Yiannis Melanitis was born on 1 July 1967 in Athens, Greece. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts - ASFA (1988-1999) painting under Chronis Botsoglou (1988-1993); sculpture under George Lappas (1993-1996); and received the School's Masters Degree in Digital Arts in 1999. Between 1998 and 1999 Melanitis was guest student at Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, in the workshop of Jannis Kounellis. Since 2002 Melanitis is teaching as collaborator of the Sculpture Department of ASFA. He is a PhD candidate (2005) at the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens - NTUA under the supervision of Vana Xenou.
Melanitis' art references the body in relation to the epistemological (biological) context which defines it. His latest interest concerns bio-technology and control of the body. He coined the term 'bio-performance' to refer to an advanced environment based on the conception of the 'analogical body' (as opposed to digital), in an attempt to re-establish the corporeal status of experience, de-depending the body from the domination of simulations or virtual allusions. The notion of the body as soft and malleable unity, forming a 'liquid formation' within space is proposed as a neo-appearance of corporeality. In his recent works (The Garden, Diffusion of the Elements), technology is not visibly apparent, forming a magical interaction between materials and the body.
Melanitis presents mostly web-based interactive performances using originally designed software, as well as sculptures and drawings related to them. He took part the following group exhibitions: Turbulences for Videoformes: Electronic Village, Clermont Ferrant, France (1999); Greek Artists, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center, Athens (1999); Do you want to see my room?, Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center, Athens (1999); Interface, Technopolis, Athens (1999); Predictable Lab, Richard Anderson Fine Arts, New York (1999); Pleasure Machine, Medi@terra Festival, Athens (1999); Art +Technology, Library, National Technical University - NTUA, Athens (2000); Works of 1999-2000, Digital Art Lab, Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens (2000); The 8th New York Digital Salon, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid & Gijon (2000); Pleasure Machine, Digital Salon, New York (2000); Art Against Leukaemia, Cultural Center of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (2001); Pleasure Machine, Blue Stage, House of World Cultures, Berlin (2001); The Artist as a Bird for Images Beyond the Naked Eye, DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens (2001); Bio-Robotic Symbiosis for De-Globalizing / Re-Globalizing, Medi@terra Festival, Frankfurt - Lavrion - Sofia - Maribor (2001); Terra Ingognita for The 10th International Festival of Performance Art, Mexico City (2001); Animal Accessories for Living Inside, Athens (2002); Regards Projetes: Art Video dans les Balkans, France - Greece - Bulgaria - Germany - Moldavia - Roumania - Belgium (2002); Political Twins for International Workshop for European Artists and Culture, Larnaka, Cyprus (2002); Mutant Sphinx for The 2nd International Conference, European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Greece (2002); Animal Accessories for The 4th International Art and Technology Festival, Medi@terra Festival, Athens (2002); Pleasure Machine: Blind Date, Dance Forum, Monaco (2002); Prometheus: Hysterical Duet, Kourzoum Djami, Trikala (2003); Mutant Sphinx for Sculpture You Love, Lab Gallery, Athens (2003); Prometheus: Hysterical Duet for Antisoma, Academy of Athens, Athens (2003); Oedipus_himself & yps for ArtNow, Zina Athanassiadou Gallery, Thessaloniki (2004); Political Twins for Cyprus, Municipal Gallery of Athens, Athens (2004); Prometheus, Machinista Festival, Glasgow (2004); Generative Art Conference, Politecnico di Milano, Milan (2004); The Garden for Photosynkyria, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (2005); Video Art, Nikos Kessanlis Gallery, Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens (2005); The Garden for Rebirth, Evgenides Foundation, Athens (2005); The Diffusion of the Elements, D624 project space (2005); Anti-Oedipus for Dedication to Yiannoulis Halepas, Tinos Island, Greece (2005); Pleasure Machine for Mostra SESC de Artes-Mediterraneo, Vila Mariana, São Paulo, Brazil (2005); The Garden for Generative Art, Milan (2005). Melanitis presented the paper "Bio-Robotic Environments, Interactions and Hyper-Humans" at the International Science Fiction Conference at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2001.
Yiannis Melanitis lives and works in Athens. He writes for Artzine journal and Futura magazine, and is a member of Delphi Society.