Steering the Biophilia project is Scott Snibbe a digital pioneer whose artwork seeks to conjoin computing and interactivity. “I’ve always been obsessed with making the computer an extension of the human mind, making it interactive using movement, animation and sound,” he explains over a crystal-clear Skype connection.
As well as working on the design of the mother app itself, and “Virus”, Snibbe and his team also developed a third piece called “Thunderbolt”. Drawing on the worlds of gaming, fine art and motion technologies, the universe of apps explode the metaphor of the computer interface as an interactive cinema screen. “When you’re making computer software there’s no limit in terms of physicality,” he says. “You’re basically working in a field of light with input and output, and the only restriction is your imagination.”
With a list of collaborators including alumni from Adobe, Electronic Arts and leading figures from biomedical animation, the goal has been to challenge assumptions about the segregation of art from science. “One way to define Biophilia is a love of nature,” explains Snibbe. “More accurately, I think it’s about the infinity of nature in all its scales, and how music relates to that. People forget that maths is a way of modelling nature, and they overlook the beauty and joy of that. ”
Drawing inspiration from Yoko Ono, Sol LeWitt, Jean Arp and John Zorn, the project has a high art feel with a democracy of access. “We wanted the suite to have an intimate feeling even though the subject matter is so wide in its vision. What I always try and communicate is the feeling of what it’s like to be an artist – that pure free-flowing creativity. It’s exactly the sensation you get when you tap into Björk’s world so the whole project has a beautiful gravity at its core.”
Björk: “One of the first apps I bought was ‘Bubble Harp’ by Scott Snibbe – it was very inspiring to see him include both the complex and the simple capabilities of the touch screen. He shared my vision of merging the music and apps, made two of the apps, became the projects manager and will oversee the visuals live, where we will try to make people feel like they are inside the iPad, playing and listening to the apps.”