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Click on image to enter L.A. Digilantes Gallery
 

Welcome to L.A. Digilantes a site devoted to artists who not only dared to explore a new medium, but also created their own scene in which to share & show their work. Named after a phrase coined by artist and educator Michael Wright. This site was created in 1997, as part of a group retrospective of pioneering cyberartists residing in Los Angeles, which ran at MADLA (Museum of Arts, Downtown Los Angeles). As such, it is a snapshot in time, which does not attempt to update its look and style. This site is developing a repository for information relevant to the emergence of digital art in Southern California. Obviously, many omissions are here. Any individuals are welcome to propose contributions to this database. 

To read an article from Wired.com about the LA Digilantes:

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,5781,00.html

To read another Wired.com about an early tool of EZTV's desktop video and some of the LA Digilantes:

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,12386,00.html

 

Warning:   Some artists' images in this archive contain nudity and may not be suitable for younger viewers   

 
L.A. DIGILANTES  
is a group retrospective of the work of 8 artists, who either emerged
from, or co-invented Los Angeles computer art "digilantism".
 
  
SETTING THE STAGE 
Many Artists throughout the history of art have used the technology of their time to assist in the creative act.  Art and technology have always been linked through the artist either embracing the technology or reacting against it. "Art and Technology", a cutting edge exhibition curated by Maurice Tuchman for the Los Angeles County Museum in 1971 presented collaborations between artists and engineers. Several of the installations relied on early forms of digital technology. Set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam war, the critics attacked the exhibition as a marriage between technology, the museums, and big business.  In a sense this was true due to the fact that in most cases government and business were the only institutions that could afford to own the technology.  Only a few artists were allowed into these labs to collaborate with the scientists and engineers.   Most artists did not have access and were traditionally mistrustful of both institutions. This all changed in the late seventies.  Against an intellectual background of dematerialization and art viewed as information, the invention of the microprocessor and integrated circuits drove down the size and price of the technology used to create mainframe computers.  

In the early eighties the  "personal computer"  industry, created by a group of hobbyists turned entrepreneurs, rose up from the suburban streets to become a billion dollar business.  In doing so, it put digital technology in the hands of the people for an affordable price.  Artists in the early eighties who saw potential in digital technology gained access in several ways.  In addition to the artists who worked with scientists  and engineers in corporate environments on high end equipment, others used equipment from educational and employment situations.  Also there were artists who, much like the enthusiasts,  created the PC in the early eighties, bought or built their own equipment with the idea that anyone should have access and that the quality of the art should not depend on the level of equipment. By the turn of the nineties a crisis in representation arose around  reproduction of imagery, who it belong to, and where it resided. Information became a commodity, however the computer in an interactive and hypermedia context had now  established itself as both a formidable art-making tool and a medium.  

 
 
THE DIGILANTE MOVEMENT 
In the middle eighties, a group of Los Angeles artists embraced digital  technology before there was anyone around to recognize this spontaneous initiative as part of an international movement. Digital art in Los Angeles took root and flourished in a scene that was built by the artists themselves. These artists secured the venues, mounted the shows, published the mailings and self-promoted a series of exhibitions that are historic as their legacy is not as an alternative to some other series of artist-produced Los Angeles  digital art exhibits.  In fact, there weren't any others....  

Michael Wright as an in-joke with Victor Acevedo referred to this aforementioned group of art activists as the "DIGILANTES".  These individuals were instrumental in establishing the digital art scene in Los Angeles. This group includes artists Wright and Acevedo, Dona Geib, Michael Masucci, Mason Lyte ,David Glynn, and art historian Patric Prince, who's art historical focus is art and technology. "Digilantes" is a play on words as named after the self-organized 19th century 'law men' in the American West, who were alert, watchful, and  advocated the taking of action into one's own hands.  

 
A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DIGITAL ART CHRONOLOGY 

The 1980's witnessed a growth of interest in computer graphics at educational institutions. 
In 1980 through 1981 Art Center College of Design hosted lectures on computer
graphics
at by well-known computer scientist James Blinn. Also at ACCD, was a
lecture-survey class on CGI taught by film theorist Gene Youngblood. Eudice Feder-Mankin offered a class in
digital graphics output via plotter at Cal State Northridge.
  Shortly before this, in 1979, John Dorr created EZTV, realizing correctly that the introduction of home video technology would someday transform the way artitsts worked. At this time, only a handful of well-positioned artists gained access to computers, The real digital revolution would happen when personal computers became routinely available, creating a more level playing field for media production.

