art by jimBarry

OVRAS | pioneer vr artist since 1995

Jim Barry is a world renowned artist, with work in a wide range of mediums, from water color and batik to immersive reality generated art. He is currently faculty in Performing and Fine Arts at the California institute of Technology. Among his distintions are murals in the Presidential Palace in Mali, to the 'Friend of Tombouctou' distinction. His background includes studies in Anthropology and Black Studies from UC Santa Barbara. His work has been profiled and exhibited in dozens of solo shows as well as many group shows.

In 2015 he co-started the Open Visualization Art Spaces endeavor at Caltech in order to re-establish a presence of Virtual Reality tools in campus that were widely available to students, staff, and faculty.

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"Jim Barry is a master at embracing all mediums with their subtleties, their idiosyncrasies, and their shortcomings. His scholoarship and love for African art is a common thread in his classical work; while his enthusiasm for science and the human condition are exalted in his virtual realilty art creations and installations."

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Jim Barry's first Virtual Reality explorations took place in the mid and late 1990s using Caltech's Responsive Workbench utilizing an Open Inventor based tool called goo developed by Mathieu Desbrun.

In the early 2000s he was the main driver behind a CAVE based implementation of a new CVGoo designed and coded by Santiago Lombeyda. This new version allowed him to export his results both in high resolution for prints, as well as Open Inventor scenes, which can still be opened and experienced in virtual or augmented reality.

In the mid 2010s Jim Barry was once again the driver behind creating spaces at Caltech, where students and staff could freely access and develop Virtual Reality applications. Employing --and in the process engaging and teaching-- undergrads, with the mentorship of Santiago Lombeyda, new tools were created for art creation under Unity with SteamVR and various beta and commercial head sets, as well as utilizing a variety of peripherals. Creating these tools allowed researchers to explore new tools and interaction mechanisms, that were not necessarily available in new and emerging tools, of which the most promising was TiltBrush.

As TiltBrush evolved, Jim Barry was able to once more adopt a tool that engaged his creative needs alongside tools to generate, edit, export, and archive his art explorations and final pieces.

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