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October 11, 2016 AT 10:00 pm

Anne Morgan Spalter #ALD16 @findingada

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Anne Morgna Spalter is a new media artist and author of the widely used text The Computer in the Visual Arts. From Wikipedia:

Anne Morgan Spalter is a new media artist working from Anne Spalter Studios in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and Brattleboro, VT USA. Spalter is also the author of the widely used text The Computer in the Visual Arts (Addison-Wesley 1999). Her art, writing, and teaching all reflect her long-standing goal of integrating art and technology.

Life and work

Spalter first used a computer as an undergraduate at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in the late 1980s. Recognizing its unique power to integrate different disciplines, Spalter created an independent major that culminated in a multimedia novel. She also graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics and in Visual Art. After three years in New York, Spalter returned to Rhode Island to pursue an MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Spalter initiated and taught the first new media fine arts courses at both RISD and Brown. Finding a lack of teaching aids she wrote the textbook, “The Computer in the Visual Arts.” James Faure Walker, artist, author and founder of the British magazine ArtScribe, describes the book, on its jacket, as: “…the first comprehensive work to combine technical and theoretical aspects of the emerging field of computer art and design.” Alvy Ray Smith was an advisor. Reviews in MIT’s Technology Review and other publications provide further details.

“The Computer in the Visual Arts” has been used in courses at schools from the University of Washington to Bowling Green State University to Pratt Institute. It has also been used at schools outside the US such as King’s College London. and Sabanci University, Istanbul. It is on the Victoria and Albert “Computer Art Reading list.” As an educator and artist in this emerging field, Spalter has served on editorial boards of publications such as CG Educational Materials Source (CGEMS), and presented in lectures, including the inaugural series for the Harvard Initiative in Innovative Computing.

In Brown University’s Department of Computer Science, Spalter worked with Thomas J. Watson, Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education and Professor of Computer Science Andries van Dam as Artist in Residence and as a Visual Computing Researcher. She has initiated and published on research projects ranging from color theory and its applications to better color selection tools to a large-scale educational effort to raise visual literacy to the same status as reading and writing in core curricula. In 2007, Spalter left her position at Brown to create art full-time.

Spalter’s art works explore the concept of the “modern landscape” through both the subject matter and the processes used to create the work. She draws on her own travels and digital photographic and video database to create both traditional works and new media still and moving pieces. She is particularly interested in combining traditional strategies with computational processes possible only with the computer.

Read more here and on her website here.



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October 11th is Ada Lovelace Day! Today the world celebrates all of the accomplishments of women in science, art, design, technology, engineering, and math. Each year, Adafruit highlights a number of women who are pioneering their fields and inspiring women of all ages to make their voices heard. Today we will be sharing the stories of women that we think are modern day “Adas” alongside historical women that have made impacts in science and math.

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