists and designers in the area of interactive art have been conducting artistic research in human-machine interaction for a number of years now. Interaction and interface design have not only had their roots in human computer interaction engineering but have also seen parallel developments in media art and specifically in the interactive arts. With products of interactive technologies increasingly spreading into our private and professional lives, it is interesting to see where early notions of interactivity came from and how media artists and media designers over the past 40 or more years have already looked at the merits of interaction in their artistic and conceptual work.

In this lecture early artistic and social notions of interactivity will be addressed and the general question on how art, science and industries can merge in the area of interface design and interface culture will be discussed.

About Christa Sommerer (and Laurent Mignonneau (b.1967, Angouleme, France):

Christa Sommerer, born 1964, Ohlsdorf/Gmunden, Austria; Laurent Mignonneau, born 1967, Angouleme, France)

Artists, art theorists, researchers. Work in the field of interactive computer installation based on generative image processes and intuitive interfaces. They have collaborated since 1992. Authors of such installation projects as: “Interactive Plant Growing” (1992/93), “A-Volve” (1994), “Trans Plant” (1995), “Intro Act” (1995), “GENMA” (1996), “Life Spacies” (1997), “Life Spacies II” (1999), “VERBARIUM” (1999), “Industrial Evolution” (2000), “PICO_SCAN” (1999/2000), “Riding the Net” (2000), “The Living Room” (2001), “Nano_Scape” (2002), “Mobile Feelings” (2003), “Eau de Jardin” (2004), “Life Writer” (2006), “Wissensgewächs” (2007). Their works were shown in around 200 exhibitions around the world at such well-known museums as the ZKM (Karlsruhe), the NTT-ICC InterCommunication Center (Tokyo), the Cartier Foundation (Paris), the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the Center Paul Klee (Bern), the Millennium Dome (London), the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (Tokyo), the Ars Electronica Center (Linz), the Shiroishi Multimedia Art Center (Shiroishi), the Museum of Modern Art Website (New York). They won such international media awards as the “Golden Nica” Ars Electronica Award (1994, Linz), the “Ovation Award” of the Interactive Media Festival (1995, Los Angeles) and the “Multi Media Award’95” of the Multimedia Association, Japan. They organized many workshops and sessions at various international conferences and published numerous research papers on ALife, interactivity and interface design, f.e. the book “Art@Science” (Vienna/New York: Springer Verlag, 1998) and their new upcoming book “The Art and Science of Interface and Interaction Design” (Springer Verlag, 2008).

Sommerer and Mignonneau held positions as artistic directors and researchers at the ATR Media Information Science Research Lab in Kyoto and as Associate professors at the IAMAS Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (Gifu, Japan). Currently they are Professors for Interface Culture at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz Austria.

http://www.interface.ufg.ac.at/christa-laurent/