a group retrospective of the work of 8 artists, who either emerged
from, or co-invented Los Angeles computer art "digilantism".
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
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
the middle eighties, a group of Los Angeles artists embraced digital
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....
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.
CALIFORNIA DIGITAL ART CHRONOLOGY
1980's witnessed a growth of interest in computer graphics at
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
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,
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).
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.
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.
participated in a LA Siggraph sponsored multi-media performance
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.
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.
"Computer Superstars" "Computer
Superstars" at EZTV a group show among others including
artists Rebecca Allen, Shelley
Lake and Montxo Algora.
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.
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.
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
Digital Gallery at CyberArts International The
"Verbum Digital Gallery" at the first CyberArts
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.
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.
Gallery of Digital Art at the 2nd CyberArts International at
the Pasadena Convention
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
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.
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.
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
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
"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
"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
"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.
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.
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.
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
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
"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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
ex Machina" In
February "DEUS EX MACHINA" is presented at California Polytechnic
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
DIGILANTES: a retrospective" the Museum of Art, Downtown Los Angeles,
Victor Acevedo, Dona Geib, David Glynn, Louise Krasniewicz,
Tony Longson, Michael Masucci &
Michael R. Wright.