Computer art and animation father Ken Knowlton dies at age 91

Dr. Knowlton stayed at Bell Labs until 1982, experimenting with everything from computer-generated music to technology that allows hearing-impaired people to read sign language over the phone. He later joined Wang Laboratories to help users develop personal computers in the late 1980s that could annotate documents with synchronized voice messages and digital penstrokes.

After retiring from technical research in 2008, he joined a magician and inventor named Mark Setteducati, creating a jigsaw puzzle called JiGaZo that could look like anyone’s face. “He had a mathematical mind and a great sense of aesthetics,” Setteducati said in a telephone interview.

In addition to his son Rick, Dr. Knowlton has survived by two other sons, Kenneth and David. All of this is from the first marriage that ended in divorce. Brother Fredrick Knowlton. And his sister Marie Knowlton. Also two daughters from his first marriage, Melinda and Susanne Knowlton, and his second wife, Barbara Bean Nowlton, have died.

While at the Bell Labs, Knowlton worked with several well-known artists, including experimental filmmaker Stan Van der Beek, computer artist Lillian Schwartz, and electronic music composer Laurie Spiegel. Did. He saw himself as an engineer who helped others create art, as specified in Rauschenberg’s EAT project.

But later on, he began using dominoes, dice, shells and other materials to create traditional analog images and create, display and sell his own art. He was late to realize that when engineers collaborate with artists, they become more than engineers.

“At best, they will be more perfect human beings, because they understand that all actions do not come from logic, but from emotions, values, and impulses that are essentially undefendable at the bottom. “He says. Written in 2001.. “Some people will eventually become artists.”

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