Diane Gromala

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Most Recent Affiliation / Department / Job Title:

  • New Media Research Lab and Simon Fraser University, _Director

ISEA Bio(s) Available:

  • ISEA2015

    Diane Gromala,  Ph.D. (born 1960) is a Canada Research Chair and a Professor in the Simon Fraser University School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Her research works at the confluence of computer science, media art and design, and has focused on the cultural, visceral, and embodied implications of digital technologies, particularly in the realm of chronic pain. Dr. Gromala was one of the first artists to work with immersive virtual reality, beginning with Dancing with the Virtual Dervish, co-created with Yacov Sharir in 1990. From that time, she has co-founded transdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs four universities in North America, and two in New Zealand. Currently, she is the Founding Director of the Chronic Pain Research Institute, a transdisciplinary team of artists, designers, computer scientists, neuroscientists and medical doctors investigating how new technologies — ranging from virtual reality and wearables to robotics to social media — may be used as a technological form of analgesia and pain management. With Jay Bolter, Gromala is the co-author of Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital Art and the Myth of Transparency. Her work is widely published in the domains of Computer and Health Science, Interactive Art and Design.

    Diane Gromala, Professor and Canada Research Chair, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada. Diane is the Canada Research Chair in Computational Technologies for Transforming Pain and a Professor in SFU’s (Simon Fraser University’s) School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Her research works at the confluence of computer science, media art and design, and is focused on the cultural, visceral, and embodied implications of digital technologies, particularly in the realm of chronic pain. Gromala was one of the artists in the Art & Virtual Environments residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts from 1991-1993, and has been pursuing VR and other ways of transforming bodily experience (such as biomorphic typography; interactive books made of meat; and speculative wearables impregnated with things she grows, accompanied by Edgar and Hector, her crows) since that time. Since 1990, Gromala has co-created 7 interdisciplinary (art + science + cultural theory) grad and undergrad curricula at UTexas, USA, UW Seattle, USA, Georgia Tech, USA, Waikato University & Wanganui Polytechnic (New Zealand) and SIAT. People might want to talk to me about pain, perceptual and embodied transformation, pharmakon, working with physicians and health scientists, art+science, and/or ontological shenanigans. Or what it’s like to be older than dirt, to misspend one’s youth in the Silicon Valley, or to conduct ethnographic field studies of venture capitalists on the down-lo.


    Research Chair Dr. Diane Gromala teaches in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University, Canada. Gromala’s work has been exhibited and published worldwide and is in use at over 20 hospitals and clinics.


    Diane Gromala [& Jay David Bolder] have been trying to bring together the practical and the theoretical in their own work and pedagogical practices. Diane Gromala examines so-called critical art and critical technology practices, as well as attendant pedagogical strategies Jay Bolter’s historical study, conducted with Richard Grusin, argues that new media refashion or ‘remediate’ earlier media. Through their own work and class-room trials, they will suggest ways in which seemingly abstract historical and critical theories might have a practical influence on new media design and pedagogy. Art Gallery Chair for SIGGRAPH 2000.


    Diane Gromala is Director of the New Media Research Lab at the University of Washington in Seattle. She teaches cross-disciplinary courses in New Media. Her most recent VR research is with the Human Interface Technology Lab.


Last Known Location:

  • Canada

Previous Location(s):

  • US

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Role(s) at the symposia over the years: