Erik Adigard is a communication designer whose work stretches into domains as broad as identity systems, web sites, videos, visual essays, and book design, as well as documentary films and installations in art museums and exhibitions. With distillations of trends and ideas into visually arresting spreads and iconography, Adigard and his M.A.D. company partner Patricia McShane's work was a key element establishing Wired magazine's visual storytelling from its start in 1993. This last decade has seen Adigard nearly as involved in installations and art venues as he is with his admittedly broad design practice.
Adigard’s most recent public work was AirXY, for the 2008 Architecture Biennale in Venice, created with M.A.D. and Chris Salter. A multimedia installation with interactive animation, sensors, haze, light, and sound, AirXY explored space, architecture, media, and the human presence, extended by sensors and transformed by interfaces and networks. Its manifesto described the “de facto landscape of screens” and disembodied living and called for “re-materialization” that would unite “data and bodies.” It followed Dualterm, in which Adigard and Salter used a Toronto Airport Terminal as a mixed point of departure into a SecondLife 3D world, along with other, less virtual destinations.
Friends and sometime collaborators, we sat down in a San Francisco Mexican restaurant--in the midst of a blaring and lengthy Michael Jackson tribute--to talk about how his approach changes when working in the different modes of art and design. -John Alderman
As the niche genre of software art expands beyond the web and into mobile devices, media artists are finding ways to integrate their work into a new form of business model. Instead of giving away your work for free on the web, Apple's iPhone and iTouch devices provide an ample platform for distribution (through the Apple App Store) and hardware support for novel ways to experience screen-based work.
This video is a TV show made about the software Ivan Sutherland developed in his 1963 thesis at MIT's Lincoln Labs, "Sketchpad, A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System", described as one of the most influential computer programs ever written. This work was seminal in Human-Computer Interaction, Graphics and Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs), Computer Aided Design (CAD), and contraint/object-oriented programming. While watching this video, remember that the TX-2 computer (built circa 1958) on which the software ran was built from discrete transistors (not integrated circuits -it was room-sized) and contained just 64K of 36-bit words (~272k bytes).
Ancient Pixels is my current work in progress where lo-resolution video game graphics, Andean textile art and psychedelic poster art are merged produce the visual aesthetic and the grammar blocks (via Andean symbol interpretation) of a multi-channel interactive video installation depicting scenes of an imaginary Inca temple. The installation is made up of several components such as "animated rugs", immersive video walls and sculptural pieces.
The most distributed image ever is being phased out. What remains is a hill in Sonoma Valley, California. In the context of this project we have re-visited the hill. “After Microsoft” tells the story of a January day in the late 90’s when the hill came to coincide with a global branding strategy.
After Microsoft has been exhibited as an installation piece, including a projection of the re-photographed view together with a voice-over.