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Dr Stephen Gibson

Reader in Innovative Digital Media

Department: Northumbria School of Design

Steve Gibson is a Canadian interactive media artist, interface designer, media art curator, electronic musician and DJ/VJ .

Steve Gibson is an interactive media artist, interface designer, electronic musician, and media curator with a diverse academic background, and an on-going practice that spans many disciplines. He is primarily interested in transdisciplinary collaborations between art, design and computing, and has concentrated his research work on tactile and physical interfaces and applications that enable a more healthy relationship with technology. His current research also explores the formal, theoretical and practical implications of Live and Real-time Visuals. He was formerly Senior Lecturer and Director of the Multimedia Program at Karlstad University in Sweden, and Associate Professor of Digital Media at University of Victoria, Canada. Steve has also had immediately publically facing roles as Curator and Director for the Media Art event Interactive Futures from 2002-07, and as Co-owner and Creative Director of a 10-person media company in Victoria, Canada, Limbic Media Corporation (2007-14).

Steve Gibson has an active practice that fuses immersive art, audio-visual performance and DIY design.  Over the past fifteen years he has created twelve prominent works, either as the primary artist or as a collaborator in a team. These have resulted in fifty-five performances or exhibitions over the past fifteen years. Over the course of his twenty-five year career he has presented at many world-leading venues including Ars Electronica, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Banff Centre for the Arts, Digital Art Weeks, the European Media Arts Festival, ISEA, and Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich. Over the past fifteen years he has worked as PI and CI on numerous research grants. His publishing career is also very active, with papers appearing in high profile books, journals and volumes including Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Springer, St. Martin’s Press, MIT Press, New World Perspectives, Urra Apogeo, and Passagen Verlag.

His alter-ego DJ Nord performs a weekly show on Culture Lab Radio and has supported acts such as Utah Saints.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My primary research interests are as follows:

1. My most recent work is in live and real-time visuals. I ran an AHRC-sponsored research network on Real-time Visuals ( in 2013-14 that culminated in a publication on Live Visuals for Leonardo Electronic Almanac (

2. I work in the area of applications for tagged motion-tracking (i.e. motion tracking using fixed-point tracking devices). These include creating behaviours for controlling video playback with user-motion, multi-user sharing of immersive environments over high-speed networks, integration of various media – sound, light, video, text, spoken word - with body movement, and design of 3D spaces for multi-user interaction with immersive environments.

3. I have an on-going interest the emergent genre of intelligent gaming. I have recently completed a piece called Grand Theft Bicycle (, in which the user interaction is achieved by outfitting a stationary bicycle with sensors. This is part of my on-going interest in physical computing, and more particularly forms the core of a long-term research goal to create a series of interfaces that encourage users to physically interact with technologically based environments. The key aim in these interfaces is to change the way we currently interact with technology from one that is primarily sedentary to one that is active.

4. On the more theoretical side I am interested in the concept of transdisciplinarity, as evidenced by a new generation of researchers who work across different disciplines. These researchers work not just collaboratively (as in Indisciplinarity) but employ the skill-set from one discipline and apply it to another becoming transliterate individuals.

I am currently teaching on three modules in Interactive Media Design at the Undergraduate level at Northumbria and I supervise a number of PhD students in the area of Real-time performance and Interdisciplinary art and design.

Sponsors and Collaborators

1. Creative Director, Limbic Media Corporation, Victoria/Edmonton, Canada 2007-2014,  
This was a part-time industry collaboration. I was responsible for directing artistic projects as demanded by the company. The company develops new technologies for commercial applications in the audio-video and lighting sectors.

2. Associate Editor for the Journal of Professional Communication, McMaster University, Canada:, 2010-present.

Current/Recent Projects

External Research Grants As Principal Investigator (past 10 years only)

·       AHRC Research Network Grant, 2013-14, £40208.99.

·       Infrastructure Operating Fund, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, 2004-08, $72,000.

·       New Opportunities Grant, BC Knowledge Development Fund, 2002-08, $222,000.

·       New Opportunities Grant, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, 2002-08, $222,000.


Selected Exhibitions and Performances (past 5 years only)

X-config 2, Film by Paul Goodfellow, Sound by Steve Gibson, 2015.

·       BxNU Symposium: "Jason Rhoades / Deviant Paths," 21 April, 2015, Baltic Mill.


