Simon Penny is an artist, theorist and teacher with a longstanding focus on emerging technologies and on embodied and situated aspects of artistic practice. He has built interactive installations and robotic art since the mid 1980s. He explores - in artistic and scholarly work and technical research - problems encountered when computational technologies interface with cultural practices. His longstanding concern for embodied and situated aspects of aesthetic experience, along with a critical analysis of computer culture are the the focus of his book Making Sense: Cognition, Computing, Art and Embodiment (MIT press 2017). He was director of A Body of Knowledge: Embodied Cognition and the Arts conference UCI 2016, and An Ocean of Knowledge: Pacific Seafaring, Sustainability and Cultural Survival at UCI in 2017.
He was Professor of Art and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon (1993-2000). He founded the Arts Computation Engineering (ACE) graduate program at the University of California Irvine, 2001-2012. He was visiting professor in media theory, Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media masters, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 2006-2013 and Labex International Professor, University Paris8 and ENSAD in 2014. Penny is currently professor in Electronic Art and Design (Dept of Art) at University of California, Irvine, with appointments in the dept of Music and in Informatics (School of Information and Computer Science). He is a visiting Professor at Nottingham Trent University UK, 2021-24.