Prof. Vibeke Sorensen

Vibeke Sorensen is an artist, composer, and professor working in digital multimedia and animation, stereography, interactive architectural installation, and networked visual music performance. Her work in experimental new media spans more than four decades and has been published and exhibited worldwide, including in books, galleries, museums, conferences, performances, film festivals, on cable and broadcast television, and the internet.
Since 1980, she taught and developed programs in media art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, and Princeton University. From 1984-94, she was Founding Director of the Computer Animation Laboratory in the School of Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and from 1994-2005 she was Professor and Founding Chair of the Division of Animation and Digital Arts (DADA) in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC). From 2005 – 2007, she was Professor of Film and Media Studies and Research Fellow in the Center for Film, Media, and Popular Culture in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University in Tempe and from 2007 – 2009, she was Professor and Chair of the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo, New York. Since 2009, she has been Professor and Chair of the School of Art, Design, and Media at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, where she was Founding Director of the Centre for Asian Art and Design (CAAD). In addition, since 2016 she is Adjunct Professor of Design, Games and Interaction in the School of Media and Communication at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, RMIT University, in Melbourne, Australia.

Vibeke Sorensen has a long history of interdisciplinary collaborations, art-science and art-engineering interactions, including the development of new media technologies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Princeton University, the University of Southern California, the University of California San Diego / San Diego Supercomputer Center, the Neurosciences Institute of La Jolla, and the California Institute of Technology. Her research and creative work has been supported by USC, NTU, the New York State Council on the Arts, the US National Science Foundation, and Intel Corporation, among others. She is a 2001 Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in Film/Video/Multimedia. In 2007 she was the Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Art Gallery: Global Eyes.

Her work “Illuminations” (2013) is a large scale illuminated folding screen, an interactive visual-music installation incorporating plant biofeedback, ubiquitous computing, and electro-acoustic music that she composed. A stereoscopic version was exhibited at Beyond 3D in 2013. “Vishwaroop” (2014) is a 4K generative dome animation with music by sitar virtuoso Kartik Seshadri, and “Mood of the Planet” (2015) is a kinetic light-sound sculpture incorporating global, real-time big data, Twitter, and music composed by Sorensen. In 2015 she produced “Mayur”, with music by Kartik Seshadri, a 4K animation inspired by Asian textiles, symbols, and cosmologies. Her most recent works include "Digital Amulet: Smart Necklace" (2017) incorporating 3D printing, networks, and wearable computing, and "In Other Wor(l)ds" (2018) which features textiles, physical computing, networks and global environmental data.


Title:  Getting from the Mood of the Planet to Other Wor(l)ds
The common digital foundation that connects previously disparate media such as painting and music, has led to both the dissolution of those media as distinct forms, as well as their re-invention as new ones. As Virtual Reality, the physical data was dematerialized. In Augmented Reality and in 3D printing it became re-materialized. Imaginative exploration of immersion and interaction among artforms has led to many technological innovations, and vice versa. The internet, www and social networks have extended a vast array of media technologies to diverse global ethnic cultures.  Developments in digital input-output media and networks, including physical and wireless systems, AI, sensors, wearable computing, gene editing, 3D printing and Big Data engage nature and the body, cultures, and the environment in unprecedented ways, leading to what could be considered a “re-construction” or simply “construction” of media and all that it encompasses. And with it come new ways to apprehend and comprehend our environment both inside and outside our bodies, and changes to how we think and create. This talk will discuss several recent art and design works conceived and developed by the speaker while living and working in Southeast Asia that explore new methodologies and experimental approaches to analog-digital media in ways that reflect on the local and global human condition and the natural environment, including “Mood of the Planet” (Big Data), “Digital Amulet: Smart Necklace” (wearable computing, networks), and “In Other Wor(l)ds” (text, textiles, physical computing, networks, and global environmental data).