Front, by Donna Leishman. Sound by Steve Gibson (as DJ Lycius), 2014.

·       Alt-w, Edinburgh Art Festival, New Media Scotland, Edinburgh College of Art, July 31 – Aug. 30, 2014.


RGB, by Emilie Baltz, Ericka Duffy, Elaine Mason, Rob McHardy and Steve Gibson, 2014.  

·       Edinburgh Science Festival, New Media Scotland, Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh, April 6, 2014.


Borderline, by Donna Leishman. Sound and programming by Steve Gibson (as DJ Nord), 2012-13.

·      Electronic Literature Association Conference/Festival: “The End(s) of Electronic Literature.” Østre, Bergen, Oct. 6, 2015.

·      Decision Time, Visual Research Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Sept. 12, 2014,

·       “Data Abstraction to Cinematic Mashup – Visual Languages in Game-Based Live AV performance.” AHRC Real-Time Visuals Workshop 1, Culture Lab, Newcastle University, Feb. 26, 2013.

·       Remediating the Social, Inspace, University of Edinburgh, Nov. 1, 2012.

·       Performance Writing Weekend, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, May 2012 (preview performance).


Virtual VJ. Interactive sound and video installation. With Stefan Müller Arisona. 2011-13.

·       G-VERL launch event, University of Hertfordshire, Jan. 16, 2015.

·       Digital Art Weeks, ETH Future Cities Lab, Singapore, May, 2013.

·       Mobile Music Workshop, DIS conference, Culture Lab, Newcastle, June 2012.

·       Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, Nov. 2011.

·       Jade Valley. Xi’an, China, August 2011.

·       The Interactive Experience, HCI conference, Culture Lab, Newcastle, July 2011.

·       The User in Flux workshop. CHI conference, Vancouver, May 2011.


Grand Theft Bicycle. Game art installation. With Justin Love and Jim Olson. 2007-10.

·       ISEA 2012, Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Sept. 20, 2012 – Jan. 6, 2013.

·       Digital Art Weeks, Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, Xi’an China, July 2-16, 2010.

·       Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, April 21 – May 5, 2010.

Key Publications

Refereed Journal Papers

Gibson, S. (2014). "Art Into science/science into art," Journal of Professional Communication: Vol. 3: Iss. 2, Article 2,

Gibson, S. (2013). “Simulating Synaesthesia in Real-time Performance,” in Aceti, L., Gibson, S., and Müller-Arisona. S., co-editors, Live Visuals for Performance, Gaming, Installation, and Electronic Environments, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, pages 214-229. Web Version:

Gibson, S. (2012). “Dadaist Game Art and Absurdist Appropriation: Grand Theft Bicycle,” Media-N, Journal of the New Media Caucus, Fall 2012 Edition: “Found, Sampled, Stolen: Strategies of Appropriation in New Media,” Vol. 8, Issue 2, pages 49-56. Web version:

Gibson, S., and Love, J. (2010). “Advanced Media Control Through Drawing: Using a graphics tablet to control complex audio and video data in a live context,” TRACEY: Drawing and Technology Issue.


Books (Edited Volumes)

Aceti, L., Gibson, S., and Müller-Arisona. S., co-editors (2013). Live Visuals for Performance, Gaming, Installation, and Electronic Environments, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 

Deussen,O., Hall, P., Gibson, S., Hushlak, G., and Shaw, G., co-editors (2009). Computational Aesthetics 2009, Eurographics: Aire-la-Ville, Switzerland.

Adams, R., Gibson, S., and Müller-Arisona. S., co-editors (2008). Transdisciplinary Digital Art: Sound, Vision and the New Screen, Communications in Computer and Information Science Series, Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg.


Book Chapters

Gibson, S. (2008). “Introduction: Why Transdisciplinary Digital Art?” in Adams, R., Gibson, S., and Müller-Arisona. S., co-editors, Transdisciplinary Digital Art: Sound, Vision and the New Screen, Communications in Computer and Information Science Series, Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg, pages 1-2.

Gibson, S. (2004). “Alternative Approaches to Interface Technology,” Chapter 2 in Burnett, R., editor, Perspectives on Multimedia, Wiley and Sons, London.


Journal Special Issues (Edited Issues)

Gibson, S., Müller-Arisona, S., and Sévigny, A., co-editors (2014).Art/Science Hybrids,” Journal of Professional Communication: Vol. 3: Iss. 2, May 2014,

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