Sha Xin Wei

Sha Xin Wei, Professor at The European Graduate School / EGS.

BIOGRAPHY

Sha Xin Wei is Director of the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University in Phoenix, USA. His research interests are essentially interdisciplinary; he focuses on topological media, visualisation technologies, intersections between mathematics and humanities, and the critical study of media arts and sciences.


Sha Xin Wei studied mathematics at Harvard University and then completed his MA and PhD at Stanford University. His doctorate at Stanford University was devoted to “differential geometric performance and the technologies of writing in mathematics, computer science, and history and philosophy of science.”[1]  It already reflected the interdisciplinary interests he continues to pursue in his career.


In 2001, he founded the Topological Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He describes it as “a fresh and unique atelier for art based research about how to make the places in which we live richer but not more complicated.”[2] 


Before he became a Professor and Director of the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University in 2014, Sha Xin Wei was an Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Computer Science at Concordia University in Montreal (2005-2013). He was also the Canada Research Chair in Media Arts and Sciences.


Sha Xin Wei is a co-editor of two journals: Artificial Intelligence and Society and Creative Interfaces and Computer Graphics. He is also a founding editor of the journal Transmutations and a co-editor of the Experimental Practices book series at Rodopi Press.


His most recent monograph is entitled Poiesis and Enchantment in Topological Matter. It is published by MIT Press in 2013 and inspired by various (and diverse) thinkers such as Whitehead, Simondon, Deleuze, Guattari, Heraclitus, Bergson, North, Stengers, Serres, and Badiou. Xin Wei introduces the main argument of his work in the following way: “I argue for an approach to materiality inspired from continuity, field, and philosophy of process, based on ethico-aesthetic as well as technoscientific grounds. This project investigates what could be implied by continuous, or more precisely topological , approaches to media and matter in the concrete setting of installation-events. Another motive is to explore the ethico-aesthetic consequences of topologically creating performative events and computational media, drawing from the critical studies of science and technology. This project is a philosophical investigation that is conducted in a poetic mode of installation or event-based art and technology. This project is a philosophical investigation that is conducted in a poetic mode of installation or event-based art and technology.”[3] 


Together with Chris Salter and Laura Farabough, Sha Xin Wei founded Sponge art group (1997) and he is also the author and co-author of numerous art projects including: TGarden responsive environments (Ars Electronica, DEAF, MediaTerra Athens, SIGGRAPH); Hubbub speech-sensitive urban surfaces; Softwear gestural sound instruments; WYSIWYG gesture-sensitive sounding weaving (ICMC, Copenhagen); Ouija movement studies; Cosmicomics video installation (Elektra Montreal); eSea reactive wall (eArts Shanghai); and IL Y A video membrane (Rotterdam, San Francisco, Berkeley, Montreal).



[1] https://graycenter.uchicago.edu/experiments/alternate-reality-a-pervasive-play-project/sha-xin-wei

[2] https://artsmediaengineering.asu.edu/content/sha-xin-wei-named-director-school-arts-media-engineering

[3] Sha Xin Wei, Poiesis and Enchantment in Topological Matter, The MIT Press, Cambridge, 2013, pp. vii-viii.