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About

Contact Reza:  syed.reza.ali@gmail.com

Reza is a new media artist and researcher. His work and research is centered around computational design, user interfaces, software studios, and wearables (hardware + software + form). As an artist, he uses technology (code, form and electronics) to express himself. His works manifest themselves as either visual art, spatial sculptures, and interactive installations. Reza is interested in the ideas and implications of his works, tools, and way of working. As a researcher, Reza is passionate about solving complex problems by creating new technologies and open sourcing them to allows others to build on his work and build the future. He is the author of ofxUI, one of the most popular addons for openframeworks (an arts-engineering toolkit).  As an artist and researcher he is deeply interested in the feedback cycle that occurs when customs tools are written to accomplish an artwork, and how those tools can enable artworks to go beyond what the artist had originally envisioned. He hopes to change the world by making a difference in how people use technology, design products and experience new media art and entertainment.

He is passionate about:

  • learning, teaching becoming autotelic, being self-less, pursuing beauty
  • interaction + motion + aesthetics + audio + sustainable art practices
  • visual spatial arts & multimedia engineering (designing + coding)
  • human computer interaction (interaction design & user interfaces)
  • architecture & product design & reactive/dynamic architecture
  • hacking, software engineering, “creative coding”
  • mobile technology & physical computing
  • generative visuals & algorithmic art
  • designing + making data visualization
  • audio-visual interactive immersive environments
  • making new media tools for DJs/VJs/Performers
  • photography & graphic design
  • 3D animation, modeling, rendering and scripting
  • research, experiments, science projects, chaos

Some of his goals are:

  • to start a company that embodies his passions and personality and uses his design & problem solving skills to create a better future for humanity by serving needs
  • to explore the realm of science and mathematics to make complex phenomena understandable and intuitive
  • to create content and interactive controllers for multimedia performance systems
  • to create new and fun models of interaction, to create form/visuals/sounds though algorithmic processes
  • to design and create real-time computer graphics that push the boundary of visual aesthetics achievable in real-time
  • to make new media art that critically and/or comically reflects on social media, technology, personal relationships, and culture.  

2014:
Won Urban Data Canvas Hackathon (w/ Johan Bichel Lindegaard, Jasper Speicher, Erik van der Molen)
Rise App Clone @ Famo.us Featured in Forbes (w/ Tim Chin)
Art/Design Work Featured in New Move Trend Diary 2014-2016
Gave Presentation at CCRMA @ Stanford
CCRMA Modulation’s 2014 Guest Visual Artist

2013:
Miselu (Hardware / Software Music Startup, SoMA, SF)
Famo.us (Web Technology Startup, SoMA, SF)
CLOUDS (w/ James George, Jonathan Minard + GMUNK + Pato)
ofxUI + VJ SXSW
GMUNK Collaboration
Heron Arts Residency
GAFFTA Workshop (w/ Josh Nimoy)
Art by Code (Codame + Public Works)
Webgl Renderer (for Famo.us)

2011-2012:
Audio Shader  (Won Art Hack Day + Shown at Creator’s Project) w/ Gabe Dunne + Ryan Alexander
OMG – Shepard Fairey
Drawnetic Android App – Razorfish
Nokia Freelance (wearables + cloud + web apps)
Nexleaf (wireless sensor networks + cloud + data visualization (D3.js)

2010-2011:

For some latter half of 2010 and early 2/3 of 2011 he lived in LA and worked for various companies, including Motion Theory under Mathew CullenKaan Atilla, and Chris Riehl and at Nokia Research Center under Rebecca Allen (Founding Chair of Design Media Arts @ UCLA) and Sean White. All the while he freelanced for POSSIBLE (created an audio-visual VJ app for Deadmau5), and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art  (created an iPad app, iCubist, that augmented the museum’s Analytic Cubist Exhibit featuring works from Picasso and Braque). Reza gave presentations and talks at Nokia Design, Google Data Arts Center, NIME 2010, and NIME 2011. His work was featured in two books, Visual Complexity by Manuel Lima and Generative Art by Matt Pearson and numerous times online at www.creativeapplications.net and www.thecreatorsproject.vice.com. On his spare time he worked on a gallery installation, and various other personal new media art projects.

2008-2010:

In 2010 Reza earned a Master of Science in Multimedia Engineering (with a focus in Visual and Spatial Arts) from the Media Arts and Technology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His advisors were George Legrady (Data Visualization Artist), Casey Reas (Co-Creator of Processing, MIT Media Lab), and Matthew Turk (MIT Media Lab). His research and projects at MAT were shown at various venues around the world: NIME 2011 (Oslo, Norway), NIME 2010 (Sydney, Australia), Mindshare (Los Angeles, California), Mixed Greens Gallery (New York, New York).

2004-2008:

Before his move to Santa Barbara, California in 2008, he graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with two B.S. (One in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, and minors in Electronic Art and Product Design) studying under Curtis BahnShawn Lawson and Kenneth Conner. His passion for electrical engineering and hard work earned him the position of top student in the electrical engineering department. He also won merits in the Electronic Arts classes he took throughout his time at RPI.

Reza has visited/lived in:

  • Tahoe (visit, snowboarding)
  • Belize (visit)
  • Flores (visit)
  • Tikal (visit)
  • Paris (visit)
  • Brooklyn (visit, CLOUDS)
  • San Francisco (1.25 years, work)
  • Minneapolis (visit, eyeo)
  • Milan (visit)
  • Geneva (visit)
  • Cologne (visit)
  • Berlin (1 month, freelance)
  • Kuala Lumpur (visit)
  • Singapore (visit, family)
  • Shanghai (visit)
  • Hong Kong (3 months, freelance)
  • Palo Alto (1 year, first company)
  • Sweden (visit)
  • Aalborg (visit)
  • Oslo (visit, conference)
  • Santa Monica (1 year, work)
  • Sydney (1 month, conferences + visit)
  • Venice (6 months, internship)
  • London (visit, workshop)
  • Santa Barbara (2.5 years, grad school)
  • Troy (4 years, college)
  • Miami (12 years, grew up)
  • Pakistan (6 years)