Interdisciplinary artist Robert Lawrence has engaged the unique conceptual opportunities of the Internet to examine issues of location, of ‘site’, of physical and cultural ‘position’. He approaches electronic art as social sculpture and he is very interested in the ways that digital technologies are reformulating the formerly restrictive rolls of media producer and media consumer. All his work is developed in three complimentary - and often contradictory - streams: one in the physical world, one in the virtual world, and one in the media world. Through this hybrid practice he directly engages the way contemporary life is lived, and identity is continually reconstructed, through our engagements with real, mediated, and virtual influences.
His current project “Tango Intervention” has been produced in over 40 international cities since 2007, including New York, Vienna, Krakow, Johannesburg, Miami, Beirut, and Phnom Penh. On May Day 2010, “Tango Panopticon 2.0” used an innovative web interface displaying 6 channels of live video streaming from cell phones, linking hundreds of people on 4 continents in a synchronous public art intervention. He has released this interface, VuPango, as a free open source web tool for synchronous video streaming from multiple remote locations.
A Fulbright Scholar, Lawrence received his BA and MFA from the University of California at Berkeley and San Diego. His exhibits internationally, and has received numerous fellowships and awards including: NEA/Rockefeller Grant for Interdisciplinary Projects, Bush Foundation Artists Fellowship, McKnight Foundation Fellowship, Jerome Foundation Grants for Book Arts, for Film, and for Media Arts Installations.
Lawrence is Associate Professor of Art at the University of South Florida, where he has served as Director of Electronic Media, MFA Coordinator, and as Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Center for Arts and Technology.