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Michael Naimark

Year of birth, place

United States

Role at the ZKM

  • Guest Artist
  • Artist of the Collection

Institute / Department

  • Institute for Visual Media


Michael Naimark is a producer, inventor, consultant, and scholar in the fields of virtual reality and new media art. He is best known for his work in virtual travel, projection mapping, live global video, and cultural preservation, and refers to this body of work as »place representation.«

1974 Bachelor of Science (Cybernetic Systems, independent major), University of Michigan
1979 Master of Science (Visual Studies and Environmental Art) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts

1972-75 Instructor, Residential College and Department of Geography, University of Michigan
1977-79 Teaching Assistant, Technical Instructor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1981-82, 86-87 Lecturer, School of Creative Arts, San Francisco State University
1986 Lecturer, School of Film/Video, California Institute of the Arts
1989-90 Lecturer, Performance/Video Department, San Francisco Art Institute
2004, 09 Adjunct Faculty, Interactive Telecommunications Program, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
2004-08 Research Associate Professor, Interactive Media Division, School of Cinematic Arts University of Southern California
2005 Visiting Faculty, Graduate Media Design Program, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
2011  Visiting Associate Professor, Program in Media Arts and Sciences (Media Lab), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2017-19, Visiting Associate Arts Professor, Interactive Media Arts, NYU Shanghai

1978-80 »The Aspen Moviemap«, Architecture Machine Group and Media Laboratory demo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts
1987-89 »Visual Almanac«, Apple Multimedia Laboratory, San Francisco
1992-94 »Field Recording Studies«, Art and Virtual Environments Program, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff
1995 »Be Now Here«, UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Interval Research Corporation
1997 »Alan Lomax Global Jukebox Project«, Association for Cultural Equity, NY
1999-2001 »Kundi«, Startup venture
2001-02 »Camera Zapper«, International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences, Gifu
2002-03 »ArtsLab«, Commissioned research, Rockefeller Foundation and Leonardo Journal
2004 »Ars Electronica 25th Anniversary Symposium«, Guest Curator
2006-08 »USC Viewfinder«, School of Cinematic Arts, USC 
2009 »80+1: A Journey Around the World«, Ars Electronica and Linz09, Project Director
2010-11 »Movie Tagger«, USC and Watchwith Inc, San Francisco
2011-14 »Liiive dot tv«, Startup venture
2015 »IMU VR Camera«, wearable VR camera, San Francisco
2017-18 »Ode to Joy VR«, NYU Shanghai
2018- »TeleWindow«, NYU Shanghai

Awards/Scholarships (selection)
1978/79 Council for the Arts grants, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts
1984 First Prize, Film as Art, from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
1992 Art and Virtual Environments Grant, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff
1992 Scholarship from the Artist Fellowship Program in New Genres, California Arts Council, California
1992 Recipient, First Award (SFAI Immersive Virtual Environments class), Futures Scenario, ACM SigCHI, Monterey
2002 Recipient, World Technology Award for the Arts, New York
2002 Recipient, Rockefeller Foundation Creativity & Culture grant, New York (Leonardo/ISAST “arts lab” study) 
2007 Recipient, Google Research Award for “Collective Photo Mapping”
2015 Recipient, VR Artist Residency (first ever), Google, Mountain View, CA

Solo exhibitions (selection)
1984 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
1986-88 Paris Metro, Madeleine Station, Paris
1987-93 Exploratorium, San Francisco
1995 University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley
1995-96 Center for the Arts, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco
2001 Presidio, SF International Film Festival and SF MOMA (Be Now Here)
2005 Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, Center College of Design, Pasadena (6 installations 1977-1997) 

Group exhibitions (selection)
1977 documenta VI, Kassel
1980 »Beyond Object«, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen
1981 »Centervideo«, American Center, Paris; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Kunsthaus, Zürich
1983 »Siggraph Artshow«, Detroit
1992 »Images du Futur«, Montréal; »Triennale di Milano«, Milan
1994 »ISEA«, International Symposium for Electronic Art, Helsinki
1995 »Interaction '95«, Gifu
1997 »Art in the Anchorage«, New York
1998 Inventing Experience, The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose (See Banff and Be Now Here) 
1998 Exploding Cinema, International Film Festival, Rotterdam, NL (Be Now Here)
2000 ArtSale 2000, The Lab, San Francisco (Predictions)
2001 ArtSale 2001, The Lab, San Francisco (
2002 Navigate @ Art, Automobil Forum Unter den Linden, Berlin, GERMANY (Karlsruhe Moviemap)
2002-3 Future Cinema, Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe, GERMANY (Be Now Here) 
2003 Future Cinema, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, FINLAND (Be Now Here)
2004 Interactions/Art and Technology, American Museum of the Moving Image, New York (See Banff)
2005 The Art Formerly Known As New Media, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre, Banff , CANADA (See Banff)
2006 Sensorium colloquium, USC (Fast Cheap GigaPixel Image)
2006 technoSpheres: FutureS of Thinking, Beall Center for Art and Technology, UC Irving (Fast Cheap GigaPixel Image) 
2008 Degrees of Immersion, Helen Lindhurst Gallery, USC Rosky School of Fine Arts (Be Now Here Triptych)
2009 Imaging Media, Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe, GERMANY (Karlsruhe Moviemap 09) 
2012 Going Places, Computer History Museum, Mountain View, CA (See Banff cameras as artifacts)
2018-19 Art in Motion: 100 Masterpieces with and through Media, ZKM | Centre for Arts and Media, Karlsruhe GERMANY (Karlsruhe Moviemap 09)

