Ken Rinaldo

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Ken Rinaldo
Born Kenneth E. Rinaldo
1958 (age 59–60)
Queens, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater San Francisco State University,
University of California, Santa Barbara
Known for Interactive art installations using technology

Kenneth E. Rinaldo (born 1958)[1][2] is an American artist and arts educator, internationally recognized for his interactive robotics, 3D animation and bio-art installations. He creates interactive art installations that explore the intersection between nature and technology. His robotic and bio-art installations seek to merge the organic and electromechanical seamlessly through sonification, interactivity and motion, expressing a gentle symbiosis. His 3D modeling and 3D animations are focused on the future of human and robotic coevolution. His works are influenced by living systems theories, interspecies communication, artificial life research, and the idea of emergent properties. His work also deals with ecological issues often overlooked in favor of technological progress.

Ken Rinaldo's best known works are Autopoiesis (2000), an a-life robotic installation exploring the idea of group consciousness [3][4][5] and Augmented Fish Reality (2004), a fish-driven robot.[6]


Born in Queens, a borough of New York City but raised in Long Island, New York.[7] He attended Ward Melville High School in Setauket, New York.[7] He moved to California with his mom and earned an Associate of Science degree in Computer Science from Cañada College,[7] 1982. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from The University of California, Santa Barbara;[7] 1984 and a Master of Fine Arts in Conceptual Information Arts from San Francisco State University, 1996.[7] At San Francisco State he studied with artists Steve Wilson, Brian Rogers, George LeGrady and Paul DeMarinis.[7]

Farm Fountain” living sculpture, an example of Ken Rinaldo’s bio-art collaboration with Amy Young
“Farm Fountain” living sculpture, an example of Ken Rinaldo’s bio-art collaboration with Amy Young.

In 2000 he received the first prize at the VIDA 3.0 International Artificial Life Competition for Autopoiesis,[8] in 2001 the same piece received an honorable mention at the Ars Electronica Festival.[9][10] In 2004. Ken Rinaldo's art piece Augmented Fish Reality, a fish-driven robot was awarded with an award of distinction at the same festival.[6][11]

Rinaldo directs the Art and Technology Program in the Department of Art at the Ohio State University. He teaches interactive robotic sculpture, 3D modeling, rapid prototyping, motion graphics and animation.[10]


Rinaldo is concerned with an idealized melding or an intersection that he believes is possible between natural and technological systems. He often asserts that integration of the natural and non-organic electro-mechanical elements are part of an important and very natural confluence and co-evolution that is necessary between living and our evolving technological material. His art works are influenced and evolve with research into living systems theory, artificial life and the current technologies we use to model and express mimesis through our current understanding of natural living systems.[12]

Further reading[edit]

  • Shanken, Edward A. (2015). Systems. London: Whitechapel Gallery. [2]
  • Reichle, Ingeborg. (2009). Art in the Age of Technoscience: Genetic Engineering, Robotics, and Artificial Life in Contemporary Art. Wien: Springer. [3]
  • Shanken, Edward A. (2014). Art and Electronic Media. London: Phaidon Press Limited. [4]
  • Brouwer, Joke. (2010) The Politics of the Impure. Rotterdam: NAI. p. 47. [5]
  • Ohlenschläger, Karin. (2012) Vida 1999-2012: arte y vida artificial = art and artificial life. Madrid: Fundación Telefónica. [6]
  • Parikka, Jussi. (2010) Insect Media: An Archaeology of Animals and Technology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 134. [7]
  • Jones, Noa. (2007) Art in Action: nature, creativity and our collective future. San Rafael: Earth Aware Editions. [8]
  • Scarinzi, Alfonsina. (2016) Aesthetics and the embodied mind: beyond art theory and the cartesian mind-body dichotomy. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. [9]
  • Poissant, Louise, and Daubner, Ernestine. (2005) Art et biotechnologies. Sainte-Foy (Québec): Presses de l'Université du Québec. [10]
  • Whitelaw, Mitchell. (2004) Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. [11]
  • Wilson, Stephen. (2003) Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT press. p. 113. [12]
  • Preziosi, Donald. (2007) The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology. Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. [13]
  • Jones, Amelia. (2006) A Companion to Contemporary Art Since 1945. Malden (MA): Blackwell Publishing. p. 575. [14]
  • Aloi, Giovanni. (2012) Art and Animals. London: Tauris. p. 108. [15]


  1. ^ Net, Media Art (2018-02-06). "Rinaldo, Ken: Biography". Media Art Net, Retrieved 2018-02-07. 
  2. ^ Gündüz, Mert (2010). "Ken Rinaldo, Boğaziçi - Interview Project". Istanbul Museum. Retrieved 2018-02-07. 
  3. ^ Artificial Life 7 Workshop Proceedings, Carlo C. Maley and Eilis Boudreau Editors, Autopoiesis by Kenneth E. Rinaldo pgs, 166-169
  4. ^ Information Arts, Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology Stephen Wilson pgs 113-114, 341-342, 344, 427
  5. ^ Digital Art by Christiane Paul ISBN 978-0-500-20367-5. pg 144, 145
  6. ^ a b Kenneth Rinaldo and France Cadet: artificial life and the lives of the non-human. (Critical Essay): An article from: Parachute: Contemporary Art Magazine [HTML] (Digital) by Carol Gigliotti pgs 69-83 [1]
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Interview of Ken Rinaldo". We Make Money Not Art. 2006-08-02. Retrieved 2018-02-07. 
  8. ^ "VIDA 15th Anniversary Celebration". VIDA Fundación Telefónica. Retrieved 2018-02-07. 
  9. ^ "ARCHIVE - Prix Ars Electronica Showcase". Retrieved 2018-02-07. 
  10. ^ a b "Ars Electronica Archiv - AUTOPOIESIS". Retrieved 2018-02-07. 
  11. ^ "Ars Electronica Archiv". Retrieved 2018-02-07. 
  12. ^ Leonardo, Volume 31, number 5, 1998 Technology Recapitulates Phylogeny Artificial Life Art by Kenneth Rinaldo pgs 371-376

External links[edit]