Rebecca Allen (artist)

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Rebecca Allen
Rebecca Allen JI1.jpg
Rebecca Allen in 2007
Born1954 (age 65–66)
NationalityAmerican
EducationRhode Island School of Design,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Known forDigital Art

Rebecca Allen (born 1954) is an American designer, artist, pioneer, researcher, and educator, known for her research in the field of digital art. Starting in the 1970's, Allen started to compose works for computer imaging. This included still graphics, animation, television logos, music videos, video games, large-scale performance work, artificial life systems, and interactive installations.[1] Her work addresses humanizing technology.[2]


Biography[edit]

Allen began her practice with design while working toward a B.F.A. degree at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1975.[1] She received her master (M.S.) degree from the Architecture Machine Group (predecessor to the MIT Media Lab) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in

1980.[3][4]

After advancing her academic career, Allen spent two years working at Virgin Interactive Entertainment as a video game designer.[1] Allen eventually left due to working conditions that didn’t allow her to experience new growth, as stated in an interview with Erriki Hutamo.[1] She then accepted an offer for the chair position at UCLA, serving as the chair of the Department of Design Media Arts at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), retiring in 2019. Allen spent two terms in this position (1996–2000 and 2014–2016).[5] Alongside her working as the chair of this department, she was also a professor at UCLA, teaching within the same department.[1] Allen spent time working in the Computer Graphics Laboratory at the New York Institute of Technology.[6]

Aside from practicing within the academic field, Allen also was a director at Nokia’s research labs which grew her interest in research within interactive design and new technology.[7] She later completed many works such as The Brain Stripped Bare, Coexistence, The Bush Soul#1, #1, #3.

Fast Company named Allen one of the Most Creative People in Business for 2010.[8] She helped pioneer digital computer art by creating one of the first music videos to use 3D graphics, for the 1986 Musique Non-Stop by Kraftwerk.[9][1] Her artwork is part of the permanent museum collection the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).[10][7]

Work[edit]

This is a list of selected work by Allen.

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project[edit]

"OLPC XO" (2005) was an inexpensive computer project built in the MIT Media lab for children who live in the developing world. This initiative was composed by researchers Rebecca Allen, Nicholas Negroponte, Mary Lou Jepsen, Mark Foster, Michail Bletsas, V. Michael Bove, and many other artists.[11] The OLPC laptop was usable because it was recyclable, drop proof, splash proof, and dust proof.The laptop was also the size of a textbook, but lighter than a lunchbox.[12] It had features like a rubber keyboard, a handle, and had soft edges. Several hundreds of thousands of these laptops have been distributed to schools all over the world. Some distributed countries include: Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Libya, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Rwanda, Thailand, and Uruguay.[11] This project functioned as a tool to help children from these countries connect to the internet and learn.

The Brain Stripped Bare (2002)The Brain Stripped Bare (2002)[edit]

The Brain Stripped Bare was an installation and performance by Allen where she considers a future where we live simultaneously in multiple realities, where the boundaries between physical and virtual reality are blurred and thoughts are expressed telepathically. The technology she created provided an enhanced life experience. With this in mind though, Allen created sophisticated forms of surveillance that track our behaviors, our movements and our identity.[13] This piece was Commissioned as part of the rhein.tanzmedia.net-Prize Partially funded by the Intel Research Council.[14] This work was also presented in the Duisburger Akzente: ICHS Festival in 2003.[15]

Coexistence (2001)[edit]

Coexistence was an interactive art installation that blurs the boundaries between physical and virtual realities. People experience a shared world of mixed reality through a unique sensory interface using breathing and haptics. Funded by IDII Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy. This piece is built with the use of two personal computers (PC) computers, also utilizing two head mounted displays. The piece also used head tracking and attached digital cameras, supplemented by two prototype interface devices. Each prototype interface device contains a breath sensor and modified force feedback to the original game pad. The software for this art installation or piece is built on the real-time video and real-time 3D animation; Emergence.[16]

The Bush Soul (#3) (1999)[edit]

