Jennifer Steinkamp

Steinkamp is an internationally exhibiting installation artist who works with new media and video to explore ideas about architectural space, motion, and perception.

She studied at CalArts and ArtCenter in Los Angeles, and has had solo exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, ARCO, Madrid, The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, The Nevada Museum of Art and the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington, among others.

Her group shows include the 8th Annual Istanbul Biennial; she represented the United Stated in the 11th Cairo Biennial; and participated in shows at MASSMoca and the Seoul Museum of Art.  Her work has been included in Visual Music at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

A retrospective of her work opened at the San Jose Museum of Contemporary Art in 2006 and traveled on to the Kemper Museum and the Albright-Knox Gallery.

Steinkamp is a Professor at UCLA’s Design | Media Arts program. To see more examples of her installation work and Quicktimes, go to her website:  http://jsteinkamp.com

"The Wreck of the Dumaru"

The Wreck of the Dumaru

Date:  2004
Dimensions:  projection 48 x 15 and 22 x 15 feet, size variable
Equipment:  4 Epson 7800, 3500 lumen projectors, 5 PC computers.
Description: My great uncle Ernest Hedinger was a seaman on the Dumaru during WWI, 1918. The ship carrying weapons and fuel was struck by lightning scarcely a couple hours outside of Guam. Powerful currents carried the helpless lifeboats out to sea. There were not enough provisions in the over crowded boat. Only 19 years old, Uncle Ernest died after 13 days. Out of desperation he had been drinking seawater, which caused him to imagine a nail stuck in his head. Soon after his death, two of the shipmates were cannibalized. The crew was trapped out at sea for 24 days total.

The installation consisted of 4 projections in sync to create a giant animated seascape panorama across 2 walls of the gallery. The imagery consisted of two ocean animations combined, one looking from a view high above the ocean, and the other from down in the water.


Date:  2000
Soundtrack:  Jimmy Johnson
Dimensions:  90 feet up, 4 city blocks long, 5 minutes

Description: Aria is an abstract light and sound artwork created for the Fremont Street Experience video canopy, Las Vegas. Abstract forms fly by over head, zooming up and down the giant canopy. The abstract animation follows in the visual music traditions of Fantasia and the corridor sequence from 2001: A Space Odyssey; The drama and scale of the arced vault is accentuated with light, motion and sound. The canopy, dancing with light becomes music while the sound is rendered visual.


Date: 2000
Soundtrack: Jimmy Johnson
Dimensions: 43 foot diameter,  13.5 feet high
Equipment: 6 Mitsubishi LUPX300U 2000 lumen projectors, surround sound, dvd
Description: Audio and image loops seamlessly filled the Rotunda gallery. The images appear as though they were hand-drawn loops blown by a slow breeze.


Date:  2008, 2009
Dimensions:   This piece can be installed as a large scale projection with one or more projectors, or played on a flat screen monitor.

Orbit is is the depiction of the celestial mechanics of a planet spinning through its year located in some solar system. Various trees with their leaves and flowers are blown by a turbulent wind conveying the passage of time. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter form the year.

"Anything You Can Do"

Anything You Can Do,  Swing Set
Date:  2000
Soundtrack and Audio Programming:  Jimmy Johnson
Artistic Engineering: Antonio Gonella
Dimensions:  Screen 7.5 x 10 feet, Room 20 x 40 feet
Equipment:  1 Panasonic L797 2200 lumen projector, 2 G4s, quad sound, 1 Icube

Description: As viewers swing on one of two swings a projected video image and soundtrack changes or swings along. While on the other side of the screen, visitors may respond to the ambient pulse of the piece by casting their dancing shadows upon the screen.  Each swing controls a layer of the image and has its own soundtrack. The swings were rigged with sensors, for back and forth and side to side motion. As the swing moved back and forth the image layer appeared to move back and forth as well. While the swing moved side to side the image would skew sideways. There were progressively changing sounds for each of the movements. The viewer’s experience was heightened through bodily participation and play.


Stephen Hillenburg and SpongeBob Squarepants

Stephen Hillenburg

Creator/Executive Producer, SpongeBob SquarePants

Stephen Hillenburg is the creator and executive producer of SpongeBob SquarePants, one of Nickelodeon’s most popular animated series.  Hillenburg’s first feature film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie debuted November 19, 2004.

Hillenburg graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a master’s degree in experimental animation in 1992.  His undergraduate degree, from Humboldt State University was in natural science with an emphasis in marine biology.  Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Hillenburg worked as an exhibit preparator and science educator for kids.

“Working as a marine science educator, I had the chance to see how enamored kids are with undersea life, especially tide pool creatures.  By combining this knowledge with my love for animation, I came up with SpongeBob SquarePants.”

As a graduate student, Hillenburg made several independent animated films, including The Green Beret and Wormholes, which have been exhibited internationally in such festivals as Annecy, Hiroshima, Ottawa, Oberhausen and the Los Angeles Animation Celebration.

He also served as creative director on the Nickelodeon animated series Rocko’s Modern Life, in that show’s last season.

SpongeBob SquarePants has received an Emmy nomination 6 times since 2002. The show won a Golden Reel award in 2008. It received an Annie for Best Writing in Television in 2005 and in 2004 for TV Production. In 2002, the series won the Television Critic’s Award for Best Children’s Program.  In 2003, Comedy Central nominated SpongeBob SquarePants for its “Commie Awards” in the category of Funniest Animated TV Series.  Also in 2002, Hillenburg was the recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation’s Statue Award in film.  Hillenburg was honored in 2001 by Heal the Bay (Southern California’s premiere environmental public interest group) with the organization’s highest honor, the Walk the Talk Award.  He received this award for elevating marine life awareness through SpongeBob SquarePants.

Henry Selick with "Coraline" puppet

HENRY SELICK (Director; Screenplay; Producer; Production Designer)

As a very young boy, Henry Selick used to sit in his New Jersey kitchen and tell his mother, Melanie, about his Other Life with his Other Family in Africa while drawing pictures of animals. She claims that the tales were so richly detailed she sometimes believed they were true.

He drew all the time – pictures of eagles, horses, lions, dragons and, later, Jaguar XKE sports cars. He loved unusual and scary animation, like the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence from Fantasia, or The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; and he especially loved the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion features such as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts. He dreamed of the Cyclops from Sinbad growing in his family’s huge fish tank.

Sometimes, he was able to pry the 16mm Kodak from his father’s hands. He took piano lessons. He tootled his father’s old clarinet in the school band, and when his sister Linda tired of her Kay electric guitar, he used it to join rock bands (with such names as Cloudy Daze and The Reviled). In high school, he made weight on the wrestling team and excelled in physics.

By the age of 20, Mr. Selick was studying painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and printmaking at Syracuse University while working at Little Silver Lumber and playing lead guitar for his band Shark River – an outfit that sounded like Frank Zappa meets The Grateful Dead. After seeing an experimental animated film, he realized that everything he’d ever been interested in could be combined in one medium.

To study animation, he attended CalArts in Valencia, California; his classmates there included Brad Bird, John Lasseter, John Musker, Tim Burton, Rick Heinrichs, and Joe Ranft. He completed CalArts with two Student Academy Award-nominated short films, Phases and Tube Tales.

Soon he was a full-fledged animator at Disney, first working under Eric Larson – one of the original “Nine Old Men” – and later under the brilliant draughtsman Glen Keane, on The Fox and the Hound. In drawing legions of cute foxes and badgers, he developed an uncanny ability to communicate with woodland creatures. (This skill came in handy when he impressed his future wife Heather Ryan by summoning a red dragonfly to alight on his finger.)

While at Disney, Mr. Selick received an American Film Institute grant to make his animated short film Seepage, an experimental study that combined drawn animation with life-size stop-motion puppets.

He and his wife both worked with director John Korty on the cut-out animation feature film, Twice Upon a Time, as sequence director and background artist, respectively. Subsequently, Mr. Selick drew storyboards and did design work for Walter Murch’s Return to Oz; helped Tim Burton and Rick Heinrichs on their rarely seen Kung Fu Hansel and Gretel for Disney Cable; and won a nationwide AFI contest to make a music video of Party at Ground Zero for the band Fishbone. The resulting video won Billboard magazine awards for Best Art Direction and Set Decoration.

He storyboarded, shot second unit on, and helped create fantasy sequences for director Carroll Ballard’s Maurice Sendak-designed Nutcracker, The Motion Picture.

Through his own production company, Mr. Selick created a series of defining and award-winning MTV station IDs; breathed new life into the Pillsbury Doughboy, creating nine commercials in one year; and helmed the award-winning Ritz Bits commercials in which hundreds of the crackers ski down mountains of peanut butter and fly to the moon in search of cheese.

In 1990, his original series for MTV, Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions, combining a live-action central character with stop-motion and cut-out animation, won First Prize at the Ottawa Animation Festival and a Silver Hugo at the Chicago Film Festival.

At about the same time, The Nightmare Before Christmas, originally planned as a TV special, was evolving into a film and Tim Burton asked him to direct it. The movie was the first full-length stop-motion animated feature from a major studio, and was released in 1993 to rave reviews. An instant holiday classic and boxoffice hit, Nightmare was nominated for the Best Visual Effects Academy Award, and Mr. Selick received the Annie Award (the animation world’s Oscars equivalent) for Creative Supervision. In 2006, Nightmare was remastered and re-released in digital 3-D, bringing the feature a new generation of fans.

