Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Art, Art History, and Design
Adam Brown
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brown.jpgAssociate Professor
Electronic Art & Intermedia
27B Kresge Art Center
P 517-432-2465


Adam Brown is an internationally recognized conceptually-driven artist whose work incorporates art and science hybrids that include robotics, molecular chemistry and emerging technologies that take the form of installation, interactive objects, video, performance and photography. Brown's creative research has been informed by a background in Intermedia, a philosophy that provides a framework for breaking down and combining different models of thought and bringing together disparate disciplines, leading to the establishment of new forms of research and creative activity.

One of Brown's major bodies of work, Bion, created in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Fagg, a computer science professor who specializes in machine learning and brain interfaces, makes reference to an individual element of primordial biological energy identified as "orgone" by the scientist Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957). The interactive installation is a sensor network composed of more then one thousand, mass-produced, three-dimensional glowing and chirping autonomous robots called bions. Each bion, a small synthetic "life-form," fitted with custom electronics, low level artificial intelligence and sensors, has the ability to communicate with other bions and with humans that enter the space. As a member of the New York Sculptors Guild, Brown was selected as an emerging artist to exhibit this piece in Archival to the Contemporary, Six Decades of the Sculptors Guild in 2006, and it was also selected for SigGraph 2006 in Boston. Most recently, he was invited to exhibit Bion in the Brazilian Biennial in Sao Paulo: Emoção Art.ficial 5.0.

Brown's recent creative undertaking, Origins of Life: Experiment #1, is a working scientific experiment (using simulated lightning, heat and primordial gases) that is placed in an art context. This installation is intended to express a shared communal experience of science as a cultural, sensory, sensual and aesthetic experience, breaking down perceptions and stereotypes of how science works and what art is through a dialectic transformation of seeming opposites. The project is in collaboration with Robert Root-Bernstein, a MacArthur Fellow scientist and physiology professor at MSU and and Maxine Davis, an atmospheric chemistry professor at MSU.

From 2000-2009, Brown was on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma, where he developed an electronic art program called Symbiotic Media.

In addition to his comprehensive body of interdisciplinary research and creative projects, he has built relationships across academic areas and in the broader community. Brown joined the faculty of Michigan State University in 2009, where he is developing a new area of study called Electronic Art & Intermedia. A component of this new program includes a new, state of the art electronic fabrication center, the Form From Thought Lab. The FFT Lab encourages the exchange of ideas, information and research among groups who do not ordinarily come together. Brown was recently appointed as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University, and serves as an Artist in Residence for the Michigan State University BEACON (Bio/Computational Evolution in Action Consortium) project. He resides in East Lansing with his partner Hannah, a law professor, and their three children, Isaac, Aidan and Willow.