Ken Knowlton, a Father of Computer Art and Animation, Dies at 91

Dr. Knowlton remained at Bell Labs right up until 1982, experimenting with anything from laptop or computer-created audio to technologies that authorized deaf people today to read through indicator language over the telephone. He later joined Wang Laboratories, where by, in the late-1980s, he served produce a personal laptop that permit consumers annotate files with synchronized voice messages and electronic pen strokes.

In 2008, immediately after retiring from tech study, he joined a magician and inventor named Mark Setteducati in generating a jigsaw puzzle named Ji Ga Zo, which could be arranged to resemble anyone’s facial area. “He experienced a mathematical thoughts combined with a wonderful perception of aesthetics,” Mr. Setteducati stated in a telephone interview.

In addition to his son Rick, Dr. Knowlton is survived by two other sons, Kenneth and David, all from his first relationship, which ended in divorce a brother, Fredrick Knowlton and a sister, Marie Knowlton. Two daughters, Melinda and Suzanne Knowlton, also from his to start with relationship, and his second wife, Barbara Bean-Knowlton, have died.

Whilst at Bell Labs, Mr. Knowlton collaborated with many very well-recognized artists, such as the experimental filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek, the laptop artist Lillian Schwartz and the electronic-new music composer Laurie Spiegel. He observed himself as an engineer who assisted other people produce art, as approved by Mr. Rauschenberg’s E.A.T. venture.

But afterwards in everyday living he commenced developing, exhibiting and marketing artwork of his individual, making classic analog images with dominoes, dice, seashells and other resources. He belatedly realized that when engineers collaborate with artists, they turn into extra than engineers.

“In the most effective instances, they turn out to be more finish people, in element from comprehending that all conduct will come not from logic but, at the bottommost amount, from intrinsically indefensible emotions, values and drives,” he wrote in 2001. “Some eventually turn out to be artists.”