His next project, James and the Giant Peach, based on Roald Dahl’s much-loved book, found Mr. Selick merging the worlds of stop-motion and CG (computer-generated) imagery with stylized live-action sequences. Released in 1996, the film won the top prize for an animated feature at the Annecy Film Festival. Monkeybone, his third feature, released in 2001, was loosely based on Kaja Blackley’s graphic novel Dark Town and also combined live-action and animation.

In mid-2004, after completing animation for Wes Anderson’s feature The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Mr. Selick joined LAIKA as supervising director for feature film development. While gearing up LAIKA’s story and CG departments for feature production on Coraline, he helmed the 2005 CG short Moongirl.

When he’s not creating other worlds, Mr. Selick spends time in the real world with his wife Heather and his sons Harry and George. His interests also include surfbiking on Northwest lakes and rivers, enjoying artisan beer, “spanking the plank” (playing Telecaster guitars), and refurbishing vintage amps.

Still from "Coraline"

Still from "Coraline"

Still from "Coraline"


Visual Effects Supervisor

John Knoll joined Industrial Light & Magic as a technical assistant in 1986, and was soon promoted to motion control camera operator for “Captain EO.” After three years of operating, Knoll was called upon to work on the ground breaking digital effects for “The Abyss.” Since that time, he has been promoted to Visual Effects Supervisor helming the visual effects on more than twenty feature films and commercials. His film background coupled with an advanced understanding of digital technologies has made Knoll a much sought-after supervisor with three Academy Award nominations for “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones,” “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace,” which earned him a BAFTA nomination, and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” in which he was also honored with a BAFTA nomination.  Knoll’s resume also includes “Mission to Mars,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Star Trek: First Contact” and “Mission: Impossible” among others.  In 2005, he completed work on the final installment of the Star Wars series: “Episode III Revenge of the Sith.” In 2006 Knoll completed work on the sequel to the Pirates of the Caribbean films; Dead Man’s Chest for which he received both a BAFTA and an Academy Award®. Most recently, Knoll was the ILM Visual Effects Supervisor on James Cameron’s science fiction epic Avatar.

Knoll’s interest in filmmaking began at an early age. Having a keen interest in visual effects, Knoll was mesmerized by the original “Star Wars.” During a visit to ILM in 1978 he was able to observe first-hand the world of visual effects. Inspired to learn more, Knoll attended the USC School of Cinema and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Production, while freelancing as a modelmaker at a variety of Los Angeles-based production facilities.

During his last year at USC, Knoll took an advanced animation class where he built a motion control system from an Oxberry animation stand, an Apple II computer, a CNC milling machine controller, and a bunch of industrial surplus stepper motors.  Impressed by the student film that was generated from this class project, ILM hired Knoll as a technical assistant for motion control photography.  Greatly impressed by visits to ILM’s newly founded computer graphics department, Knoll took up computer graphics as a hobby.  Teaming up with his brother who was working on his Doctoral Thesis in computer vision at the University of Michigan, the Knoll brothers created Photoshop in 1987.

ILM helicopters in "Avatar"


Feature Films

2009    AVATAR – Visual Effects Supervisor

Visual Effects Society Award Nomination – Best Single Visual Effects of the Year

2008   CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC – Visual Effects Supervisor

2008   SPEED RACER – Visual Effects Supervisor/Lonely Highway Sequence

2007            NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS – Visual Effects Supervisor

2007            PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END – Visual Effects Supervisor

2006            PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST – Visual Effects Supervisor

Academy Award – Best Achievement in Visual Effects

British Academy Award – Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Visual Effects Society Award – Outstanding Visual Effects

Visual Effects Society Award – Best Single Visual Effects of the Year

2005            STAR WARS: EPISODE III “Revenge of the Sith” – Visual Effects Supervisor

Visual Effects Society Award Nomination – Best Visual Effects

Visual Effects Society Award Nomination – Best Single Visual Effect

2003            PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN – Visual Effects Supervisor

Academy Award Nomination – Best Achievement in Visual Effects

British Academy Award Nomination – Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Visual Effects Society Award Nomination – Best Visual Effects

2002            STAR WARS: EPISODE II “Attack of the Clones” – Visual Effects Supervisor

Academy Award Nomination – Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Visual Effects Society Award Nomination – Best Visual Effects

