Ken Knowlton, a Father of Computer Art and Animation, Dies at 91

Dr. Knowlton remained at Bell Labs till 1982, experimenting with the whole lot from computer-generated music to applied sciences that allowed deaf folks to learn signal language over the phone. He later joined Wang Laboratories, the place, within the late-Nineteen Eighties, he helped develop a private laptop that allow customers annotate paperwork with synchronized voice messages and digital pen strokes.

In 2008, after retiring from tech analysis, he joined a magician and inventor named Mark Setteducati in making a jigsaw puzzle referred to as Ji Ga Zo, which may very well be organized to resemble anybody’s face. “He had a mathematical thoughts mixed with an ideal sense of aesthetics,” Mr. Setteducati stated in a telephone interview.

Along with his son Rick, Dr. Knowlton is survived by two different sons, Kenneth and David, all from his first marriage, which led to divorce; a brother, Fredrick Knowlton; and a sister, Marie Knowlton. Two daughters, Melinda and Suzanne Knowlton, additionally from his first marriage, and his second spouse, Barbara Bean-Knowlton, have died.

Whereas at Bell Labs, Mr. Knowlton collaborated with a number of well-known artists, together with the experimental filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek, the pc artist Lillian Schwartz and the electronic-music composer Laurie Spiegel. He noticed himself as an engineer who helped others create artwork, as prescribed by Mr. Rauschenberg’s E.A.T. venture.

However later in life he started creating, displaying and promoting artwork of his personal, constructing conventional analog photographs with dominoes, cube, seashells and different supplies. He belatedly realized that when engineers collaborate with artists, they grow to be greater than engineers.

“In the very best instances, they grow to be extra full people, partially from understanding that each one conduct comes not from logic however, on the bottommost degree, from intrinsically indefensible feelings, values and drives,” he wrote in 2001. “Some in the end grow to be artists.”