Today, many artists are staking their claim, as 'pioneers' in the digital history timeline. It is important to also never underestimate the value of those pivitol venues that dared to let the work be seen, outside of the relative safety of professional conferences, and acedemia,
 
1983 
One man show: Computer Art by David Em at The Long Beach Museum of Art, a solo exhibition with guest lecture by James Blinn and David EM. A hands-on computer graphics class was offered by Leonard Lombardi and Art Numora at the Long Beach Museum of Art Video Annex.  Another special hands-on workshop class was taught by Frank Dietrich. Recently arrived from Chicago, Frank had been involved with the Tom DeFanti-Dan Sandin crowd at the National SIGGRAPH Headquarters-he went on to work with Silicon Graphics Incorporated.  Students in his workshop included Victor Acevedo and Karen Kennedy who later turned up as one of the principles of MVC (see 1986). 
 
1984 

Hands-on computer art classes are offered at West Coast University taught by Tony Longson on a regular basis. Despite the interest on the educational front, digital art had a difficult time entering the mainstream of the art world and needed alternative venues for its continuance.

"Cyber Tapestry" at EZTV Only three years after the introduction of the PC to the general public, EZTV mounted its first computer art show called 'Cyber Tapestry" which featured work by Leslie Wilson.  EZTV was founded by artist John Dorr in 1979 to give artists access to video and electronic art production and post-production equipment  The facility included a  gallery-theatre as a multi-media exhibition venue.  EZTV quickly became the center of the Los Angeles digital underground by virtue of sponsoring or co-sponsoring many significant digital art exhibitions. Michael Masucci has been a principle member of the EZTV staff since 1983, the year that it was incorporated.  A digital artists' collective was created at the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry. Their first exhibition, "The Creative Computer"  featured  the work  and computer graphic demonstrations by Dona Geib and Edie Paul. 

1985 
Beyond the Threshold 
EZTV participated in a LA Siggraph sponsored multi-media performance and exhibition called  "Beyond the Threshold"  at the Palace in Hollywood. This event was co-produced by Bob Gelman, Joan Collins and Ron Hays.  Victor Acevedo curated a show of digital art prints in the lobby of the theatre. 
1986 
 
"Print-n/Print Out" 

at Palos Verdes Art Center, was  juried by Conner Everts, Palos Verdes, CA. Dona Geib won an award for her digital work. Modern Visual Communications a.k.a. MVC-a short lived (6 months) gallery dedicated to showing digital and video art is established by Richard and Karen Kennedy. Exhibiting artists among others included Guy Marsden, Diane Piepol, Ed Emschwiller, Woody and Steina Vasulka. Acevedo designed the announcements and wrote PR material for the gallery. 

1987 
  "Computer Superstars" "Computer Superstars" at EZTV  a group show among others including artists Rebecca Allen, Shelley Lake and Montxo Algora. 
1988 
February: Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies (LACPS) annual members exhibition at The Brand Library Gallery, Glendale, CA. Primarily a photography show, this show marks the public premiere of
Victor Acevedo's digital work.
 
1989 
Acevedo in "Metropolis". 

One person show of digital work by Victor Acevedo mounted at Metropolis restaurant on La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles. Michael Wright exhibits his first digital print in "The Flesh and the Spirit" Art Store Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

1990 

"Siggraph/LA Art: 1990" "Siggraph/LA Art: 1990" A Group show at EZTV: This show was co-organized By Patric Prince, Victor Acevedo and Michael Masucci. A small catalogue was published and has since become a collectors item. This exhibition the work of  Victor Acevedo, Rebecca Allen, Max Almy, Teri Yarbrow, Gloria Brown-Simmons, Ron Davis,  David Em,  Shelly Lake,  Tony Longson,  Stewart McSherry, Kamram Moojedi, Vibeke Sorensen and James Wrinkle. David Glynn exhibits his first digital work at the ACM/SIGGRAPH '90,  Art Show, in Dallas, Texas  curated by Patric Prince. An exhibition called "Hard Copy," sponsored by Verbum Magazine' at University of California at San Diego included among others work by David Glynn and Stewart McSherry.

