MacArthur 'Genius Grant' Awarded to Camille UtterbackJuxtapoz // Friday, 25 Sep 2009
Drawing upon traditional media such as painting, photography and sculpture, she writes computer code that seamlessly blends the interactive elements of each piece with her aesthetic vision.
In her 1999 video installation Text Rain, made with Romy Achituv, the interface of video camera and tracking software allows a viewer's entire body to engage with text. As viewers stand in front of the projection, their shadows interrupt the falling streams of seemingly random words; the words eventually come to rest on the outline of the viewers' bodies to reveal lines of a poem.
A later installation, the External Measures series (2001-2008), reacted to people's motions and involved the viewer in the act of creating monumental paintings and drawings. And Utterback's Abundance (2007), a temporary outdoor video projected onto San Jose's Richard Meier-designed City Hall dome, transformed an impersonal public space into a colorful environment that was responsive to human presence and movement.
The MacArthur Foundation says: "With each subsequent project, Utterback is creating works that encourage audiences to take part in new and exciting artistic collaborations and enriching the experience of living in a technological age."
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awards fellowships each year. Twenty-four innovators in art, science, writing and more will each receive $500,000 over the next five years.