Ben Knapp and Andy Diaz Hope: An Interview

2001 | 00:43:02 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: On Art and Artists, Interviews, Single Titles

Tags: Interview, Multimedia, Technology, VDB Interviews

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The interstice of art and technology has proved to one of the most generative locations in contemporary transdisciplinarity. As media of all kinds become more electronically integrated and digitized across multiple platforms, current technologies approach a condition of complete imbrication with art practices, and vice versa. Ben Knapp and Andy Diaz Hope have been at the forefront of these techno-aesthetic interactions, and their career experience as hard-science engineers brings a level of practical competence to this interview that is truly enlightening. However, the dialog does not get bogged down in specifics illegible to the common viewer, rather it focuses precisely on the coming together of art and technology, and the collaboration simultaneously fostered and required by this fusion.

Ben Knapp’s education was originally as an electrical engineer and signal processor, and Andy Diaz Hope was schooled in mechanical engineering and applied physics. After working for some time in fields that were more centered around industry, both men turned to creative pursuits and found a mutual interest in the designing of interactive environments. It was here they found that the interplay of sensor-technology, video and robotics, could create exploratory spaces for visitors that would destabilize the typical viewing situation encountered in most installations. The team found that the conflux of these different technologies, with aesthetic considerations, required a particular level of collaboration. Both artists and technologists were required in order to implement the environmental designs and it was here, working together, that the most productive experiments across media and methodologies were formed.

— Nicolas Holt, 2016


Interview by SAIC faculty member Romi Crawford originally recorded in 2001, edited in 2013.