Tracing (1997), Two Sides Screen Interactive Installation

George Legrady

Interface Metaphors: Narrative Strategies in Interactive Media

Date 3/3/97

Affiliation Artist, Media Arts & Technology, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara


Digital Interactive media require metaphor based, organizational models by which to conceptually situate the viewer and to provide a way of accessing and understanding data. By knowing "the story" or metaphor, the viewer can successfully navigate inside the interactive program. As a result, these metaphor environments promise to be the key site for innovative developments of a linguistic, symbolic, aesthetic, sensory and conceptual nature, redefining the interactive viewer's experience within the digital environment. Interface metaphors quantitatively transform the information that pass through them. They charge the information contextually with new meaning on both the symbolic and literal plane. This presentation will discuss the relevance and conceptualization of interface metaphors with examples of the artist’s recent works.


George Legrady is Professor in Conceptual Design at San Francisco State University and Professor of Electronic Media at the Merz Akademie in Stuttgart, Germany. His interactive works have received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Canada Council. His works have been exhibited internationally at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Helsinki Museum of Contemporary Art; the International Center for Photography, New York; MusČe d'art contemporain, MontrČal, Canada. His interactive works have all been published in CD-ROM format, most recently in "Artintact 3" by ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany. His artwork in interactive, digital media explores the intersections between culture, narrative and emerging technologies.

-- As of 3/3/97

Updated Bio

George Legrady is Professor of Interactive Media in the Media Arts & Technology Doctoral program at UC Santa Barbara. George Legrady is one of the first generation of artists in the 1980’s to integrate computer processes into his artistic work, producing pioneering prizewinning projects in the early 1990’s such as the “Anecdoted Archive from the Cold War” (1993), “Slippery Traces” (1995), “Sensing Speaking Space” (2002), and more recently the internationally traveling “Pockets Full of Memories” (2001-2006). His contribution to the digital media field since the early stages of its formation into a discipline in the early 1990’s has been in intersecting cultural content with data processing as a means of creating new forms of aesthetic representations and socio-cultural narrative experiences.

His digital interactive installations have been exhibited internationally most recently at ISEA 06, San Jose (2006); 3rd Beijing New Media Festival (2006); Frankfurt Museum of Communication (2006); Telic Gallery, Los Angeles (2006), BlackBox 06 at ARCO, Madrid (2006), the Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester (2005), Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (2004), Ars Electronica (2003), DEAF03, Rotterdam (2003), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002), Centre Georges Pompidou (2001), the National Gallery of Canada (1997) and others. He has received awards from Creative Capital Foundation, the Daniel Langlois Foundation for the Arts, Science and Technology, the Canada Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His commission for the Seattle Public Library, “Making Visible the Invisible”, featured at the Whitney Museum Artport ( is a data visualization project that maps the hourly circulation of books moving out of the library's collection until 2014.

-- As of 2/15/07