Verbum Digital Gallery at CyberArts International The "Verbum Digital Gallery" at the first CyberArts International Conference, at the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles featured work by Victor Acevedo, Stewart McSherry, Michael Johnson, Ellen Sanders and Stephen Myers of Artn, Sandra Filippucci, Beverly Rieser, and Barbara Nessim. This  conference was sponsored by Miller-Freeman publications and co-produced by Bob Gelman and Dominick Milano.  Michael Wright is a guest artist in the computer program run by Tony Longson at California State Summer School for the Arts at Humbolt State.  Patric Prince is the principle guest speaker. 

1991 

"The Computer Generated Art of Michael Wright" was the artist's first solo exhibition at Buena Park City Council Gallery, Buena Park CA. The Los Angeles Printmaking Society's National Exhibition, a bi-yearly event, was curated by Elizabeth Smith in '95, Henry Hopkins in '93, and Laddie Dill in '91, began to exhibit digital prints. "Artist and Computer" curated by Scot Canty for  LA Municipal Satellite Gallery at the WLA City Hall Group show included, among others, Victor Acevedo, Dona Geib and  Bettina Brendel. 

Verbum Gallery of Digital Art at the 2nd CyberArts International at the  Pasadena Convention Center.  Artists included Victor Acevedo, Sandra Fillipuci, Michael Johnson, Marius Johnson, Bert Monroy, Barbara Nessim, Anthony Munn, Ellen Sander/Art to the Nth, Brian Hughes, Carrie Heeter, Michael Gosney, Jack Davis, Jamie Levy,  Beverly Reiser,  Michael Masucci,  Kim McKillip,  Nicole Stenger, Joe Tripcian, M. Aldighieri, Sharon Grace, Jim Gill,  Bob Pringle,  Christen Gruel, Mort Helig and Aaron Ross.  In addition Michael Wright created on site digital portraits and exhibited work in the On Line Gallery which was curated by Patric Prince.  

CYBERSPACE GALLERY OPENED AT EZTV  Artist Michael Masucci and art historian Patric Prince formally open CyberSpace gallery housed upstairs at EZTV. CyberSpace was the first gallery in Los Angeles since 1986 dedicated to electronic art, however with a  more focused curatorial mandate toward work that was primarily digital.    Ms. Prince was the chair for ACM/Siggraph traveling exhibition for a number of years.  SIGGRAPH, the worlds largest graphics sig group, makes Southern California a regular stop on its convention schedule.  Ms. Prince also curated the "On Line Gallery" at the cutting edge 1990-2 "CyberArts International" conferences. 

1992  "Living Gallery" & "Silent Partners" In September a solo exhibition by Mason Lyte called  "Living Gallery" opened concurrently with "Silent Partners" the Inaugural exhibition at CyberSpace Gallery at  EZTV. The  Group show included Victor Acevedo, Liz Crimson, David Glynn, Mason Lyte, Ken Phipps,  M.K. Haley, John Hawk, Guy Marsden, Laura Ames Riley, Louise Diedrich,  Laurie House, and Michael Wright.    In October the "Digital Gallery" returns to  the 3rd CyberArts International at the Pasadena Convention Center .  On this occasion Patric Prince, Michael Wright, Liz Crimson, Tom Pike, among others participate in "Portrait Virus" an interactive internet work and  exhibits his work in the On Line Gallery. 
1993 

Uri Dorthan New York digital artist Uri Dorthan has a one person show "Mind, Man, Machine: the computer art of Uri Dorthan," at the Sam Francis Gallery, curated by Patric Prince, in Santa Monica, CA. 

"New Art" In February: "New Art"  opens at CyberSpace Gallery EZTV.  Juried by Patric Prince and Randal Oliver  this group show included among others  Guy Marsden, Magi Bollock,  Karin Schminke,  Frank Rozazy,  Paul Brown,  Diane Fenster, Erol Otus,  Susan Ressler,  Gerd Struwe, and Mara Wave.

