Troy Innocent




Centre for Electronic Media Art, Monash University, Australia


Dr Troy Innocent is a world builder, iconographer and reality newb. His artificial worlds – Iconica (SIGGRAPH 98, USA), and Semiomorph (ISEA02, Japan) – explore the dynamic between the iconic ideal and the personal specific, the real and the simulated, and the way in which our identity is shaped by language and communication. He has received numerous awards, including Honorary Mention, LIFE 2.0: Artificial Life, Spain (1999); Foreign Title Award, MMCA Multimedia Grand Prix, Japan (1998); First Prize, National Digital Art Awards, Australia (1995); and Honorary Mention, Prix Ars Electronica (1992). lifeSigns: an eco-system of signs & symbols (2004), was commissioned by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Film Victoria. His most recent work is an urban art environment entitled Colony within Digital Harbour at the Docklands, Melbourne. Innocent is currently Senior Lecturer in Games and Interactivity, Faculty of Life and Social Sciences, Swinburne University, Melbourne. Innocent is represented by Tolarno Galleries and Hugo Michell Gallery.


Digital Media Aesthetics & Materiality:imprinting into and out of the virtual across the real


This paper will explore a family of digital media languages that have been constructed or evolved in artificial worlds have been adapted for expression in a range of material forms, such as urban art, lasercut signs, installation, stencils and handheld objects. These forms - expressed in paper, aluminium, acrylic and light – translate digital media aesthetics into tangible, spatial, immediate experiences. They are imprinted onto and into reality.

The languages undergoing this process are a form of multimedia, audiovisual iconography, what we refer to here as ‘dynamic ideography’, as it has been theorised in the work of Pierre Lévy. This paper explores this process via recent public art projects, described as ‘urban art environments’, that express digital languages within mixed realities. The first of these, Colony, consists of an interactive sculpture garden; the second, Perspective Glitch, is a participatory art project that remaps a streetscape via the invented language of a game world.

Each urban art environment is situated in a crossmedia ecology. This term refers to a set of relationships between ecology, ontology and language that underpin the conceptual framework of this practice. Ecology, in this context, refers to the biological processes and models that inspire computational processes and networks of relations inside the works. By way of example, computer software is developed to evolve and breed thousands of possible visual symbols – they are not designed but cultivated. Likewise different media are interconnected and related to one another in systemic ways analogous to the networks of relationships in an ecosystem. This is often modelled as a game world. To relate the symbols to this world they are connected to its ontology.


Thursday 29 September


11:00am - 12.30pm





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Other activities Chairing session - Panel discussion | Digital Media Aesthetics & Materiality, Thursday 29 September, 11:00am - 12.30pm
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