"Bush Soul (#3)" is the third and final art installation the Bush Soul series. "Bush Soul #3" was built off of the similar concepts Allen envisioned and practiced in "The Bush Soul #2" and "The Bush Soul #1". Allen continued to work with generating a world based around artificial life, the interaction on human behavior, tactile interfaces and 3D virtual environment, similar to the prior projects. This final addition to the three piece installation functions by having A haptic, force-feedback joystick. This provides the user with both navigation and tactile sensations. These aspects, when combined connect one's physical body and virtual soul. Also, it got its software program from the same software used in "Bush Soul #2" called Emergence. This piece was also worked on and funded by the Stephen Petronio Dance Company. Also, it received funding in part by Intel Research Council.[17] This piece also was featured in several Exhibitions, such as Women in Science (Genomically Yours) in 2003,[18] ACM Siggraph festival in 2001,[19] and more (see 'Art Exhibitions and Performances' section below).

The Bush Soul (#2) (1998)[edit]

The "Bush Soul (#2)" is the second piece of a three art installation from the same title by Rebecca Allen, falling back on the concepts from its predecessor, ("The Bush Soul #1") building on the ideas of artificial life, behavior, tactile interfaces and 3D virtual environment. This is Allen's second piece of work to be created with the "Emergence" software. The medium that it falls under, and the method of which it was presented was by the use of a Panorama picture.[20] The piece was later noted for being included in the Exhibition Art and Aesthetics of Artificial Life in the year 1998,[21] as well as being featured in the art exhibition in the museum Centro Culturale Claudio Trevi in 1999.[22]

The Bush Soul (#1) (1997)[edit]

The first piece of a series of three interactive art installations which involve artificial life, behavior, tactile interfaces and 3D virtual environment.[23] This piece is set on a 4 inch by 8 inch digital screen and allows for people to role play and become avatars in an artificial world. The Bush soul is a concept based off of a West African belief that a person can have more than one soul, and plays with that idea in order to involve people in role playing into their avatar.[24] The software that was used in this installation was one that Allen created, entitled Emergence.[25] The art installation was also featured in the SIGGRAPH Touchware Art show in the year of 1998.[26]

Emergence (1997-2001) [software used for The Bush Soul, Coexistence][edit]

This PC-based software system was generated by Allen as a form to create interactive art.[27] The system contains three dimensional computer generated environments and autonomous animated characters.[28] Alongside generating this virtual reality another aspect that highlights this piece is that these figures are displayed in real-time. By having these avatars interact in real time it allowed users to become avatars in the piece. There are also music, voices, and other accompanying sounds that help connect people to the virtual world. which allowed people to use forms of communication that rely on gestures, movements and behaviors.[27]

The Catherine Wheel (1982)[edit]

In creating "The Catherine Wheel" Allen worked alongside the choreographer Twyla Tharp.[29] Tharp later used the animation for this video in her PBS video film of the same title. This project is a two and a half minute video that Allen created animation for.[30][31] Allen composed this piece when she still worked at the New York Institute of Technology Computer Graphics Laboratory. She produced the animation of St. Catherine by placing a mathematically derived wireframe around the performer which allowed every stride made by the performer. A keyframe was captured allowed for the illusion of a continuous movement of the dancer.[32]

Steps (1982)[edit]

"Steps" is a video performance that Rebecca Allen animated with the goal of creating a human in a virtual space. The video itself showcases a series of digitally animated people walking up a staircase on a looped motion. This piece was displayed in the 1986 exhibition entitled A Retrospective, showcased by SIGGRAPH.[33]

Swimmer (1981)[edit]

"Swimmer" is a looping video animation. This is a piece Rebecca Allen curated to show human animation using technology. It was displayed on the exhibition entitled A Retrospective in 1986., which was hosted by SIGGRAPH.[34]

