Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer are internationally renowned media artists, researchers and pioneers of interactive art.
Laurent Mignonneau studied video art at the Academy of Fine Arts Angouleme, France. Sommerer studied botany and anthropology at the University of Vienna and sculpture at the University of Fine Arts Vienna, and Christa Sommerer studied botany and anthropology at the University of Vienna, then sculpture at the University of Fine Arts in Vienna. They met at the Institute for Media run by media pioneer Peter Weibel in 1991. After an artist-in-residency at the National Center for Supercomputing Application (NCSA), Beckman Institute in Urbana, IL USA, and at the Inter Communication Center (NTT-ICC) in Tokyo, Japan, they worked as researchers at the Advanced Telecommunications Research Laboratories (ATR) in Kyoto and at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Ogaki, Japan. They studied at CAiiA-STAR at University of Wales College of Art, UK (with Prof. Roy Ascott) and at Kobe University, Japan.
Currently, Mignonneau & Sommerer are professors and heads of the department for Interface Cultures at the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria.
Their collaboration has led them to create 20 interactive artworks, thanks to which they have received numerous awards, including: - Wu Guanzhong Art and Science Innovation Prize (for «Escape») awarded by Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China (2012) - the Golden Nica Prize, Ars Electronica - the Ovation Award, Interactive Media Festival, Los Angeles - the Multi Media Award’95 of the Multimedia Association, Japan - Finalist, World Technology Award, The Arts of the World Technology Network, UK - PRIZE 2008 - uni:invent Award, Ministry of Science and Research, Austria
Their artworks have been shown in around 200 international exhibitions and are part of museums and collections around the world : Hermès, Paris, France; The View Contemporary Art Space, Salenstein, Switzerland; Braunschweig “City of Science 2007”, Braunschweig, Germany; Itau Cultural Collection, Sao Paulo, Brasil; Medien Museum of the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris, France; Bo01 - City of Tomorrow, Malmoe, Sweden; City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain; Miramon, Museum of Science and Technology, San Sebastian, Spain; Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria; Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Millennium Dome London, London, England; Cartier Foundation, Paris, France; Shiseido, Tokyo, Japan; Medien Museum of the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; InterCommunication Museum - ICC-NTT Japan, Tokyo, Japan; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan; Musee d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France; Shiroishi Multimedia Art Center, Shiroishi, Japan; Ars Electronica Center, Linz, Austria; NTT Tokei - NHK, Nagoya, Japan.
Their interactive art installations have been called a symbol of the times, ("epoch making" by Toshiharu Itoh, NTT-ICC museum Tokyo) for developing natural and intuitive interfaces, and applying scientific principles such as artificial intelligence, complexity and generative systems to the innovative interfaces that they have developed.