Graham Wakefield joined York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design in 2015. He is cross-appointed to the Digital Media Program and Department of Visual Art and Art History, and holds a five-year Canada Research Chair in Interactive Information Visualization.
Dr. Wakefield is an artist-researcher whose contributions include both scholarly research and the creation of works of art. His research-creation is founded upon a trans-disciplinary academic training in interactive art, music, virtual/augmented reality, mathematics and philosophy, partnered with extensive professional practice in software engineering for creative coding in audio-visual, interactive and immersive media.
He is the founding director of the Alice Lab for Computational Worldmaking in AMPD, a facility dedicated to the development of transferable knowledge, creative coding technology, and computationally literate art practice through the construction of responsive artificial worlds experienced through rapidly emerging mixed/hybrid reality technologies.
Professor Wakefield is an internationally exhibited artist of immersive and mixed-reality art installations, including the series Artificial Natures, an ongoing collaboration since 2007 with artist/researcher Haru Ji. These artworks present experiences of nature as it could be, through interactive worlds in which participants become one more component of an ecosystem, linking the generative open-endedness of biology and computation through aesthetic experience. The installations have been exhibited in numerous venues and events internationally including La Gaîté Lyrique/Paris, and have been recognized in peer-reviewed publications as well as organizations such as SIGGRAPH and VIDA.
Drawing upon creative and experiential philosophies, Dr. Wakefield’s research is committed to a view of computation as a shared medium of creative, embodied experience, and an agenda of sharing contributions to advance the digital art and creative coding communities. As an integral researcher in UC Santa Barbara’s AlloSphere, creating immersive, interactive multi-screen artworks and scientific visualizations for a unique three-storey spherical multi-user virtual reality instrument, Dr. Wakefield developed creative coding software for worldmaking that not only forms the foundation for most projects in the AlloSphere today, but is also widely used beyond including by internationally-renowned artists.
Through his doctoral work Dr. Wakefield extended the widely-used media art software Max/MSP/Jitter by co-authoring a new workspace called Gen. Introduced in 2011, it now has tens of thousands of users, and is lauded by many artists and musicians while also being utilized within industrial design labs and incorporated into courses at several major universities.
Professor Wakefield’s research is documented in numerous leading conferences, including a best paper award at NIME 2013, journals including IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and Computer Music Journal, as well as popular texts such as O’Reilly’s Beautiful Visualization.