John Tonkin is a Sydney based media artist who began working with new media in 1985. His work explores interactivity as a site for physical and mental play. Recent projects have used real-time 3d animation, visualisation and data-mapping technologies and custom built and programmed electronics. His works have often involved building frameworks / tools / toys within which the artwork is formed through the accumulated interactions of its users. In 1999-2000 John received a fellowship from the Australia Council's New Media Arts Board. He lectures within the Digital Cultures Program, at the University of Sydney and is undertaking a practice based PhD at COFA, UNSW. His current research is around cybernetics, embodied cognition and situated perception. He is building a number of nervous robots that embody computational models of mind and responsive environments that form a kind of dynamically coupled enactive perceptual apparatus.
Recent major exhibitions have included Media City Seoul - 2nd International Media Art Biennale; Seoul Museum of Art 2002, Ozone; Pompidou Center Paris 2003, Digital Sublime - New Masters of Universe; Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei 2004, Strange Weather; Sherman Galleries 2005. Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh 2007, National New Media Art Award Exhibition, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Queensland Art Gallery 2008 and Nightshifters Performance Space Sydney (2010). Collaborative projects at Artspace 2005, and ISEA 2006 (San Jose).