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"Bell Labs & the Origins of the Multimedia Artist"

an afternoon panel discussion

in the Great Hall @ Cooper Union, NYC

7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue

Sunday, November 8th, 2pm

Thanks to the IEEE Global History Network Archives...


On Sunday, November 8, 1998 at 2 pm (in the Great Hall of Cooper Union) ASCI will celebrate a major aspect of the origins of the creative explosion which has resulted in multimedia, electronic music, and a new way of conceiving of art -- as it looks at: "Bell Labs and the Origins of the Multimedia Artist." The second half of the 20th century offered a new set of tools for artists to work with -- namely, digital computers. Bell Labs provided an environment for some of the early experiments in using these new technologies for both music and visual experimentation -- both for artists and scientists.

Some of the people who were a part of that heady period at Bell Labs will explore the projects and events that made that time so exciting. They include:

Emmanuel Ghent - composer/pioneer of algorithmic music, computer-controlled lighting
Billy Kluver - co-founder of E.A.T. (Experiments in Art & Technology)
Ken Knowlton - one of the early developers of computer motion pictures
Max Mathews - often referred to as the "father of computer music"
A. Michael Noll - one of the first pioneers of digital art and virtual reality
Laurie Spiegel - composer/visual artist who did extensive creative work there
Jerry Spivack - brought interactive graphics into a museum setting
Doree Seligmann - on the current relationship of Bell Labs to multimedia
Carl Machover - consultant on computer graphics technologies

For those interested in discovering the period which opened up the multimedia revolution, and for those who are helping to extend this revolution into the next century, this panel represents an unprecedented opportunity to enrich the digital art industries of the future by sharing its unique beginnings.

The event will consist of Q&A from the moderator and audience, and audio/visual materials documenting the work of these innovators.

*** Click on panelist names to go to their bios.

This event is a production of ASCI and is Sponsored by:
Lucent Technologies, The Filmmakers Collaborative Ltd, and Intelligistics, Inc.

Event Press Coverage:
WIRED NEWS online, November 4, 1998
MIX Online (extensive review)

Joel Chadabe's "Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music" is the first book to deal comprehensively with the history of electronic music. Based on more than 150 interviews with musicians, engineers and entrepreneurs, it is a lively, witty, and engaging narrative that tells in vivid terms how the electronic musical instrument developed from Thaddeus Cahill's Telharmonium at the turn of the century to the MIDI synthesizers of the 1990's. The book also contains provocative and easily understandable discussions of issues in sound synthesis, new approaches to performance, the use of computer algorithms as aids to creativity, and approaches to music on the Internet. Electric Sound

ASCI is a non-profit organization based in New York City devoted to member services and the production of public projects that provide visibility for the curious intersection of the fields of art, science, and technology. Since 1993, ASCI has been producing informative and provocative panel discussions and symposia at Cooper Union on timely issues in the field of art & technology.

For more information on ASCI public projects visit:
Media Contact: Cynthia Pannucci, Director of ASCI at: "asci[at]asci[dot]org"