Literature (selection)
1990 »Realness and Interactivity«, in The Art of Human Computer Interface Design, B. Laurel, editor, NY: Addison Wesley
1991 »Elements of Realspace Imaging: a Proposed Taxonomy«, SPIE Proceedings, vol. 1457, San Jose
1991 »Moviemap Basics«, artshow catalog, Multimediale 2, Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany
1991 »VBK - A Moviemap of Karlsruhe«, Tomorrow's Realities catalog, Siggraph, Las Vegas
1991 »EAT - A Virtual Dining Environment«, Tomorrow's Realities catalog, Siggraph, Las Vegas
1992 »Expo '92 Seville«, Presence, vol. 1, no. 3, MIT Press
1994 »Interactive Art and the Myth of Everything-ness«, Ars Electronica catalog, Linz
1995 »EXCAVATION AREA: A Virtual Gallery of Archaeological Art«, (Japanese), InterCommunication (NTT) No.14, Tokyo, JAPAN
1996 »Field Recording Studies«, in Immersed in Technology, Mary Anne Moser, editor, Cambridge: MIT Press
1997 »Interactive Art: Maybe it’s a Bad Idea«, Cyberarts, International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica, H. Leopoldseder-C. Schopf, editors, Vienna and NY: Springer Press
1997 »What’s Wrong with this Picture: Presence and Abstraction in the Age of Cyberspace«, Consciousness Reframed Proceedings, CAiiA, University of Wales, Newport, WALES
1997 »A 3D Moviemap and a 3D Panorama«, SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3012, San Jose
1997 »Art (and" or ‘versus’) Technology: Some Personal Observations«, in Art@Science, Christa Sommerer, editor, Vienna and NY: Springer Press
1998 »Field Recording Techniques for Virtual Reality Applications«, VSMM '98 Proceedings, Gifu, JAPAN
2001 »Where are the Anthropologists?«, Leonardo Electronic Almanac Vol. 9:1
2001 »VR Today«, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol. 9:5
2001 »Symmetrical Media«, EMERGEncy, 1.4
2001 »Leash Length«, EMERGEncy 1.5
2001 »First Word Art/Last Word Art«, FineArtForum vol.15, issue 8
2002 »VR Webcams: Time Artifacts as Positive Features«, ISEA 2002 Proceedings, Nagoya, Japan
2003 »Sensory Anomalies«, in Design Research: Methods and Perspectives, B. Laurel, Editor, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press
2004 »Calculated Risk«, Forward for A Guide to Good Practice in Collaborative Working Methods and New Media Tools Creation, L. Goodman and K. Milton, Eds., London, UK: Arts and Humanities Data Service
2004 »Addressing Time«, Curatorial Statement for the Festival Symposium, Ars Electronica 2004 Catalog, G. Stocker, Editor, Ostfildern-Ruit, GERMANY: Hatje Cantz Verlag
2005 »Two Unusual Projection Spaces«, Presence, Special Issue on Projection, MIT Press, 14.5
2006 »Aspen the Verb: Musings on Heritage and Virtuality«, Presence, Special Issue on Virtual Heritage, MIT Press, 15.3
2008 »’X’ing the World in 80 Days«, Project Director's statement, 80+1: A Global Journey, an EU Culture Capital event for Linz09
2010 »Camera Cars« (self published
2011 »A Statement about the Interval Lawsuit« (self published
2012 »May Day on Wall Street 2012, live webcasting field notes« (self published
2016 »VR Cinematography Studies for Google«, Medium, June
2016 »VR Interactivity: Some Useful Distinctions«, Medium, October
2016 »Being Early: Challenges and Opportunities as VR Grows Up«, Presence, 25th Anniversary Issue, MIT Press, 25.2
2017 »A Big Slow Global Approach to VR: Silicon Valley’s Blind Spot«, Canadian Film Centre News, May
2018 »VR / AR Fundamentals«, (a six-part weekly series) Medium, Jan - Mar
2018 »Increasing VR Creativity: More Risky Research, Less Master Classes«, Medium, Aug


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