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American computer artist who developed early interactive works, he is considered to be one of the first generation virtual reality and augmented reality researchers. While earning a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin?Madison, he worked on a number of early interactive computer artworks. In 1969, he collaborated with Dan Sandin, Jerry Erdman and Richard Venezky on a computer controlled environment called "glowflow," a computer-controlled light sound environment that responded to the people within it. He went on to develop Metaplay, an integration of visuals, sounds, and responsive techniques into a single framework. In this, the computer was used to create a unique real-time relationship between the participants in the gallery and the artist in another building. In 1971, his "Psychic space" used a sensory floor to perceive the participants' movements around the environment. A later project, "Videoplace," was funded by the National Endowment for the arts and a two-way exhibit was shown at the Milwaukee Art Museum in 1975. Involved in computer graphics research and has taught courses in hardware, software, computer graphics and artificial intelligence. He later used the hardware from Videoplace for another piece, Small Planet, where participants are able to fly over a small, computer-generated, 3D planet. He envisioned the art of interactivity, with focus on the possibilities of interaction itself, rather than on an art project, which happens to have some response to the user. His legacy has experienced greater interest as more recent technological approaches (such as CAVE and Powerwall implementations) move toward the unencumbered interaction approaches.
Noted For:Considered to be one of the first generation virtual reality and augmented reality researchers
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