Memories of Stephen Wilson

Stephen Wilson, 66, passed away on 10 January 2011. Educated at Antioch College, University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago, Steve was a leading thinker and practitioner in the field of new media. His award-winning interactive installations and performances were shown in galleries, museums and internationally renowned exhibitions including SIGGRAPH, CHI, NCGA, Ars Electronica, and V2. He was an investigator in NSF projects and artist-in-residence at various think tanks, including Xerox PARC. For many years, he was a Professor of Art at San Francisco State University, where he headed the program in Conceptual & Information Arts. He was the author of several books exploring the cultural implications of the intersection between art, science and technology, including Information Arts (MIT Press/Leonardo Books, 2001) and most recently Art + Science Now (Thames & Hudson, 2010). At the time of his death he was working on an award-winning project on energy harvesting.

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Memories of Stephen Wilson

Stephen Wilson was an amazingly active and far-sighted person – always open to new ideas and influences. He was the driving force behind the renewal of the Leonardo Electronic Almanac and supported me with his advice as well as trust in the new ideas that we have pushed to implement. His respect and willingness to engage with young academics was amazing and he always made sure that LEA, as a peer reviewed journal, would continue to engage young scholars from all over the world. He was a visionary and someone who wanted to engage with new audiences through the use of electronic media. It has been a pleasure working with him.

Lanfranco Aceti
Editor in Chief, Leonardo Electronic Almanac
2009 – present

Stephen Wilson was like an online mentor to me. We met twice in person, but had lots of discussions online. He was the Leonardo Web Committee Chair, when I served as LEA’s editor in chief from 2001 – 2009. His energy and foresight amazed me, he was very critical with feedback to both the content on our e-journal as well as to the LEA web designs we produced. He also was a stalwart, pushing us to strive to use new media technologies and engage new audiences. It was a real privilege to work with him!

Nisar Keshvani
Editor in Chief, Leonardo Electronic Almanac 2001 – 09