Donna J. Cox

First Michael Aiken Chair, Professor in the School of Art and Design at the College of Fine and Applied Arts, Director of the Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL), Associate Director for Research and Education at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Director of the Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media (eDream) Institute at NCSA, United States of America

Professor Donna J. Cox, MFA, PhD, is a recognized ground-breaker in data visualization and the art of scientific visualization and an internationally acclaimed computer artist, designer, and writer. Cox’s work has been internationally pivotal in the history of convergence of digital art/science research. She’s best known for defining Renaissance Teams, “where specialists provide a broad spectrum of skills in the quest for discovery” and for her pioneering use of supercomputers.

AVL develops advanced technologies including virtual reality for design, insight, discovery, and to captivate the broad public with the stories of natural phenomenon. She and her collaborators have thrilled millions around the world with stunning cinematic presentations of data for giant-screen productions, digital museum shows, IMAX movies, and HD/4K and stereo documentaries.

Cox was art director of scientific visualization for the Academy Award nominated IMAX film, Cosmic Voyage, 1997. AVL contributed major scenes to the IMAX film, Hubble 3D which was honored with three giant screen awards for best picture, choreography, and life-long learning, 2010. AVL’s latest popular productions include the Solar Superstorms fulldome documentary narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, 2015, and A Beautiful Planet IMAX 3D movie, 2016, narrated by Jennifer Lawrence. AVL has co-produced The Birth of Planet Earth digital dome production, premiering in Berlin at the Zeiss Planetarium, April 2019.

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry selected Cox as one of 40 modern-day Leonardo DaVinci’s. In February 2017, the IMERSA (Immersive Media Entertainment Research in Science and Art) international organization awarded Cox with a lifetime achievement award for lasting and positive contributions to the digital dome and big screen community.

In March 2018, she received the Illinois Innovation Transfer Award in recognition of potential work with significant societal impact. She serves as the theme lead for the Culture & Society Lead for the Discovery Partner’s Institute for the tri-campus University of Illinois system. She is the lead co-editor on art historical book New Media Futures: the rise of women in the digital arts, (UI Press, 2018), contributing to revisionist history in technology and women’s studies.

Cox will be speaking on the “Revolutions in Mapping the Digital Universe: Stories of Satellites, Supercomputers, and the Art of Data Visualization”. Stay tuned for more details.

Jeffrey Shaw

Endowed Chair Professor of Media Art
Director, Center for Applied Computing and Interactive Media (Hong Kong, Chengdu)
School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

Jeffrey Shaw (Melbourne 1944) has been a leading figure in new media art since its emergence from the performance, expanded cinema and installation paradigms of the 1960s to its present-day technology-informed and virtualized forms. In a prolific oeuvre of widely exhibited and critically acclaimed works he has pioneered and set benchmarks for the creative use of digital media in the fields of virtual and augmented reality, immersive visualization environments, navigable cinematic systems and interactive narrative. His signature works include include Corpocinema (1969), Viewpoint (1975), Heavens Gate (1986), Legible City (1989), The Virtual Museum (1991), EVE (1993), Golden Calf (1995), configuring the CAVE (1997), The Web of Life (2000), PLACE-Hampi (2006), T_Visionarium (2008), Pure Land: Inside the Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang (2012), Divine Comedy AR (2018).

Shaw was co-founder of the Eventstructure Research Group in Amsterdam (1969-1979) and the founding director of the ZKM Institute for Visual Media Karlsruhe (1991-2002). In 1993 he was appointed Professor of Media Art at the University of Art and Design Karlsruhe, and in 2003 he was awarded an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship to found and direct the UNSW iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research. Shaw is currently University Distinguished Professor at UNSW, Visiting Professor at CAFA Beijing and Imperial College London, and Honorary Professor at Danube University, Krems, Austria.

From 2009 till 2016 Shaw was Dean of the School of Creative Media at City University in Hong Kong, where he is currently Endowed Chair Professor of Media Art and Director of the Center for Applied Computing and Interactive Media (Hong Kong, Chengdu). His numerous awards include the 2015 Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Visionary Pioneer of Media Art.

Shaw will be speaking on “Making Things Making Meaning - Frontiers in New Media”. Stay tuned for more details.

Inigo Quilez

Co-founder, Shadertoy

Inigo Quilez started coding fractals at age 14. Later he joined the underground community Demoscene, where he learnt to use code and mathematics to build art through realtime rendering. Among his work in the Demoscene, there's the 64 kilobytes demo Paradise and Breakpoint 2009 winning 4 kilobytes procedural terrain demo "Elevated".

After finishing his MS in Electrical Engineering, Inigo worked in virtual reality and real-time raytracing and rasterization of massive data sets in Belgium for six years. He then joined Pixar Animation Studios as a Technical Artist doing whole production level work and also shot level work. There he created Wondermoss, their procedural vegetation and landscapes engine for the movies, and later won a VES award for his production work in Brave where he used this system to dress a great majority of the shots in the film.

Inigo then joined the Oculus Story Studio where he worked in VR again for 2 years as Visual Effects Supervisor, bridging the worlds of film and realtime VR storytelling. For their second film "Dear Angelica", Inigo created Quill, the professional grade VR drawing and animation tool used today to by several studios. Inigo became the Product Manager of Quill and lead of the Quill team and their distribution ecosystem.

Inigo's belief in free education has driven him to give more than 50 talks, publish more than 100 articles, produce more than 50 demoscene works and release more than 300 open-sourced procedural art pieces. In that line of work, in 2013, Inigo co-founded and co-created the website Shadertoy together with Pol Jeremias, the free online compute graphics learning social platform, to which he also contributes with content regularly.

Quilez will be speaking on “Why Do I Create Images with Mathematics - A Journey of Innovating in Tech”. Stay tuned for more details.