John Tonkin

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ISEA Bio(s) Available:

  • ISEA2011

    John Tonkin is a Syd­ney (AU) based media artist who began work­ing with new media in 1985. In 1999-2000 he re­ceived a fel­low­ship from the Aus­tralia Coun­cil’s New Media Arts Board. His work ex­plores in­ter­ac­tiv­ity as a site for phys­i­cal and men­tal play. Re­cent pro­jects have used real-time 3d an­i­ma­tion, vi­su­al­i­sa­tion and data-map­ping tech­nolo­gies and cus­tom built and pro­grammed elec­tron­ics. His works have often in­volved build­ing frame­works / tools / toys within which the art­work is formed through the ac­cu­mu­lated in­ter­ac­tions of its users. John cur­rently lec­tures within the Dig­i­tal Cul­tures Pro­gram, at the Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney and is un­der­tak­ing a prac­tice based PhD at COFA, UNSW. His cur­rent re­search is around cy­ber­net­ics, em­bod­ied cog­ni­tion and sit­u­ated per­cep­tion. He is build­ing a num­ber of ner­vous ro­bots that em­body com­pu­ta­tional mod­els of mind and re­spon­sive en­vi­ron­ments that form a kind of dy­nam­i­cally cou­pled en­ac­tive per­cep­tual ap­pa­ra­tus. Re­cent major ex­hi­bi­tions have in­cluded Media City Seoul – 2nd In­ter­na­tional Media Art Bi­en­nale; Seoul Mu­seum of Art 2002, Ozone; Pom­pi­dou Cen­ter Paris 2003,  Dig­i­tal Sub­lime – New Mas­ters of Uni­verse; Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Taipei 2004, Strange Weather; Sher­man Gal­leries 2005. Wood Street Gal­leries, Pitts­burgh 2007, Na­tional New Media Art Award Ex­hi­bi­tion, Gallery of Mod­ern Art (GOMA)  Queens­land Art Gallery 2008 and Night­shifters Per­for­mance Space Syd­ney (2010). Col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­jects at Art­space 2005, and ISEA2006 (San Jose).


    John Tonkin is an Australian electronic media artist. For many years he created 3D animation using his own physically based modeling software. He is currently working on a series of web based interactives. His work has been shown widely including at SIGGRAPH (U.S.A.), ISEA93 (Minneapolis), Ars Electronica (Austria), VideoFest (Berlin) and ISEA95 (Montreal).


    John Tonkin electronic media artist whose video installation “These are the days” was shown at FISEA (ISEA88). Recent screenings of his computer animations include SIGGRAPH 93, Ars Electronica 94 and Videofest 95. He is currently visiting lecturer in computer animation at the Australian Centre for the Arts and Technology, Australian National University.

Last Known Location:

  • Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Role(s) at the symposia over the years: