Myron Krueger

Videoplace, Myron Krueger

Golan Levin’s Prequels to Everyday Life has a great discussion of how new media artists’ influence is often broader than we would originally imagine.

some of today’s most commonplace and widely-appreciated technologies were initially conceived and prototyped, years ago, by new-media artists. In some instances, we can pick out the unmistakable signature of a single person’s original artistic idea, released into the world decades ahead of its time — perhaps even dismissed, in its day, as useless or impractical — which after complex chains of influence and reinterpretation has become absorbed, generations of computers later, into the culture as an everyday product.

the artists posed novel questions which wouldn’t have arisen otherwise. To get a jump on the future, in other words, bring in some artists who have made theirs the problem of exploring the social implications and experiential possibilities of technology.

I posted the Aspen Movie Map last week as example of this. Another is new media artist Myron Krueger. His Videoplace, developed in the mid-1970s, but with work continuing through the late 1980s, was a pioneering creation of full-body interactivity and virtual environments. It contained 25 different environments (or interaction patterns) in which people could engage. He coined the term “Artificial Reality” to describe what he was striving to create.

His work is a clear precursor to such developments as multi-touch, the Sony Eye Toy (2003), and Microsoft’s Project Natal (2009).

Take a look at the videos. They’re remarkable achievements by a pioneering artist.

Videoplace, Myron Krueger