David Em (born 1952) is an American artist.
David Em presenting "The Shape of the Universe" 2011
|Education||Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts|
American Film Institute
|Known for||Digital art|
Life and workEdit
Em created digital paintings at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC) in 1975 with SuperPaint, "the first complete digital paint system". In 1976, he made an articulated 3D digital insect at Information International, Inc. (III) that could walk, jump, and fly, the first 3D character created by a fine artist. Em became the first artist to produce navigable virtual worlds at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he was Artist in Residence from 1977 to 1984. He also created digital art at the California Institute of Technology (1985 – 1988), and Apple Computer (1991). Em has worked independently since the early nineties.
Scope of workEdit
Em's art spans multiple media, including virtual worlds, filmmaking, printmaking, and photography. He has also worked with live performance and theater. Most of his creations exist outside of the mainstream art world.
Some of his early art created at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1970s has deep-space related themes. In the 1980s he incorporated light effects reminiscent of the French Impressionists, and in the 1990s he introduced otherworldly lifeforms into his work. In the first decade of the Twenty-First century, an apocalyptic element appears in his imagery. His current work relates to consciousness and the neurosciences.
His art has been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Seibu Museum in Tokyo, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He has given talks at Harvard, MIT, The University of Paris, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His work has appeared in popular media, including the covers of Herbie Hancock's Future Shock, Sound-System, and Perfect Machine albums and an electronic version of William Gibson’s Neuromancer. He is the first digital artist to have his working papers acquired by the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.
Em has curated several exhibitions, including "The Shape of the Universe," November 30, 2011, at Pasadena City College with assistance from NASA and Caltech. The exhibit featured recent deep space photographs and computer simulations.
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- "Pasadena City College - Art Gallery". www.cosmotography.com. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
- "Pasadena City College - Art Gallery". Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- Bradbury, Ray (1984). "Em Squared". David Em at OCCA (exhibition catalogue). Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.
- Gardiner, Jeremy; Malone, Seamus; Lambert, Nick (February 24, 2009). "Interview with David Em". Computer Art & Technoculture. Los Angeles. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
- Kleiner, Fred S.; Mamiya, Christin J. (2004). Gardner's Art Through the Ages (12th ed.). Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
- Ross, David (1988). The Art of David Em. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
- Zelanski, Paul; Fisher, Mary Pat (2007). The Art of Seeing (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.