George Legrady

George Legrady

Fellow: Awarded 2016
Field of Study: Fine Arts

Competition: US & Canada

George Legrady is a multi-disciplinary artist with projects realized in photographic-based media, interactive digital media installations, and computationally generated visualizations. He is considered a pioneer in the field of digital computational arts for his contribution to the digital media field in intersecting cultural content with data processing as a means of creating new forms of aesthetic representations and socio-cultural narrative experiences. Throughout his artistic career, Legrady has pursued a highly visible experimental and research-oriented artistic practice that integrates digital computer technologies with photography, conceptual art, and art theory. The proposed artwork to be realized with support of the Guggenheim Fellowship is an installation titled, “Aesthetic Metavision,” that builds on a recently realized series of projects, “Swarm Vision”, “Exquisite Vision”, “AutoVision,” which have evolved out of bridging arts and engineering questions concerned with training an autonomous multi-camera system to acquire aesthetics-defined behavior and agency. Begun in 2011, and initially supported by National Science Foundation Intelligence and Information Systems Human-Computing Interaction grant, and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, the work has been featured in Engineering conferences and exhibitions, academic institutions, photography festivals and fine arts museums.

Legrady began his artistic career in the field of fine arts photography, migrating to digital technologies in the mid 1980s. His first major project was a photographic documentary of the northern Canadian James Bay Cree communities (1973/2014), for which he has received a National Science Foundation Arctic Social Science grant in 2012 to digitize and repatriate the images. His interactive and pioneering prizewinning projects include the “Anecdoted Archive from the Cold War” (1993), “Slippery Traces” (1995) published by the ZKM, “Pockets Full of Memories” (2001-2007) commissioned by the Centre Pompidou, “We Are Stardust” (2008) commissioned by NASA Spitzer Center and the Art Center College of Design, and “Making Visible the Invisible” at the Seattle Public Library, initiated in September 2005, making it possibly the longest running public dynamic data visualization artwork. In the past few years, George Legrady has extended his exploration of time-based narrative in a series of photo-based works that use a non-electronic medium, the lenticular imaging process that splices multiple images into a single, shifting kinetic image.

He has received awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Science Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology, the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Interval Research and academic research support. His work is represented in the collections of the Centre Pompidou; the Whitney Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Art; musée d’art contemporain, Montreal; 21c museum/hotels, and other institutions. The National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography held a retrospective in 1997 to document the transition from analog to digital in his photographic and installation works.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, he was raised in Montreal, Canada and has resided in California since 1981 where he received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1976. He is professor and chair of the Media Arts & Technology graduate program, and also directs the Experimental Visualization Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Edward Cella Art & Architecture represents his work in Los Angeles.

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