Christa Sommerer

1964 (Ohlsdorf/Upper Austria)

1985–1990 Studied at Vienna Academy of Fine Arts under Bruno Gironcoli, followed in 1991–1993 by post-graduate studies at the Städel Institute of Art (New Media) under Peter Weibel. In 1998–2002 the artist studied at the Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts-Science, Technology and Art Research in England. In 1997–1999 and 2001–2004 Sommerer was a teacher at the International Academy of Media Arts and Science Gifu in Japan. In 2002 she was appointed visiting professor in Kyoto.

In the 1990s, together with Laurent Mignonneau, she created several interactive computer installations (for example Interactive Plant Growing). Influenced by her in-depth studies of botany, Sommerer developed an artificial/natural system of different floral patterns that is implemented in various media (collages, light boxes, sculpture). Her art is a fusion of art, natural science, and technology. The artist recurrently confronts the viewer with real and virtual systems that involve the public and is particularly interested in the interaction of man and machine, as illustrated by her artistic interface designs.

Since 2000 she has been teaching at Linz University of Art and in 2004, together with Laurent Mignonneau – with whom she has been collaborating since 1992 – she founded the course of studies “Interface Culture” at Linz University. Sommerer’s works have been on show i.a. at the Vienna Secession (1992), at the Centre Pompidou (1995), at the Millennium Dome London (2000), at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (2005) and, the same year, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The influential media artist has received numerous prizes, including the Golden Nica from Ars Electronica in Linz, the Multi Media Award of the Multimedia Association Japan, and in 2001 she was presented the World Technology Award for the Arts in London.