David Em (1989-09-22)

David Em
Practice: Computer Imaging
Date of Lecture: 1989-09-22

Em_David_w01Navajo, 1978 © David Em

David Em began his career by studying film and painting, but is best known for his innovative explorations of the visual possibilities of computer graphics and digital interfaces. In 1974, while still a painter, he was inspired by the colour range he could produce using an abandoned TV set. His desire to control the effects of pixilation led to his involvement with the Xerox Research PARC in Palo Alto and to collaborations with computer graphics pioneer Alvy Ray Smith and Dick Shoup, inventor of the frame buffer.

By 1976, Em had begun to experiment with the graphics system at Triple-I (Information International Incorporated) created by Gary Demos and John Whitney, Jr. At the same time, Em was working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was exposed to the research of James Blinn, whose revolutionary graphics program allowed for the display of computer-generated objects with highly textured surfaces. The work Em produced at the JPL led to the first ever artist’s monograph on digital art (The Art of David Em, 1988). Em remained the artist in residence at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) for ten years. His later work furthers his explorations of the rendering and creation of three-dimensional digital environments.

Em has worked as a consultant and produced collaborative projects with companies such as Apple, Hewlett Packard, Universal Studios, Interplay, Canal Plus, Canon, Kodak and Polaroid. His computer-generated creations have been broadcast on network television in America, Europe, and Japan, and his work has been exhibited in museums such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid, and the Seibu Museum in Tokyo.

Additional Link: http://www.davidem.com/