Digital mixed-media artist Anne Spalter is an academic pioneer who founded the original digital fine arts programs at Brown University and The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the 1990s and authored the internationally taught textbook, The Computer in the Visual Arts (Addison-Wesley, 1999). Alongside her studio practice, Spalter continues to lecture on digital art practice and theory.
Spalter’s work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK); the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY); the Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence, RI); and others. Her artistic process combines a consistent set of personal symbols with a hybrid arsenal of traditional mark-making methods and innovative digital tools. A new body of work, further developed at a Winter 2019 residency at MASS MoCA, combines artificial intelligence algorithms with oil paint and pastels.
For the digital art component of her mixed media practice, Spalter uses custom software and algorithms to transform both still and video source footage—which she captures in high resolution during multisensory experiences such as riding the Coney Island Cyclone; walking through an open-air flower market in Bangkok; and gazing down from a helicopter over downtown Dubai—into psychedelic, vibrantly rendered, and often surrealist dreamscapes.
Spalter is also noted for her large-scale public projects. MTA Arts commissioned Spalter to create a 52-screen digital art installation, New York Dreaming, which remained on view in one of its most crowded commuter hubs (Fulton Center) for just under a year. Spalter’s 2019 large-scale projects included a 47,000 square foot LED video work on the Hong Kong harbor.