Just For Fun

Maria the Robot from Metropolis

Maria’s (Metropolis, Lang) Induction into the Robot Hall of Fame

I was invited to present the acceptance speech on behalf of Maria the Robot upon the occasion of her induction into the Robot Hall of Fame at Carnegie Mellon University in 2006. I was presented with a plaque commemorating her induction that I hang proudly in the robot room of my house.

Image of William Shatner, Anne Balsamo and PARC Colleagues

William Shatner Visits Xerox PARC

When I worked at PARC, I was asked to provide a guided tour for William Shatner when he visited the research center as part of his research on the science of Star Trek. While my attempts to engage him in conversations about cyberpunk science fiction went no where–he doesn’t read much contemporary science fiction he said–he was genuinely enthusiastic to hear about the research going on at PARC. At one point along the tour we stopped to take a picture with a PARC Zombie Cam in front of the whiteboard in our lab.

Anne Balsamo, Timothy Leary and Barry Blinderman

Tracking Virtual Reality

During the time I was doing research on new body technologies (early 1980s) I heard about this new thing called “virtual reality.” In talking about it with my friend and colleague, Barry Blinderman, who was director of the Art Gallery at Illinois State University at the time, we decided to track down a demo of the technology so that we could see for ourselves what all the fuss was about. This lead to a road trip to Penn State to see the Autodesk road show that was being hosted (hawked) by Tim Leary. I had the dubious honor of having Leary be my first guide to VR. Despite the look on my face, and notwithstanding the underwhelming Autodesk demonstration, I was intrigued by the possibilities of this new technology as a new platform for the performance of body-based identity. A year later, Blinderman organized a symposium on the topic of VR and the Arts. I participated in the event along with Brenda Laurel, Donna Cox, and Shalom Gorewitz.

ISU Symposium Leary, Laurel, Cox, Gorewitz

RED in the News!

In December 2000, RED was profiled in two very different popular magazines, one national and one local to Silicon Valley Time and Dr. Dobb’s Journal. The members of RED included: Rich Gold, Maribeth Back, Anne Balsamo, Matt Gorbet, Steve Harrison, Dale McDonald, and Scott Minneman.

“Team Xerox,” by Charles Taylor. Time Magazine, “Inventors and Dream Makers,” December 2000.

“Group RED,” by Rich Gold, Dr. Dobb’s Journal, “Xerox PARC at 30: Inside a Research Lab,” December, 2000.

The RED group in December 2000