Research - in the form of practice-based reflective enquiry - has been a key part of my creative process throughout my career. I have had various university research posts over the years, but now much of my research is now undertaken independently. I do, however, still have visiting positions at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK and Guangdong University of Technology in Guangzhou, China.
Computer Supported Cooperative Work (1989 – 1996)
After graduating with a Computer Studies degree from Loughborough University in 1988, I worked for a large computer company. I then returned to Loughborough in 1989 to work as a researcher with my final-year project supervisor Professor Stephen Scrivener. My main research topic was Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), although my interests expanded to include Virtual Reality (VR) and the analysis of sketching behaviour. In 1993 I moved with Professor Scrivener to the School of Art and Design at the new Derby University, and it was there that I began to explore my interests in computers and art.
I then left full-time research in 1996 in order to focus on commercial web design activities, first with Headland Multimedia and then, from 2000, with my own company, Cuttlefish Multimedia. Although no longer an active researcher during this time, I continued to develop my art practice and had my first of many gallery exhibitions in 2000.
Digital Art Systems (2006 – )
I re-engaged with the research process in 2005 in order to properly explore some of the ideas that had been developing in my artwork. This led to me undertaking a part-time MA in Digital Art at Camberwell College of Arts between 2006 and 2008, where I studied and developed my Autopoiesis artwork. In 2010 I began a practice-based PhD at De Montfort University in Leicester, initially with Professor Martin Reiser and then with Professor Ernest Edmonds. I completed my thesis, entitled From Connected Digital Art to Cybernetic Ecologies, in 2018.
I had continued to successfully run Cuttlefish during my studies – albeit with a reduced role from 2016 – and eventually stood down as a director in 2020. This now gives me more time to focus on my research and art practice.
In 2016 I became a Visiting Research Fellow in the Institute of Creative Technologies at De Montfort University and an International Professor in the School of Art and Design at Guangdong University of Technology in China. I am also a member of the EVA London conference organising committee, on the editorial board of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing, on the panel of the ACM Lifetime Achievement in Digital Arts Award and a Fellow of the British Computer Society.
PhD Thesis: From Connected Digital Art to Cybernetic Ecologies (2018)
This thesis is concerned with the development of art systems, and in particular digital art systems. That is, digital artworks that are able to interact with each other, as well as their human viewers or participants. The communication may be over distance via the internet, or in a shared space via sound, light and movement. The concept of the connected digital artwork is defined, together with a framework for analysing the connections between artworks and viewers in a connected art exhibition. Three full practice-based research cycles of Theory-Create-Exhibit-Reflect are described (together with an analysis of foundation work), over which the core concept was developed and refined. At each cycle, knowledge was generated through the creation and exhibition of new digital artworks followed by a process of reflection. The core contribution of this work is the Framework for Connected Digital Artworks for use in the production and analysis of collections of interacting digital artworks – something that is further referred to as a cybernetic ecology. The connected digital artwork and cybernetic ecology concepts, together with the supporting framework, the new digital artworks and the underlying technical infrastructure, are a contribution to knowledge that will be of benefit to artists wishing to create similarly connected artworks and for participants and theorists wishing to understand and contextualise such work. In the concluding discussion, proposals for further cycles of Theory-Create-Exhibit-Reflect are discussed.
My PhD thesis is available for download from De Montfort University DORA and ResearchGate, There is also a copy on this website. Please contact me with any comments or for further details.
Clark, SM (2018). From Connected Digital Art to Cybernetic Ecologies (Doctoral dissertation, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK). Retrieved from DORA 1/1/2020. (URI: https://dora.dmu.ac.uk/handle/2086/18736)
Digital Art Histories
The computer arts archive (2020)
The CAS50 exhibition and collection (2019)
CAS50: Celebrating 50 years of the Computer Arts Society (2018)
ArtSpace: CAS50 (2018)
S Clark et al.
CAS50: Fifty years of the Computer Arts Society (2018)
S Clark, N Lambert
Digital Art Systems
Signal: A systems-based creative collaboration (2017)
S Clark, E Rolinson
Proceedings of the 2017 conference on Electronic Visualisation and the Arts, London, UK
Connected digital artworks (2016)
Proceedings of the 30th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference, Bournemouth, UK
Tango apart: Moving together (2016)
E Edmonds, S Clark
Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, San Jose. California.
Locative media and situated learning (2013)
M Rieser, S Clark
Digital Creativity 24 (3), pp.208-221.
ColourNet: A system of interactive and interacting digital artworks (2013)
S Clark, E Edmonds
CHI'13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paris. France.
Computer Supported Cooperative Work
The virtual reality homebrewer's handbook (1996)
R Hollands, S Clark, C Hand
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Sketching in collaborative design (1994)
SAR Scrivener, SM Clark
Interacting with Virtual Environments. Wiley, Chichester, UK.
Designing at a distance via real-time designer-to-designer interaction (1993)
SAR Scrivener, D Harris, SM Clark, T Rockoff, M Smyth
Design Studies 14 (3), pp.261-282.
The LookingGlass distributed shared workspace (1993)
SAR Scrivener, SM Clark, N Keen
Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) 2 (3), pp.137-157.
Real-time communication between dispersed workgroups via speech and drawing (1993)
S Scrivener, S Clark, A Clarke, J Connolly, S Garner
Wirtschaftsinformatik 35 (2), pp.149-156.
More comprehensive lists of my publications (with links to PDF downloads) can be found on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.