RENCI People Interview with William Seaman

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Watch entire video or click on any question below:

Q: You have advanced degrees in the interactive arts and visual studies. What inspired you to pursue this field? Did you have any role models?

Q: You describe your work as “examinations in meta-meaning processes.” Can you elaborate on that?

Q: Two terms you use frequently are recombinant poetics and neosentience. How do you define those terms?

Q: You are an artist and a poet and technology is central to your work. What do you see as the relationship between today’s digital technologies and the creative arts in the 21st century?

Q: Do you think technology is blurring the line between art and science?

Q: What led you to come to Duke University and what do you hope to achieve there?


Media artist and scholar William Seaman has exhibited numerous installation works and commissions around the world. His work includes performance and dance collaborations, video screenings, and many articles, essays and reviews in books and catalogues. His creations explore an expanded media-oriented poetics through various technological means. A self-taught composer and musician, Seaman is currently working on a series of art/science collaborations, poetic installations, scientific/conceptual art research papers and a book in collaboration with the scientist Otto Rössler. He is also collaborating with artist and computer scientist Daniel Howe on works exploring artificial intelligence and creative writing and multimedia; neural scientist and artist Timothy Senior on an expanded approach to neural nets; and computer scientist and experimental writer Patrick Harron on a generative database project. In the 1990s Seaman created “The World Generator/The Engine of Desire,” a digital machine that generates virtual surroundings, with programmer Gideon May. Now he is working with May and Duke University visualization expert Rachael Brady to rework that project as an open source tool. Seaman is a professor in the art, art history and visual studies department at Duke University. Check out his website for more information.

Seaman’s latest work, “The Architecture of Association,” will be featured in the Social Computing Room of RENCI’s engagement center at the UNC Chapel Hill as part of the Collaborations: Humanities, Arts and Technology (CHAT) Festival on Feb. 16-20, 2010.