Char Davies

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Char Davies
Char Davies 1983
Born Charlotte Davies
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian

Bennington College, 1973-1975

University of Victoria, BFA, 1978
Notable work

Osmose, 1995

Éphémère, 1998
Style Immersive Virtual Reality

Char Davies (born 1954) is a Canadian contemporary artist known for creating immersive virtual reality artworks, and as a founding director of Softimage, Co.[1]

Life and Early Work[edit]

Davies was born in Toronto, Canada, and attended Bennington College in Vermont for three years, before receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria in 1978.[1] Originally a painter, her early forays into virtual art were characterized by a "painterly style."[2] Her Interior Body Series (1990-1993) was a collection of 3D still images, exploring the possibilities of how art can be viewed in virtual space.[3]

Davies is based in rural Québec and San Francisco.[2]

Virtual Reality Art[edit]

In 1993, Davies began exploring virtual reality as an arena for art that questions our habitual perceptions about nature and "being", and affirms our embodiment in the world. Davis created an immersive virtual environment in Osmose (1995), integrating 3D visual elements and spatially localized sound with interaction based on breath and balance.[4]

Osmose was followed by Ephémère in 1998, expanding on the concept of the virtual world as art, and adding temporal elements (day/night cycles) to the piece.[3] Davies describes both works, saying, "I see [them] as a means of return, i.e., of facilitating a temporary release from our habitual perceptions and culturally-biased assumptions about being in the world, to enable us, however momentarily, to perceive ourselves and the world around us freshly."[5]

She has created in new media, and immersive virtual space as an "experiential spatial-temporal arena' for de-habituating, or de-automatizing, our everyday perception."[6]

Software Development[edit]

She was a founding director of the 3D CG software company Softimage, its first vice-president (1988–1994) and director of visual research (1994–1997).[1]

In 1998, she founded Immersence, Inc. to develop and share software for the creation of 3D virtual environments.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Char Davies". Daniel Langlois Foundation. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography". Immersence. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Popper, Frank (2007). From Technological to Virtual Art. MIT Press. pp. 190–197. 
  4. ^ Immersence - Char Davies - Osmose
  5. ^ Malpas, Jaff (2011). The Place of Landscape. MIT Press. pp. 19–22, 26. 
  6. ^ "Technology at the Service of Art." Nick Bailey interview with Char Davies. Translated from the Dutch Creatie, Vol. 9 (3), June 2012, Susanne van Nierop, ed. pp. 44-47, illus.