Stephen Axelrad - Media Artist

Prior to the advent of the Web, Stephen Axelrad sought to create a surrogate self by concocting an interactive touch screen video work. A lawyer turned photographer to computer programer to video artist, he exhibited his earliest interactive work in 1984, perhaps the earliest computer controlled interactive full motion video exhibited in an art gallery. He placed thousands of still and motion images on an analog videodisc player that he could control with an Apple II computer to create an electronic version of himself. He continued to refine it and add to it for many years using a touch screen.   

He also created works for larger audiences, such as the Image Browser (1991) narrated by a metaphoric Helen Keller, who though deaf, dumb and blind, interacted with the world solely by touch, something that seems more common today with the event of the iPhone and iTouch.  The Image Browser utilized a videodisc from the George Eastman House with 52,000 still photographs from the 1880's to the 1930's.

In addition to continuing to add to his interactive self, he works with large archives of images accessible by interactive stories, vernacular photography, and photographic databases.    He currently is working on a project culled from hundreds of thousands of medium format wedding negatives taken over five decades in the second half of the 20th Century .