George Legrady

Professor of Digital Media, Director of the Experimental Visualization Lab
Media Arts & Technology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara

George Legrady is a media artist whose projects have explored the intersections of photography, computation and camera systems, interactive installations, and data visualization. He is a distinguished professor and former chair in the Media Arts & Technology graduate program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he directs the Experimental Visualization Lab. His research explores the nature of optical-mechanical, and optical-computational devices how they generate images that resonate at the conceptual, cultural, and aesthetic levels. A pioneer in bringing computation to issues of photographic representation in the mid-1980s, his contribution to the field has been in intersecting cultural content and algorithmic processing.

"Blink" is a software generated animation that consists of a matrix of eyes that open and close by taking stock of their neighbors’ actions. The process goes back and forth between states of stability where all eyes try to be like their neighbors, and states of transition where the eyes know their neighbors’ state but cant decide if they should be like them or not. A certain degree of deviance is programmed so that some of the eyes resist or differ from the general status quo of the collection of eyes. A mathematical model by the physicist Ernst Ising (1924) describing how magnetic particles set their polarities provides the behavior of each cell for the animation.