PluginHUMAN – Betty Sargeant

Meet Dr. Betty Sargeant. An award-winning artist, author, and designer who exhibits her innovative work both locally and globally. Her Ph.D. was ranked in the top three of the Australian CHASS Prize in 2015, and she has showcased her work across Asia, Europe and The United States. This is her entrepreneurial story.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I create media art and make digital designs. Through my work I try to find out how art and creative technologies can help people be more socially and physically engaged. I’m inspired by emerging technologies and by travel. I love working in different cultures as it opens new perspective and it feeds new ideas.

How has using creative technology influenced your ability to tell a story?

Technology can engage people in immersive virtual environments. By experimenting and creating new digital designs I can more deeply involve people in a story. Technology can provide people with enriched storytelling experiences.

What has been your favourite project to work on?

In 2016 I created The Storytelling Machine. This is a media artwork that was developed and exhibited in Australia and South Korea. Whilst making this artwork I spent six-months as artist-in-residence at The Asia Culture Centre in South Korea. This was a great opportunity to dive into the wonderful Korean culture.

The Storytelling Machine instantly transforms any character that has been drawn by the public into animated images that roam the artworks of seven video worlds. Ultimately this work tells a large collective story. I created The Storytelling Machine alongside a small team of creative coders and artists including Justin Dwyer and Peter Walker.

What are your top three tips for anyone wishing to enter the interaction design space?

  1. Keep up-to-date with the latest technology developments.
  2. Develop every design from the perspective of the people who are going to use or experience your work.
  3. Be flexible; this industry changes rapidly.

What can we expect from your work with Melbourne Knowledge Week?

During Melbourne Knowledge Week I am exhibiting a new interactive artwork called The Playground. Over the festival week I will hide small sculptural pieces around the State Library of Victoria. The public is invited to find them, bring them into the MKW17 Festival Hub (at the State Library) and connect them with a large collectively constructed interactive sculpture. This is a prototype of a bigger artwork that will be exhibited in the regional city of Ararat in August and in South Korea in November. To connect with this artwork you can use #PGArt2017 and visit https://www.facebook.com/ThePlaygroundArt/

Dr Betty Sargeant completed Ph.D. in Media and Communications at RMIT.

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