Interactive Artist Spotlight: Scott Sona Snibbe

Scott Sona Snibbe has been in the interactive art world for a long time and has an impressive track record, having collaborated in the past with artists Bjork and filmmaker James Cameron.  What I like best about his work is his objective; Snibbe says, “The purpose of my work is to bring meaning and joy to people’s lives….By using interactivity, I hope to promote an understanding of the world as interdependent; destroying the illusion that each of us, or any phenomenon, exists in isolation from the rest of reality.”  His work succeeds in this, dealing mainly with interconnectivity, cause & effect, relativity, and illusion.  Below are three of my favorite pieces; “Make Like a Tree” (2005), “Falling Girl,” (2008), and “Boundary Function” (1998).  The first two use shadows captured by camera, one of Snibbe’s preferred motifs.  “Boundary Functions” is quite interesting, especially in how it must be perceived uniquely in different cultures.  Americans are quite fond of their personal space compared to many European and Asian countries, so I’d be curious to see the varied responses from these audiences.

To read more about Scott Sona Snibbe, check out this great article from MetroActive: “The Power of Play.”

“Make Like a Tree” (2005)

“As viewers walk in front of Make Like a Tree’s projected wall, their shadows are recorded and return to this same image as eerie figures in the foreground and background that move between trees, disappear suddenly, and fade into the distance.”

“Falling Girl” (2008) collaboration with Annie Loui

“Falling Girl is an immersive interactive narrative installation that allows the viewer to participate in the story of a young girl falling from a skyscraper. During her miraculously slow descent, the girl reacts to the people and events in each window. Daylight fades, night falls and passes, and at dawn, when the falling girl finally lands on the sidewalk, she is an aged woman bearing no resemblance to the young girl who started her fall minutes before.

Captured on an interactive wall, the silhouettes of viewers viewers appear in apartment windows to juxtapose against the ever-present central image of the girl in silhouette falling slowly as she gets older and older. In this way, viewers participate in this tale about the shortness of our lives and the petty concerns that often occupy us.”

“Boundary Functions” (1998)

“We think of personal space as something that belongs entirely to ourselves. However, Boundary Functions shows us that personal space exists only in relation to others and changes without our control.

Boundary Functions is a set of lines projected from overhead onto the floor, dividing people in the gallery from one another. When there is one person on its floor, there is no response. When two are present, a single line cuts between them bisecting the floor, and dynamically changing as they move. With more than two people, the floor divides into cellular regions, each with the quality that all space within it is closer to the person inside than any one else.”

All project descriptions, videos, and images taken from Scott Sona Snibbe’s website.


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