Steve Wilson

Liberating the Lab: Art in a Techno-Scienific Era

Date 4/1/02

Affiliation Artist & Author, San Francisco State Univeristy, San Francisco


Why should scientific research and technological innovations belong only to technicians? Research is at the white hot center of cultural foment. It is affecting everything from the gizmos of everyday life to basic philosophical notions about the nature of reality and what it is to be human. Stephen Wilson challenges the conventions that push Art to the edge of culture. He believe Art can occupy an independent zone of research, undertaking investigations ignored or discredited by commercial interests and academic science. The talk presents examples including Wilson's own artworks in areas such as GPS, body sensing, telepresence, and AI. It will also highlight new areas of technology and scientific inquiry that call out for artist attention. The presentation will draw from material from Wilson's recently released book, Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology. (MIT Press, 2001), a comprehensive survey of artists, theorists, and researchers working in technical fields.


Stephen Wilson is a San Francisco author, artist and professor who explores the cultural implications of new technologies. His interactive installations and performances have been shown internationally in galleries and SIGGRAPH, CHI, NCGA, Ars Electronica, and V2 art shows. His computer mediated art works probe issues such as the World Wide Web and telecommunications; artificial intelligence and robotics; hypermedia and the structure of information; GPS and the sense of place; synthetic voice; and biological & environmental sensing. He won the Prize of Distinction in Ars Electronica's international competitions for interactive art and several honorary mentions. He is Head of the Conceptual/Information Arts program at San Francisco State University. He was selected as artist in residence at Xerox PARC and NTT Research labs. He has been a developer for Apple, Articulate Systems and other companies and principal investigator in National Science Foundation research projects to investigate the relationship of new technologies to education.

-- As of 4/1/02

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