Where are you from?
I was born in Izmir, Turkey.
Where do you live now?
I live in Evanston, Illinois, 12 miles north of Chicago.
What have you been doing since you graduated?
First two years I was Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at University of California Berkeley, Art Practice Department. After that I have been working as an assistant professor at Northwestern University, School of Communications, Radio TV Film Department for five years.
What is your current job? In 2 or 3 sentences, can you explain what your position is and what some of your responsibilities are?
I design and build interactive art installations. When I design an interactive art installation I show it in exhibitions and sometimes I write academic articles about the design process. I am also a graphic novelist. Farrar Straus Giroux published my autobiographical graphic novel, Dare to Disappoint (http://www.daretodisappoint.com), in 2015. I also teach courses on interactive art, code and design, graphic novels, drawing for media.
Can you tell us about a recent project you’ve worked on that you were really excited about?
I recently completed Fiber Optic Ocean (https://vimeo.com/139216831) , my most ambitious interactive art installation to date. This project was a turning point in my way of thinking since it allowed me to realize my drawings in sculptural form. Fiber Optic Ocean portrays and performs what happens when technology invades the world’s oceans. Three life-size shark skeletons are trapped in an ocean made of fiber optic threads. The piece procedurally composes music made with trombone and choral voices generated by live data coming from live sharks (tagged with GPS) and human Internet traffic.
How do you think the program helped prepare you for your life after Georgia Tech?
I graduated in 2009, a long time ago. I still miss my interactions with my peers and the faculty. I learned the chicken-egg relationship between theory and practice: creating theoretical arguments by designing an art-design piece and coming up with original project ideas through understanding media theory. The most interesting pieces come out of collaboration and I learned how to collaborate with peers efficiently. I gained the skills of thinking expressively with coding, taking interaction out of computer screen, coming up with unconventional uses of materials by exploiting affordances media. In other words, I learned thinking out of the box.