"Digital Salon Des Independents" In July  "Digital Salon Des Independents" opens at CyberSpace Gallery.  This exhibition was mounted in response to "Machine Culture" the purely robotics and interactive art show held at the Anaheim convention center as the  Siggraph '93 art show.  "Machine Culture"  disallowed any static or digital print work.  "Digital Salon Des Independents" participating artists included Victor Acevedo,  Rebecca Allen,  Sherie Lynn Behr,  Uri Dothan,  Carol Flax,  Dona Geib,  Jean-Perre Hebert,  Paras Kaul,  Tony Longson,  Nancy Macko, Stewart McSherry,  Kamran Moojedi,  Barbara Nessim,  Ron Owenby,  Edie Paul,  Andrew Scott, Richard Sim,  Stephanie Slade,  Howard Smith, Eugenie Trow,  Roman Verostko, Victoria Vesna,  and Michael Wright.

"Pictures from the Hyper World" EZTV also exhibited  "Pictures from the HyperWorld"  curated by Paul Lee. This exhibition was co-sponsored by LACPS Group show and  included works by Steve Davis. In September the  Downey Museum of Art mounted an exhibition called  "Computer Influence".  This group show juried by Michael Brodsky and Scott Ward and included Victor Acevedo, Ken Goldberg, Glenn Kainno, Barbara Nessim, Derek Seelig, TimMcCourt, Robin Valle, Darren Bordier, Deena des Rioux, David Familian, Rebecca Bollinger, Steven Monaci,  among others. The exhibition was curated by art critic Peter Frank. In October a one person show: "Tony Longson: reconstruction", curated by Michael Wright,  opens  at the Sam Francis Gallery in Santa Monica, Ca.

"Computer Revelations" In Pomona, California, "Computer Revelations"  opened at the DA Gallery.  This  group show included work by Victor Acevedo, June Alexis, William Brun, Robert Bullock, Truda Chandlee,  Dona Geib,  David Kekone,  Nancy Macko,  Gloria Martin, Babette Mayor, Barbara Sultan, and  Byron Wilding. 

"A Digital Dialog" "A Digital Dialog" opened at Cypress College, Cypress, CA curated by John Bilotta  featured work by David Glynn and Stewart McSherry among others.

LA Art Fair In December  EZTV-CyberSpace Gallery is included in The 8th International LA ART FAIR '93 Los Angeles Convention Center group show.  The artists exhibited included Mimi Abers, Victor Acevedo, Sheri Lynn Behr, Steve Davis,  Ken Goldberg,  Dianne Holland,  Robert Lowden, Guy Marsden, Laura Ames Riley, Vertical Blanking,  Michael Masucci  and Kim McKillip. 

1994 

"Digital Spectrum" In February "Digital Spectrum" Curated by Fatimeh Holste opened at Mount San Antonio College, Walnut Cal.  This group exhibition included Victor Acevedo, Karen Schminke, Thomas Ward,  Michael Johnson,  Trici Venola, Darlene McElroy,  David Lynch,  Jon Wokulu,  Dona Geib,  Howard Smith, and Michael Wright.

"Digital LA" In July: "Digital LA",  curated by Michael Wright, at Sam Francis Gallery, Santa Monica CA opened to the largest crowd in the galleries history.  The group show included  Victor Acevedo,  Dona Geib,  Michael Wright, Tony Longson,  Liz Crimson,  David Glynn,  Kamran Moojedi,  Robert Lowden,  Bettina Brende, Mason Lyte,  Frank Rozazy,  Nancy Macko,  Trici Venula,  Louise Krasniewicz,  Karin Schminke, and Cathie Lamm.  This exhibition was reviewed on Japanese television in Tokyo.

"I Sing the Body Electric" In August the Lancaster Museum of Art, mounted an exhibition called "I Sing the Body Electric" curated by Susan Wiersema. The group show included Victor Acevedo,  Dona Geib, Stewart Dickson, Rich Sim, Eugenie Trow, Jaydee, Clinton Price, Robert McMahan, Darlene Sprunger  and Glen Knowles. This exhibit was reviewed in the Los Angeles Times.

"Underexposed" at the LA Municipal Art Gallery In September the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, presented "Underexposed".  This exhibition included digital work curated by Jonathan Green, Director of the California Museum of Photography. Digital work by Victor Acevedo, Lisa Bloomfield, Molly Bosted, Merrilyn Duzy, Linda Ewing, Ramiro Fauve, Carol Flax, Amani Fliers, Dona Geib, Michael Johnson, Tony Kurt, Howard Smith, Barbara Sultan, Franklin Westbrook, Corinne Whitaker, and Michael Wright were included in the exhibition . This show was reviewed by major Los Angeles Times art critic William Wilson, however, he made no mention of the digital art.

