Scott Sona Snibbe

Scott Snibbe is a pioneering digital artist and entrepreneur whose work includes apps, video, and interactive installations. His art is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which in 2014 acquired his collaboration with Björk, the Biophilia App Album, as the first app in its collection. His work has been incorporated into concert tours, Olympics, museums, airports, and other major public spaces and events, and he has collaborated on interactive projects with musicians and filmmakers including Philip Glass, Beck, and James Cameron. He has received the Webby and Ars Electronica awards, and grants from the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Snibbe currently serves as CEO of social music video startup Eyegroove, and has founded several other startups since 2000. In the 1990s, Snibbe was a staff researcher at Interval Research, performing basic research in haptics, computer vision, and interactive cinema; and was one of the co-developers of the digital compositing software After Effects, acquired by Adobe Systems. He has held teaching and research positions at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematics, The San Francisco Art Institute, California Institute of the Arts, and U.C. Berkeley. Snibbe currently serves as an advisor to The Institute for the Future and the Sundance Institute. He has published numerous articles and academic papers, is an inventor on more than twenty patents, and a regular worldwide public speaker.

Curriculum Vitae
July, 2011
Artist's Statement
May, 2010

The purpose of my work is to bring meaning and joy to people’s lives. My work is frequently interactive, requiring viewers to physically engage with diverse media that include mobile devices, digital projections, and electromechanical sculpture. 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.

Humans often think of themselves as embodied beings acting separately from their environment and other people. However, when we examine the object most of us take to be “me”—the body—we find it composed entirely of non-self elements: skin, cells, our parents’ genes, food, water, atoms originating from ancient stellar explosions, and these, as far as we know today, made up of pure energy. Furthermore, our bodies’ parts are in constant exchange with our environment and with others’ bodies through eating, respiration, immunology, and genetics. Similarly, the contents of our human minds are dependent: language, thoughts, memories, and preferences only emerge from our interactions with others. Even while alone, the imprints of our lifetime’s interactions propel our thoughts and memories. Such a view of interdependence has long been central to Buddhist philosophy, and has recently gained widespread validation from neuroscientists, social psychologists, and philosophers of emergence, chaos, and complexity theories.