Scott Snibbe

Scott Snibbe is a media artist, filmmaker, and researcher in interactivity. Whether on mobile devices or in large public spaces, his interactive art spurs people to participate socially, emotionally, and physically. His works are strongly influenced by cinema: particularly animation, silent, and surrealist film; and often mix live and filmed performances with real-time interaction. Snibbe’s artwork is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and The Museum of Modern Art (New York); and has been shown in several hundred solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including a solo retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. His large-scale interactive projects have been incorporated into concert tours, Olympics, science museums, airports, and other major public spaces and events, and he has collaborated on interactive projects with musicians and filmmakers including Björk and James Cameron.

Snibbe has received grants and awards for his artwork from the National Science Foundation, Renew Media, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Prix Ars Electronica, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the founder of three organizations: Snibbe Interactive, creating interactive exhibits and events; Scott Snibbe Studio, producing apps for mobile devices; and Sona Research, engaging in educational and cultural research.

Snibbe was born in 1969 in New York City. He holds Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Fine Art, and a Master’s in Computer Science from Brown University. Snibbe studied experimental animation at the Rhode Island School of Design and his films have been widely shown internationally. He has taught media art and experimental film at Brown University, The San Francisco Art Institute, the California Institute of the Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design, and U.C. Berkeley. Early in his career, Snibbe worked at Adobe Systems where he helped to create the special effects software After Effects. Snibbe also worked at Interval Research, performing basic research in haptics, computer vision, and interactive cinema. As a researcher, Snibbe has published numerous articles and academic papers, and is an inventor on over a dozen patents.



Session: Towards Feature-length Interactive Entertainment: From Avatar to Björk

For twenty years, Scott Snibbe has advocated for a new form of interactive entertainment that moves beyond video games to treat interactivity as a full medium in its own right. He argues that interactivity has the same potential for emotional impact and engagement as cinema and music. In this talk, Snibbe will present two of his companies’ most powerful interactive experiences from last year, which point to the growing maturity of this medium: Björk’s Biophilia App, the world’s first App Album; and The James Cameron Avatar Experience, a fully immersive gestural interactive exhibition.Scott Snibbe will discuss these two ends of the interactive spectrum, and the space between: from intimate apps beneath our fingertips, to fully immersive, social exhibitions spanning thousands of square feet. He will situate this work among selections of twenty years of his companies’ interactive exhibits, interactive art, and interactive music, as well as key examples from the last 30 years’ history of interactivity, and make a bold claim for the rise of this medium to rival movies. Snibbe will also discuss the educational, societal, and industry benefits of interactivity; and the joys, challenges, and research involved in the creation and distribution of these new forms of interactive media.