"The Magic Wand, Lasso and Marquee" In October, the Conejo Valley Art Museum in Thousand Oaks, Cal. Presented an exhibition called "the Magic Wand, Lasso and Marquee: Computers in the Artist's Studio".  This exhibition included work by Robin Valle, Amani Fliers,  Mason Lyte, Laurel Paley, and Michael Wright among others. 

1995 

"Information Superhighway" In March the Downey Museum of Art, Downey Cal. presented "Information Superhighway".  This National exhibition curated by Patric Prince and Peter Frank. Included by Victor Acevedo, Jeff Gates, Diane Fenster, Diane Holland Louise Krasniewicz, Nancy Maco, Laurel Paley, Frank Rozasy, and Michael Wright among others.

"Kamran Moojedi:  Digital Works" "Kamran Moojedi: Digital Works" a one person show curated by Michael Wright was presented at Sam Francis Gallery, Santa Monica, Cal. in July.  This exhibition included Moojedi's famous plotter portraits of Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol.

"Digital Site" In August the international ACM/SIGGRAPH '95 conference at the L.A Convention Center presented two satellite exhibitions .  The SITE Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. presented "Digital Site" This Exhibition was sponsored by the Los Angeles artist-run organization SITE and co-produced by  Michael Wright and Victor Acevedo with web site design by Mason Lyte and  David Leathers.   Artists in the show included Victor Acevedo, Nancy Buchanan,  David Glynn, Dona Geib, Ken Goldberg, Jane Gottlieb,  Jeanne L'Heureux,  Diane Holland,  Mary Hughes, Michael Johnson, Paras Kaul,  Louise Krasniewicz, Tony Longson,  Robert Lowden, Mason Lyte, Michael Masucci,  Kamram Moojedi,  Franklin Odel,  Ron Owenby, Laurel Paley,  Frank Rozasy, Lothar Schmitz, Howard Smith,  Robin Valle,  Shorty Vassalli,  Trici Venola, and Michael Wright.

"Digital Mediations" "Digital Mediations" was presented by Art Center College of Design as part of Peter Lunenfeld's "The Digital Dialectic' conference. This exhibition included Jim Campbell, Ken Feingold, Sara Roberts, Bill Seaman, Christa Sommerer, Laurent Mignonneau, and Jennifer Steinkamp.

"Digital Explosion" In October the Finegood Art Gallery, West Hills, Cal. presented "Digital Explosion".   This group show featured work by Victor Acevedo, Truda Chandlee, Preston Craig, Diane Destiny, Merrilyn Duzy, Nicholas Fedak, Dona Geib, Mason Lyte, Ron Ownbey, Laurel Paley, Audrei Phillips, Karen Schminke, Keri Seligman, Nathan Singer,  Robin Valle, and Michael Wright. Michael Wright is juried into the Los Angeles Printmaking Society's 13th National Exhibition, with a digital print, at LaBand Art Gallery,  Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Cal. David Glynn exhibits a digital work at "Vital Signs" Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Hollywood CA. "Events from a Virtual World" a solo show by Mason Lyte is presented at the DesignArc gallery Santa Barbara. 

1996 
"Deux ex Machina" In February "DEUS EX MACHINA" is presented at  California Polytechnic College, Pomona, CA.  This group show with panel discussion moderated by Patric Prince, included works by Victor Acevedo, Anna Boyiazis, Truda Chandlee, Merrilyn Duzy, Nicholas Fedak, Dona Geib, April Greiman,  Babette Mayor, Barbara Nessim, Audri Phillips, Karin Schminke, Robin Valle,  Trici Venola, and Michael Wright. In March, Digitalogue Gallery at Bergamont Station in Santa Monica, Cal.  presents "David Glynn", a solo exhibition of large scale prints. "Computer-Generated Fine Arts" In October "Computer-Generated Fine Arts" is mounted by the Riverside Community College Art Gallery, Riverside, Cal.  This group show included among others, David Glynn, Ron Ownby, Dona Geib, John Dingler, Babette Mayer,  and Michael Wright. The exhibition is reviewed in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. 
1997 
"L.A. DIGILANTES: a retrospective" the Museum of Art, Downtown Los Angeles, featuring Victor Acevedo, Dona Geib, David Glynn, Louise Krasniewicz, Tony Longson, Michael Masucci  & Michael R. Wright.