© Steven McCarthy,
2000 (United States)


Photography, writing, design, sound and concept :

Steven McCarthy

Steven McCarthy, 2000

Original English Version for Macintosh™


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Steven McCarthy has an MFA in Design from Stanford University, a hybrid program between the Departments of Art and Mechanical Engineering, anda BFA in Sculpture and Drawing from Bradley University

He is currently an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. His current creative investigations are concerned with telling stories and providing interactive experiences in the digital environment. However his primary concern is with the human condition—the technology matters less.

Steven’s self-authored graphic design work has been published in Graphis Poster, the AIGA annual and in Provocative Graphics: The Power of the Unexpected in Graphic Design. His artists’ books are in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Banff Centre in Canada, the Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry, and the Houghton Library at Harvard University.

His interactive works have been performed/exhibited at VideoFormes, Clermont-Ferrand, France, at Media Art Biennale WRO 2001, Wroclaw, Poland and at the Paris/Berlin International Meetings. In August 2003 he will have digital work displyed at FILE 2003, International Festival of Electronic Language, São Paulo.

Recent design conference presentations have included Declarations, Montréal, Canada (2001), Mind the Map, Istanbul, Turkey (2002), TypeCon2003, Minneapolis (2003) and (upcoming) Hidden Typography, London (2003).

He has been included in two curatorial projects that seek to expand the boundaries of the discipline: Soul Design, organized by Kali Nikitas, and Adversary, ‘collated’ by Kenneth FitzGerald.



Voxelations: Her Voice (interactive CD-ROM component) is an interactive, multimedia work featuring kinetic image and text, and sound. It is a modular work that combines photographic images of women from reality, and images from the media, advertising and other representations in the public domain. The interface involves a linear structure, based on true stories from my mother’s personal history, and lateral, dislocating links that expose media persuasions.

The anecdotal stories from my mother’s personal history are paired with the ‘real’ images, yet the connection between the actual facts and the person depicted are only made plausible by proximity—these stories did not happen to these women, or did they? Clicking from the ‘real’ screens, via a tv-shaped button, transports the viewer to parallel images culled from advertising. Here coarse sound and jumpy graphics combine with almost accusatory persuasions, indicative of the landscape that confronts women daily, regarding identity, self-esteem, gender roles and consumer consumption.

Voxelations addresses issues of truth, representation, reality, modularity and identity through an interface that is not necessarily ‘user-friendly’— when discussing these topics, why should it be? The interface suggests that there are no easy answers, just complex negotiations.

Voxelations has been exhibited/preformed at:
- Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, Duluth.
- School of Visual Arts, New York.
- Media Art Biennale WRO 2001, Wroclaw, Poland.
- Paris/Berlin International Meetings 2001, Berlin, Germany.

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