Art exhibitions and performances[edit]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Cubitt, Sean; Malina, Roger F. (2003). Women, Art, and Technology. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-13424-8.
  2. ^ "REBECCA ALLEN - ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  3. ^ "Alumni". MIT Media Lab. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  4. ^ "Architecture Machine Group". the-artists.org. 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  5. ^ "UCLA Arts: School of the Arts and Architecture". UCLA Arts: School of the Arts and Architecture. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  6. ^ Cubitt, Sean; Malina, Roger F. (2003). Women, Art, and Technology. MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-13424-8.
  7. ^ a b "Both Sides of the Brain: Q&A with Rebecca Allen, UCLA's Design Media Arts Department". Animation Career Review. 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  8. ^ Borden, Mark (2010-05-22). "31. Rebecca Allen". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  9. ^ Dayal, Geeta (2012-04-21). "Meet Kraftwerk's Original 3-D Animator, Rebecca Allen". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  10. ^ "Rebecca Allen | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  11. ^ a b "One Laptop per Child, Nicholas Negroponte, Rebecca Allen, Mary Lou Jepsen, Mark Foster, Michail Bletsas, V. Michael Bove, Yves Béhar, Bret Recor, fuseproject, Jacques Gagné, Gecko Design, Colin Bulthaup, Squid Labs, John Hutchinson, Freeplay Energy Plc., Quanta. XO Laptop from the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project. 2005 | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  12. ^ Kinchin, Juliet; O'Connor, Aidan (2012). Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000. The Museum of Modern Art. ISBN 978-0-87070-826-8.
  13. ^ ""Juryierung and award winners"". Leere.
  14. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  15. ^ "41. Duisburger Akzente 2020 - Archiv: Kunst & Kultur". www.duisburger-akzente.de. Retrieved 2019-12-09.
  16. ^ "COEXISTENCE BY REBECCA ALLEN - ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  17. ^ "THE BUSH SOUL (#3) BY REBECCA ALLEN - ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
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  19. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  20. ^ "THE BUSH SOUL (#2) BY REBECCA ALLEN - ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  21. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  22. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  23. ^ "The Bush Soul #1 Digital Art Archive".
  24. ^ "Rebecca Allen: The Bush Soul". ACM SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ARCHIVES. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  25. ^ Ascott, Roy (2000). Art, Technology, Consciousness: Mind@large. Intellect Books. ISBN 978-1-84150-041-6.
  26. ^ "SIGGRAPH 1998: Touchware". ACM SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ARCHIVES. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  27. ^ a b "Emergence". emergence.design.ucla.edu. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  28. ^ Ascott, Roy. "Art, Technology, Consciousness : Mind@large". https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=xPRTOytFgacC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Art,+Technology,+Consciousness+:+Mind%40large+roy&ots=Y7dkJoLNzf&sig=dXVIPUwXTvT-G3xaceUWdDjkgQ0#v=onepage&q=Art%2C%20Technology%2C%20Consciousness%20%3A%20Mind%40large%20roy&f=false. Retrieved 2019-11-20. External link in |website= (help)
  29. ^ Cubitt, Sean; Malina, Roger F. (2003). Women, Art, and Technology. MIT Press. ISBN 9780262134248.
  30. ^ "Rebecca Allen: Catherine Wheel". ACM SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ARCHIVES. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  31. ^ "Rebecca Allen: Catherine Wheel". ACM SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ARCHIVES. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  32. ^ Salter, Chris (2010). Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance. MIT Press. ISBN 9780262195881.
  33. ^ "SIGGRAPH 1986: A Retrospective". ACM SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ARCHIVES. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  34. ^ a b c "SIGGRAPH 1986: A Retrospective". ACM SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ARCHIVES. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  35. ^ "INSIDE". Gazelli Art House. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  36. ^ "Born out of Necessity". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  37. ^ "The Bush Soul (#3)". Archive of Digital Art. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  38. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
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  42. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  43. ^ ":.............. ArtFutura 00 ..............:". www.artfutura.org. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  44. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  45. ^ "Interaction Design Institute Ivrea Website". interactionivrea.org. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  46. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  47. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  48. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  49. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  50. ^ "ADA | Archive of Digital Art". www.digitalartarchive.at. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  51. ^ "SIGGRAPH 1998: Touchware". ACM SIGGRAPH ART SHOW ARCHIVES. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  52. ^ O'Neil, Thomas. "The Emmys". Retrieved 2019-10-03.

External links[edit]