I am an internationally exhibited digital media artist, scholar, and academic, pioneering the exploration of born-digital processes in fine arts since the mid-1980s. My journey began with a conceptual and critical exploration of merging computation with photography. In the early 1990s, I transitioned to delve into multi-linear interactive narrative through desktop works and cd-roms leading to museum-scale interactive projections / installations. Throughout the 2000s, my focus expanded to collecting and analyzing data in site-specific installations, employing custom software for real-time visualization. Over the past 15 years, my projects have circled back to the impact of data processing algorithms on the image through artificial neural-networks and other forms of machine learning and artificial intelligence. This exploration seeks to understand the aesthetic, perceptual, social and cultural impact of imaging technologies on our perception of the photograph.


Brief Vitae

I was born in Budapest, Hungary. Emigrated to Montreal, Canada under political refugee status. Attended French elementary school where I specialized in classical piano, followed by English High-School. Between ages of 14 to 20 earned part-time living in construction, factory work, underground mining, and as a rock and roll, and night club musician. At age 20, travelled for a year in Europe and the Middle East. Practiced documentary photography (1971-1975) followed by a conceptual approach exploring the semantics and syntax of the photographic image. I attended Loyola College in Montreal, Goddard College in Vermont, and received a Masters of Fine Arts in photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1976. My first major project was a photographic documentary of life in the northern James Bay indigenous Cree communities in 1973 at the time of their negotiations over land rights and self-determination.

My artistic work transitioned to studio, staged photography (1977-1984).In 1981 I met the Artificial Intelligence artist Harold Cohen who gave me access to his studio where I acquired computer programming on a DEC PDP-11 mainframe computer. Beginning in 1986 when the first digital raster image technology became available, I realized a series of "born digital" still images that integrated concepts and references from Fine Arts photography, conceptual art, Barthes' visual semiotics, Shannon's Information Theory, Brownian motion, image processing and computer graphics, and the practice of creative coding. Between 1992 and 2010 I produced a number of interactive, data visualization installations focused on the classification and analysis of digital data implementing various advanced machine-learning algorithms. Since 2011 to the present, I have explored the potential of computation for expression and analysis of the photographic image. During the past 2 years, my practice and research have addressed the transformative technological and cultural challenges of generative AI image synthesis.

Public Collections

Artworks are in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Centre Pompidou Museum, Paris, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the musée d’art contemporain in Montreal, the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Hungarian Museum of Fine Arts, the ZKM (Center for Art and Media), Europe's most important digital media museum, 21c Museum and others. I have realized a number of permanent public commissions such as "Kinetic Flow" at the Santa Monica/Vermont Los Angeles Metro Rail entrance (2007), the Corporate Executive Board (Arlington) (2009), and "Making Visible the Invisible", at the Seattle Central Library (2005-present), a data visualization installation that may be the longest running such project to-date.


My appointment at the University of California, Santa Barbara, began in 2000 with a shared appointment in the Art Department, and the Media Arts & Technology program. I am currently Distinguished Professor of Digital Media and direct the Experimental Visualization Lab. I have served as chair of the Media Arts & Technology between 2013 and 2017. I have held a Visiting Professional Fellowship at the Centre for Interactive Cinema at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and also a Visiting Scholar position in the Diaspora Lab at the Institut des Mines-Télécom, Paristech. Previous to UCSB, I directed the digital media graduate program at the Merz Akademie for Visual Communication in Stuttgart between 1996-2000, co-directed the Information Arts/Conceptual Design program at the San Francisco State University, 1988-1996, visiting faculty in the Intermedia program at the Hungarian National Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest (fall 1994), a faculty in the Visual Arts dept. at the University of Southern California, (1984-1988) visiting faculty at the California Institute for the Arts, (1982-1984), faculty in the Visual Arts dept at the University of Western Ontario (1977-1981), and visiting faculty at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax (summer 1980). I received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Visual Arts in 2016.