Scott Kildall

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Scott Kildall
Scott Kildall.jpg
Born1969 (age 48–49)
EducationMFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
MovementConceptual art
Awards2011 nominee, Transmediale award.[1] 2006 Fellow, Kala Art Institute[2]
Patron(s)2011 Artist in Residence at Recology, San Francisco[3]

Scott Kildall (born 1969) is an American conceptual artist working with new technologies in a variety of media including video art, prints, sculpture and performance art. Kildall works broadly with virtual worlds, networked art and speculative technologies. His work centers on repurposing technology and repackaging information from the public realm into art. He often invites others to participate in the work.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Scott Kildall is the son of computer innovator Gary Kildall.[6] He graduated with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Brown University in 1991 and received a Master of Fine Arts through the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Art and Technology Studies department in 2006.[4]

Wikipedia Art logo


From 2006-2008, Kildall produced “Video Portraits,” a video piece where Kildall asks strangers to pose for a photograph but instead shoots video. The purpose was to record the act of constructing a pose for recorded memory.[4][7] In 2006, Kildall produced Future Memories, a single-channel video work that uses in-between moments from iconic Hollywood movies. The clips are black-and-white with an ambient soundtrack, which result in a feeling of displaced familiarity as the viewer registers the clips on a subconscious level.[8] In 2007, Kildall’s video works were displayed in his first solo show, Imaginary Souvenirs, at Mission 17 gallery in San Francisco.[9]

The socio-historical impacts of media play a role in some of his creations. For example, his 2007 piece,“Uncertain Location,” recreates the Apollo 11 lunar landing in response to an announcement by NASA that it was unable to find the original tapes of the event.[10]

In 2008, he was part of the Mixed Realities exhibition in Boston at Huret & Spector Gallery, curated by Jo-Anne Green from[11] In the same year, he exhibited "Hand Work", a performance video based on a film by Andy Warhol at The Textile Museum of Canada.[12] Kildall was an artist-in-residence at Eyebeam in 2009.[13][14] Kildall created “After Thought” in 2010, a portable personality testing kit which uses a brainwave-reading headset to test stress and relaxation levels with a customized video for each participant.[15] In 2010, Kildall also created “Playing Duchamp,” a chess computer that plays as if it were French artist Marcel Duchamp. Kildall used the recorded matches of Duchamp to mimic the artist’s chess style.[16]

Kildall and Second life[edit]

Kildall has produced artwork using Second Life. He is a co-founder of the performance art group, Second Front.[17] His 2006-2007 “Paradise Ahead” print series recreates classic conceptual art by Yoko Ono, Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader and others.[18] In 2010, as part of his “No Matter” project with Victoria Scott, Kildall produced “Gift Horse,” a 13-foot high replica of the Trojan Horse. It was built in Second Life and then translated into reality.[19][20]

Video activism[edit]

In 1999, along with several others, Kildall founded Sleeping Giant Productions in San Francisco, a video organization dedicated to the production of social justice documentaries, which helped establish the video branch of the Independent Media Center. Kildall produced and edited a number of documentary shorts and a feature-length film called “In The Dark.”[21]

Wikipedia Art[edit]

In February 2009, Kildall and collaborator Nathaniel Stern created Wikipedia Art,[22] a performance art piece as a live article on Wikipedia. Site editors quickly concluded that the project violated Wikipedia's rules and opted to delete it 15 hours after it was initially posted. A month later, Kildall and Stern received a letter from a law firm representing the Wikimedia Foundation, claiming the domain name,, infringed on their trademark.[23] The ensuing controversy was reported in the national press.[24] Wikipedia Art has since been included in the Internet Pavilion of the Venice Biennale for 2009.[25] It also appeared in a revised form at the Transmediale festival in Berlin in 2011.[1]

Tweets in Space[edit]

In 2012, Kildall and Stern again partnered on a project called Tweets In Space, inviting participants to submit tweets to be transmitted to the planet GJ 667Cc, whose conditions scientists believe may be capable of supporting life.[26] Tweets In Space will take place in September 2012 at the International Symposium on Electronic Art in Albuquerque, New Mexico.[27] The project aims to activate "a potent conversation about communication and life that traverses beyond our borders or understanding."[28] Kildall and Stern used RocketHub to fundraise the money needed to access a transmitter capable of reaching the planet. In addition, code developed is planned for release to open source.[29] According to Killdall and Stern, the goal of "Tweets In Space" is to activate "a potent conversation about communication and life that traverses beyond our borders or understanding."[28]


  1. ^ a b "Transmediale: Open Web Award 2011 Nominees Announced!". Transmediale. 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  2. ^ "Fellows". Kala Art Institute. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Artist Profile • Scott Kildall". Recology. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Scott Kildall". KQED. 6 January 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  5. ^ Mizota, Sharon (26 April 2006). "The Masculine Mystique". SF Weekly. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  6. ^ Markoff, John: Gary Kildall, 52, Crucial PLayer in Computer Development, Dies, New York Times, July 13, 2004
  7. ^ Drucker, Johanna (March 2010). "Temporal Photography". Philosophy of Photography. 1: 22–28.
  8. ^ Hackett, Regina: Hidden talent sees the light of day at Crawl Space, Seattle Times, July 1, 2006
  9. ^ "Imaginary Souvenirs". Mission 17. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  10. ^ Shaughnessy, Haydn (Jan–Feb 2006). "Scott Kildall's memory projects". NY Arts Magazine. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  11. ^ McQuaid, Cate (2 April 2008). "Allston Skirt to close its doors after nine years". Boston Globe. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  12. ^ Livingstone, David (27 June 2008). "Tribute to glory of winged creatures". Toronto Star. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Scott Kildall |". Eyebeam. Retrieved January 2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  14. ^ Themes, Studio. "LISA - Featured Presenter: Scott Kildall". Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  15. ^ Simon, Stephanie (11 June 2010). "Artists Draw Inspiration from Science in New Exhibit". NY1. Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  16. ^ Jenny Fan (28 February 2011). "How many moves can you last against Duchamp?". The Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal. Archived from the original on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  17. ^ Paul, Christiane (2008). Digital Art, Second Edition. London, England: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-20398-9.
  18. ^ Domenico Quaranta (31 August 2007). "Displaced Familiarity: Interview with Scott Kildall about Paradise Ahead". Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  19. ^ "Turbulence Commission: No Matter". 31 August 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2008.
  20. ^ Pizarro, Sal (19 September 2010). "Zero One's Green Prix showcases the mettle of the pedal". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  21. ^ Fox, Michael (11 September 2002). "One Man's Trash". SF Weekly. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  22. ^ "Wikipedia Art". Wikipedia Art. 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  23. ^ "Giga Law Firm Letter" (PDF). Wikipedia Art. 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  24. ^ Mijuk, Goran (July 29, 2009). "The Internet as Art". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  25. ^ Bruce, Sterling (May 30, 2009). "The Internet Pavilion at the Venice Biennale". Wired. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  26. ^ Katz, Leslie (15 May 2012). "Finally, a chance to tweet to aliens". Cnet. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  27. ^ Chakelian, Anoosh (10 May 2012). "Tweets in Space: Contacting E.T., 140 Characters at a Time". Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  28. ^ a b Scharf, Caleb A. (21 September 2012). "Tweets In Space Are Go - TODAY!". Scientific American. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  29. ^ Scharf, Caleb A. (2 May 2012). "Tweets In Space!". Scientific American. Retrieved 21 September 2012.

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