Associate Director of the MIT Media Lab and Director of Aesthetics and Computation Group of the lab, John Maeda fuses computer science and visual arts to challenge the common understanding of computer aided design/art. Instead of applying the pre-packaged design software widely available in the market, Maeda’s creative process delves into the deeper substance below the surface of today’s digital art — Maeda writes his own code to visualize his ideas and develop aesthetics. The results are a new definition of designing on computers. Maeda’s work is composed of unpredictable, fresh concepts and styles beyond the creative limits that are often seen today in many routinely formatted designers’ work with off-the-shelf software.

“The biggest problem with tools, Maeda says, is that they give designers the illusion of unfettered creativity. Designers think ‘I can make my imagination.’ They don’t realize they’re in someone else’s imagination.” (*1)

In the I.D. Magazine article by Karrie Jacobs, Maeda ponders an awareness of exploring computers as a more profound artistic media. He advocates raising a new generation of the artists/programmers hybrids, who can shift the common paradigm of digital design to higher integration of creativity.

As a Capp Street Project artist-in-residence at the California College of Arts and Crafts (CCAC), Maeda will hold two exhibitions this fall, “Maeda @ Media” and “Coded Blue.” Maeda @ Media presents his recent work, including digital interactive books, posters, and sculptural work. For Coded Blue, Maeda will create a new installation work during his residency and show his approach to designing by code.

(*1) Jacobs, Karrie. “The Maeda Touch” I.D. Magazine. November 1998: 58-65

Place : Maeda @ Media :October 28, 2000 to December 16, 2000
(Opening Reception: 11/17/00, 7-9 pm, Artist’s Talk: “Post-Digital,” 6-7pm)
Date : Coded Blue : November 18, 2000 to December 16, 2000
Place : Logan Galleries @ CCAC (415.551.9210)
Address : 1111 8th Street (at 16th and Wisconsin Street) San Francisco
Gallery hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11am – 5pm,
Tuesday: 11am – 9pm; closed Sunday (Closed 11/23/00 -11/25/00)

John Maeda

Text: Kanya Niijima from MMSW Labs

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