Apps Are The Epic Poems Of Our Time [Future Of Entertainment]

Apps Are The Epic Poems Of Our Time [Future Of Entertainment]

Interactive artist Scott Snibbe creates apps and digital experiences that explore the immaterial realms of light and sound.

  • 18 august 2013

As part of our ongoing Future of Entertainment series, we’re digging through the archives of Intel and Vice’s Creators Project to uncover real world examples of our entertainment trends in action. Over the next 10 weeks, we’ll be shining the spotlight on cool projects from artists who are helping to define what the next generation of entertainment experiences will look like.

A recent study by Google shows that 77% of TV viewers are using another device at the same time, a media phenomenon known as second screen behavior. This is part of a larger trend of Multi-Dimensional Entertainment that is seeing creators leverage the unique capabilities of multiple devices to create experimental forms of narrative that involve audiences more deeply in a story.

As we investigated this trend, we came across Scott Snibbe, an interactive artist who creates works that go beyond people merely looking at a screen. His haptic technology projects are creating a new interactive medium with the emotional impact of music and movies where participants play an active part in changing, creating, and exploring digital worlds. His work spans giant installations at the Olympics, interactive exhibits for museums and trade-shows, and apps that explore musicians’ new albums.

We spoke with Scott about his work, how apps and touchscreens have changed interactive art and his vision for the future of entertainment.


How did you first become interested in interactive digital art, and how does it differ from more traditional media?

I became interested in interactive digital art the first time I saw an Apple II computer when I was in middle school in 1981. We used Apple Logo to create interactive graphics in beautiful orange, green, and purple shades, and I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. What I came to see in digital creativity is that unlike other media like film or sculpture, you are limited only by your imagination – there are no physical limitations with software. And with interactive graphics and music, you can make the immaterial realms of light and sound more tangible and changeable, in a way that is not possible in the ordinary physical world.

You were one of the first artists in the interactive digital installation space. How have new technologies changed your craft?

I think that with the advent of the iPad and the App Store, all of a sudden the experimental things that we once called digital art are now “products.” Since there is now no gatekeeper between app customers and developers, new ideas like Instagram, Songify and Vine, become viable businesses. I think that now it may be more exciting to be the founder of a company than an artist, because you are able to do wilder things with more resources. Every age has its medium, and I think the medium of today is apps.


What are you working on now? What current trends in technology and media are most interesting to you?

I’m currently working on a social creative platform for people to easily create and share “visual music.” I’m channeling all of my team’s app energy right now into this one product to make something that can reach hundreds of millions of people. The trend that excites me the most is the move towards maker and remix cultures. It started with tweets, where once only professional writers fidgeted over crafting the perfect sentence, now we all do. And it’s moved to photos, and soon video and interactivity. Creativity is a nurturing positive force in humanity and we are entering an age where creativity becomes a common currency for everyone, not just the professionals.

Continue reading about Scott’s work with Björk and his app albums here on iQ by Intel.

With the help of iQ by Intel, is exploring how technology impacts our lives. iQ by Intel connects readers to the trends and discussions that are moving our planet forward. To read more inspiring stories about how technology is unleashing the world’s human potential to create a better future visit iQ by Intel.


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