Simon Penny


Simon Penny is an Australian practitioner in the fields of Digital Cultural Practices, Embodied Interaction and Interactive Art. His practice has included artistic practice, technical research, theoretical writing, pedagogy and institution building. Over the last twenty-five years, he has made interactive and robotic installations which address critical issues arising at the intersection of culture and technology, informed by traditions of practice in the arts including sculpture, video-art, installation and performance; and by theoretical research in enactive and embodied cognition, ethology, neurology, phenomenology, human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, robotics, critical theory, cultural and media studies. Informed by these sources, he designs and builds artworks utilising custom sensor and effector technologies. He built the autonomous robotic artwork Petit Mal in the early 1990s. His machine vision based interactive digital video work Fugitive was exhibited at the opening of the ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1997. Traces ( a 3D machine vision driven CAVE immersive interactive) was presented at Ars Electronica in 1998. Fugitive Two was commissioned by the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne Australia, in 2000, and premiered there in 2004. He has received funding and/or residencies from the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Science and Art, ZKM, GMD, WDR, and other sources. (

2009- Professor, Studio Art, University of California, Irvine
2008- guest professor, "Interdisciplinary Master in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media", Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
2005-2007 Co-director, ACE interdisciplinary graduate program, UCI
2003-2005 Director, ACE interdisciplinary graduate program, UCI
2001- Professor of Arts and Engineering, University of California Irvine
2000-2001 European Professor of Interactive Environments, University of Portsmouth UK and Merz Akademie Stuttgart, Germany. Establishing PhD program and research facilities
2002 Faculty Artist at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine / Digital Arts Faculty
1998 Cyberstar 98: Shared Visions / awarded by GMD and WDR
1997 - 1997 artist in residence at ZKM, Karlsruhe
1997 - 1997 lecturer at University Karlsruhe
1996 lecturer at the Centro Nacional Multimedia, Centro Nacional des las Artes, Mexico City
1994 - 1996 coordinator of the programm for electronic and timebased media, art institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
1993 - 2001 associate professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh / for art and robotics
1990 - 1993 lecturer, University of Florida / art institute
1989 - 1993 associated member at Carnegie Mellon University,Pittsburgh / art institute
1984 - 1988 lecturer at the City Art Institute Sydney
1982 graduate diploma from the Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney / graduate diploma in sculpture
1979 diploma from the South Australian School of Art, Sydney / diploma in fine art
- 2001 European Professor of Interactive Environments at the University of Portsmouth, England and at the Merz Akademie, Stuttgart
Exhibitions & Events