Eric Forman is a Brooklyn-based artist and designer working with interactive installations, light sculptures, and unusual combinations of natural materials with high technology. His work freely crosses boundaries between fine art, design, performance, and architecture.
Eric's work employs modalities not often found in dominant forms of new media: thoughtful, slow, subtle, perhaps unsettling. His creations give us the surprising and magical qualities of the new, yet also plays on our uneasy fascination with the intersection of human and technology, and the tension between the natural world and our built environment.
Eric started programming as a child in the 1980s, was an early member of the groundbreaking online media entity Pseudo Programs in the mid 1990s, and in 2006 founded the creative technology collective Klank Studios. In 2012 Eric Forman Studio was invited to be a founding tenant of New Lab, a next generation innovation space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Eric is also the co-founder of BioArt New York, a collective pairing artists and biologists for unusual collaborations. His studio’s design practice specializes in the latest interactive experiences and fabrication techniques for diverse clients.
Eric received his Masters in 2002 from ITP at Tisch School of the Arts (NYU), and his B.A. from Vassar College in 1995 where he developed his own interdisciplinary program called “The Philosophical Ramifications of Computer Technology.” His thesis work there was a pioneering academic investigation of virtual reality and its potential impact on space, ontology, and identity.
Eric is faculty and Head of Innovationat the Interaction Design MFA program at SVA (School of Visual Arts). He has previously taught at the Digital+Media MFA department at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University, Parsons The New School for Design, the Interactive Arts MFA department at Pratt Institute, the Interdisciplinary Sculpture department of MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), and many others. He also likes to ride a bike.
Eric Forman Studio @ New Lab
19 Morris Ave, Studio 302
Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brooklyn, NY 11205
All artwork and fabrication is done on site at our private studio in New Lab, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Eric Forman was invited to be one of founding members of New Lab in 2012, four years before its official opening in 2016. New Lab is located inside of historic Brooklyn Navy Yard Building 128 — a century-old former shipbuilding machine shop with a lengthy history as an important site for manufacturing and innovation. The New Lab community encompasses New York City’s leading artists, designers, and companies working in advanced technologies.
My work creates modes of interactivity not found in dominant forms of new media: subtle, slow, thoughtful; sometimes delightful, sometimes unsettling. It plays on our uneasy fascination with new technology, yet does not cynically deny us its magical and exhilarating qualities. In essence, I am investigating the uncertain present of human and technological co-evolution – the overlappings of natural vs artificial, real vs simulated, person and machine.
I like to push intersections between art, design, architecture, and science. Their boundaries are blurring, and these fields can and should learn from each other. I develop my own interactive technology to create objects and spaces that are aware of their environment and can dynamically respond to it, customizing circuits, sensors, and code to interface with physical phenomena - people, movement, air, light, and sound. I believe this challenges not only the usual limitations of technology but the usual parameters of an artistic experience.
Sometimes the complexity of craft in what I make is transparently revealed as itself worthy of reflection, other times it is hidden to invite the viewer to focus on powerfully simple fundamentals of their own agency and perception. I believe the interfaces and experiences of the future must be engineered, yet also still contain mystery, difficulty, and beauty.