Sha Xin Wei

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Sha Xin Wei is Professor and Director of the School of Arts, Media + Engineering[1] in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. He is also the founder and the director of the Synthesis Center[2] at Arizona State University.[3]


Sha Xin Wei was trained in Mathematics at Harvard University and Stanford University.[citation needed]

Following his studies in Mathematics, for more than a decade Sha worked in the fields of scientific computation, mathematical modelling, and the visualization of scientific data and geometric structures. In 1995, he extended his work to network media authoring systems and media theory, coordinating a three-year workshop on Interaction and Computational Media at Stanford University.[citation needed]

In 1997, Sha co-founded Pliant Research with colleagues from Xerox PARC and Apple Research Labs, dedicated to designing technologies that individuals and organizations can robustly reshape to meet evolving socio-economic needs.[citation needed]

In 1998, he co-founded the Sponge art group in San Francisco in order to build public experiments in phenomenology of performance.[4] With Sponge members and other artists, Sha directed event/installations in prominent experimental art venues, including Ars Electronica (Austria), V2 (The Netherlands), MediaTerra Greece, Banff Canada, and Future Physical United Kingdom. He has also exhibited media installations at Postmasters Gallery (New York) and at Suntrust Gallery (Atlanta).[citation needed]

He obtained an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 2001 on differential geometric performance and the technologies of writing in Mathematics, Computer Science, and History & Philosophy of Science at Stanford University.[citation needed]

From 2001 to 2004, Sha was Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. In 2001 Sha established the Topological Media Lab[5] for the study of gesture and improvisation of collectively meaningful movement from both experiential and computational media perspectives at the Graphics and Visualization and Usability Center in the College of Computing.[citation needed]

From 2005 to 2013, Sha served at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada as the Canada Research Chair in Media Arts and Sciences[6] and as Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Computer Science. In 2005 he became the Director of Hexagram's Active Textiles and Wearable Computers Axis. During his time at Concordia University, he directed the Topological Media Lab as an atelier for the study of gesture, distributed agency, and materiality with application to the phenomenology of performance and the built environment.[7][8]

Sha has been a visiting scholar or faculty in History of Science at Harvard University as well as the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Centre for Modern Thought at Kings College, Aberdeen, History and Philosophy of Science & Department of French and Italian at Stanford University.[9]

He is a member of the editorial boards of the Artificial Intelligence and Society Journal,[10] the Experimental Practices book series and the Architectural Intelligences book series with Rodopi Press, Inflexions, FibreCulture, and the International Journal of Creative Interfaces & Computer Graphics.[11]

Creative works[edit]

Sha's art research includes the TGarden responsive environments,[citation needed] Hubbub speech-sensitive urban surfaces,[citation needed] Membrane calligraphic video, Softwear gestural sound instruments, the WYSIWYG gesture-sensitive sounding weaving,[citation needed] Ouija performance-installations, Cosmicomics Elektra,[citation needed] eSea Shanghai and the IL Y A video membrane,[12] Einstein's Dreams time-conditioning instruments,[13] and Q Is for Quicken sounding paper.[14] Sha has collaborated with choreographer Michael Montanaro and the Blue Riders ensemble to create a stage work inspired by Shelley's Frankenstein, with experimental musicians, dancers and responsive media.[15]

Honors and awards[edit]

Sha's works with Sponge members and other artists have been recognized with awards from the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology,[16] the LEF Foundation,[17] the Canada Foundation for Innovation,[18] the Creative Work Fund (New York),[19] and the Rockefeller Foundation.[20]


Pliant Research, San Francisco (1997 -2001); Sponge art group, San Francisco (1997 - 2002); Interaction and Media Group, Stanford (1995 - 1997);[21] Topological Media Lab, Georgia Tech, Atlanta (2001 - 2005); Topological Media Lab, Concordia University, Montreal (2005 - 2013); Synthesis Center, ASU, Phoenix (2014–present)


Book: Poiesis and Enchantment in Topological Matter. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press 2013


External links[edit]