J-Walt is a director, interactive designer, filmmaker, performer, graphic artist, music composer, and VR pioneer. For more than a quarter century, he has been at the forefront of interactive art and computer performance, expanding the uses of computer animation into uncharted territories. His Spontaneous Fantasia performances combine aspects of animation, video games, music, theater, dance and architecture into a seamless new art form. He has performed for thrilled audiences around the US as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America.
In March of 2006, J-Walt won a Technical Academy Award for his development of a real-time pre-visualization system, and in 2003, he received a Themed Entertainment Award for a digital puppetry attraction, one of many digital puppet projects he’s developed over his career. He produced location-based video games for Sony. He was a founding member of Disney’s VR studio, which created a state-of-the-art virtual reality experience for Disney’s EPCOT center in 1995.
J-Walt grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and attended the Experimental Animation department of CalArts, graduating in 1988. J-Walt’s movies and images have been exhibited at Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, MOCA, Sinking Creek Film Festival, New York Animation Festival, and others. In his spare time, he organizes the Los Angeles Abstract Movie Workshop. He lives in Altadena, California.
“With my performances, I take literally the meaning of the word ‘animation’: making images come to life. I use my drawing skills to give directions to computer programs I’ve written. I aim to capture the sensitivity of gesture, but I also use techniques which amplify and augment the gestures. The wave of the arm or the stroke of the pen is my foundation, but the effect is much more. My creative process for these pieces is to continually shift between painting, programming, composing music, and performing. My goal is to create a wholly integrated experience for the eye, ear, and mind.”