I started painting in the 70s, with Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Joel Shapiro and Joan Snyder, teachers at Princeton University. In graduate school at Cornell University, I painted with Arnold Singer and Eleanore Mikus and later with Knox Martin. I also carry with me indelible influences — Grosz, Tauber-Arp, Marcarelli, Gorky, Michaux, among others — reinforced by my first job in the Modern Paintings Department at Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York.
From the start, in the early 80s, I had access to emerging digital tools. I worked with TIPS at Interactive Picture Systems, NYC. I did animations and was a beta-tester at High Tech LED Sign Company in Florida. When I moved to Paris in 1991, I worked doing illustrations and animations for the architectural firm AEDIFICARE. This led to ART3000 (now known as Le CUBE) where I created my first immersive installations.
Poetry and specifically combinatory texts have been essential in helping me forge an identity in an increasingly digitized art world. I co-authored an interactive version of Raymond Queneau’s “Un Conte A Votre Façon”, later published by Gallimard, in Antoine Denize’s “Machines à Ecrire” (1994). Poems by the author Blake Leland have
been an ongoing thread in my work : Sonnet Sequence, for example, is a combination of a dozen words (how, when, if, then, but, since…everything, nothing, changes, happens) that I’ve illustrated and animated in several different media.
For me, interactive design has always been a natural extension of contemporary art, forging its place between video installations, Fluxus esthetics and reception theory. In spite of a certain disdain for “deep perspective”, I began with Rimac, which relied on a joy stick to move through fields of texts and images that snaked through a virtual space. With Move Don’t Move, (co-produced in 2005 with the Atelier du CUBE and later adapted by Bouygues to a mobile phone in 2007), I hooked up an animated painting to a webcam. In 2010, with GOBO, I explored the effect of the viewer’s “gaze” on an evolving composition. I joined the “Living Art Seminar”, led by Florent Aziosmanoff, in a collective effort to elaborate a framework for understanding emerging art forms at the junction of esthetics and cognitive science; we’ve continued our collaboration to this day in an online seminar entitled “Open Thinking”, delving into the ramifications of augmented intelligent technologies.
In parallel, I began working with networked media. In 1999, I was invited by Annie Gentes to be visiting artist at what is now known as Telecom ParisTech. We teamed up young engineers and continuing education students in graphic design to develop an augmented chat space entitled City Paradigms (shown at ISEA 2000 in Paris and at the MILIA in Cannes). A second prototype, Sandscript, was funded by the Fondation Louis LePrince Ringuet. This experimental work was followed by an art-residency in 2001 at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Troyes. With technology developed by the Timsoft Company, I designed the web site La Preuve Par Troyes, a conversational and literary space designed to engage citizens in the social and artistic history of their city.
This was a turning point in my career. I became more politically and socially engaged. In 2002, our citizen’s association, Concert-Urbain, began to test prototypes “in the field”. This in turn led to grant-writing, team-building and a (better) understanding of the dynamics of French civil society. We created several on-line collaborative spaces (now out of date): www.tour-a-tour.org (2005), a neighborhood website; www.dring13.org (2007), a mobile phone based site for young adults to discuss discrimination ; a polling platform on the subject of happiness, lebonheurbrutcollectif.org (2013-2017). The accompanying Back Office qualified Concert-Urbain for the finals of France’s “e-democracy trophy” (see www.blog-territorial.com/m/article-56982531.html). Today, we are working on an interactive stained glass window and “The STREET MEDIA TOTEM”, a travelling media platform that collects neighborhood stories; it is now part of a larger citizen’s initiative called “La Station C”.
This varied trajectory has deepened my understanding of the avant-garde and innovation-for-social-change. Over the past decade, I’ve written several papers on the subject, trying to tie together the loose ends and make sense – formally, personally, socially – of the ongoing digital whirlwind which has so transformed the arts.
M.A. DEA, Institut d’Etudes Theatrales, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III, Paris, France (2003). High Honors.
M.F.A. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA (1982). John Hartell Prize, CCPA Grant with Leland and Bett.
B.A. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA (1976). Art History, Visual Arts Program.
A.A. Bennet College, Millbrook, NY, USA (1973). Liberal Studies. Valedictorian
Digital images (1990-present):
« DOUBLE_FACE », 2022, generative work done with Alain Longuet.
“BY_TWICE”, 2021, generative work done with Alain Longuet.