2000            MISSION TO MARS – Visual Effects Supervisor

1999            DEEP BLUE SEA – Visual Effects Supervisor

1999      STAR WARS: EPISODE I “The Phantom Menace” – Visual Effects Supervisor

Academy Award Nomination – Best Achievement in Visual Effects

British Academy Award Nomination – Best Achievement in Visual Effects

1996            STAR TREK:  FIRST CONTACT – Visual Effects Supervisor

1996            STAR WARS SPECIAL EDITION  – Visual Effects Supervisor

1996            MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE  – Visual Effects Supervisor

1994            STAR TREK GENERATIONS – Visual Effects Supervisor

1994   BABY’S DAY OUT  – Visual Effects Supervisor

1992            PHOENIX WATER PARK (Simulator Ride) – Director

1991   HUDSON HAWK – Visual Effects Supervisor

1991   HOOK – Associate Visual Effects Supervisor

1990   THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER – Associate Visual Effects Supervisor

1989   THE ABYSS – Computer Graphics Project Designer

1988   WILLOW – Motion Control Camera Operator

1987               INNERSPACE – Motion Control Camera Operator

1987               EMPIRE OF THE SUN – Motion Control Camera Operator

1987               STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION – Motion Control Camera Operator

1987      STAR TOURS (Simulator Ride for Disneyland) – Motion Control Camera Operator

1986              STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME – Motion Control Camera Operator

1986              CAPTAIN EO – Motion Control Camera Operator



1991            INTEL “Computer Inside” – Director

1991            DODGE DAYTONA “Starting Price” – Visual Effects Supervisor

1990            PANASONIC “Broadcast Simulator” – Visual Effects Supervisor

1990            NEC “Turbo Grafix” – Visual Effects Supervisor

1990            CHEVRON “High Performance” – Visual Effects Supervisor

1990            CRYSTAL LIGHT “Shade” – Visual Effects Supervisor

1989            FDA “Radon” (PSA) – Visual Effects Supervisor

1989            US AIR “Ballet” – Director

1988            PACIFIC BELL “Smart Yellow Pages” – Visual Effects Supervisor

1987      LUCASFILM LTD “THX” (Trailer) – Motion Control Camera Operator


Visual Effects Supervisor

Stephen Rosenbaum began his career in computer graphics more than 20 years ago. He has worked as an artist and supervisor on over 30 film and commercial projects, including six that have won Academy Awards. Rosenbaum won two BAFTA and two Academy Awards for his work on Forrest Gump and most recently Avatar.  He has worked on such notable films as Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, The Abyss, X-men 2, I, Robot, Contact, and The Perfect Storm.

Rosenbaum graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Graphics and was hired by the newly reformed Computer Graphics Department at Industrial Light & Magic in 1988. He worked for them over a period of 12 years, and has also worked for several years at Sony Imageworks and Weta Digital.

Week #11: J‐Walt

J‐Walt Spontaneous Fantasia

J‐Walt is a performer interactive designer, filmmaker, graphic artist, and composer. For two decades, 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 Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Edmonton. 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.

2003‐Present: Spontaneous Fantasia Performances

2003‐2006: J‐Viz Pre‐Visualization System for Feature Films and TV

2000‐2003: Interactive Character Designer for Disney

1995‐2000: Location‐Based games and Interactive Theme Park Rides for Sony

1992‐1995: Virtual Reality Studio at Disney, Aladdin VR

1990‐1992: Animator/Developer for TV and movie effects, Homer and Associates

1988‐1990: Animator/Developer of real‐time puppets and pre‐viz for DeGraf/Wahrman, Inc.

1986‐1988: Animator/Developer, VSE, Inc.

1988: Nissan Focus Student Film Award for Recurrents

J‐Walt has performed his Spontaneous Fantasia shows over one hundred times in the US and in Europe. An detailed list is available at http://www.spontaneousfantasia.com/past.html

Week #10: Shane Acker

Shane Acker is an award-winning director, animator and designer. “9” is a feature length production based his student Academy Award winning short and was produced by Tim Burton and Timor Bekmambetov.

The 11-minute short “9” premiered at Sundance in 2005 and has garnered numerous awards including the “Best in Show” at the 2005 SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006.

Shane has a multidisciplinary background, studying architecture for several years before becoming a filmmaker. He is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture where he received both a Masters Degree in Architecture and a MFA in Animation.

Shane is currently an artist in residence at the Gnomon Workshop and a visiting professor in the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University. To learn more about Shane’s work, you can visit his website at www.shaneacker.com

Kathy Altieri
Production Designer

Kathy Altieri has worked for over twenty five years as a production designer, art director, and painter in the animation industry.  She is currently Production Designer on DreamWorks upcoming feature “How to Train your Dragon,” which will be released in March of this year.  Her other DreamWorks credits include “Over the Hedge” (Production Designer), “Spirit, Stallion of the Cimmaron,” (Production Designer), and “the Prince of Egypt” (Art Director).  Kathy was the first artist hired at the studio.

Prior to DreamWorks,  Kathy worked as a background painter and supervisor at Disney Feature Animation on “The Little Mermaid,”  “Aladdin,”  “Lion King,”  and  “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Kathy attended UCLA and Art Center College of design, where she will be teaching again this Fall.  She is a fifth degree black belt and certified instructor of Aikido and Iaido (Japanese Swordsmanship).