Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956 and now lives in San Francisco. He received two Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics and Engineering. He has shown internationally and throughout North America in institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Carpenter Center, Harvard University; The Power Plan, Toronto; and the International Center for Photography, New York.
His work is included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the University Art Museum at Berkeley; and that of Don Fisher of the Gap Corporation. In 1992 he created one of the first permanent public interactive video artworks in the U.S. in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1988, coming from a technical background in engineering and an artistic background in filmmaking, I began to create interactive video installations that involve the viewer and the viewer's response to a given situation. In creating interactive video art work, my goal has been to move away from the conventional computer screen "button pushing" interface and instead to move towards creating works that have a more intuitive level of interaction. Making a distinction between a work that is controllable and a work that is responsive. I have tried to create installations that are less about a viewer dominating a work, and more about viewers participating in the developing personality of a work. My work incorporates electronic memory, prerecorded images and live images.
Attempting to create systems that respond and progress in recognizably non-random, but at the same time unpredictable ways, I have tried to create works that have destines of their own. Having always been fascinated with the philosophical analogies of certain scientific disciplines, my work has been very influenced by science, in particular some of the ideas relating to chaos and quantum mechanics. Using technological tools and scientific models as metaphors for memory and illusion, my work seeks to interpret, represent and mirror psychological states and processes, and their breakdown. Time and memory, individual and collective, electronic and real are the elements of my work.