David Familian first started making photographs while in high school and went to the California Institute of the Arts to study photography with John Divola and Judy Fiskin. He then went to UCLA for his MA/MFA working with artists Robert Heneicken Paul McCarthy and Charlie Ray and. For the next decade he continued to make photographs and sculptures that incorporated photographic transparencies, but in the 1990s when computer technology became more advanced, he started to use a color scanner as his camera making dense overlays found images of art and scientific illustrations that he incorporated into light boxes and videos.
In the mid-1990s, Familian moved to Minnesota where he taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and when asked to teach courses in digital media he had to learn computer programming. At this time, he also worked at the Walker Art Center with Steve Dietz, a pioneering new media curator and became aware the most experimental forms of digital media art. Subsequently,he started a new digital media program at Santa Clara University and also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Returning to Southern California in 2005, Familian started teaching photography and theory at UC Irvine. Because of his experience with digital media, he was hired to be the Associate Director of the Beall Center for Art and Technology. He started a program that alternates between solo exhibitions by artists and thematic group shows with national and international artists working in experimental media arts. Recently he initiated Black Box Projects, collaborative exhibitions in which artists work with scientists in areas such as cognitive robotics, computational genetics and information science. Currently, Familian is working with Jens Hauser in Traces of Vitality that will be a residency and exhibition of artists who are working with synthetic biology or “bio-art.”
Look at the Beall Center for Art + Technology Website http://beallcenter.uci.edu/ Learn more on his website by clicking here. Watch the Echo & Narcissus by clicking here. L A Times article on Traces of Vitality, click here.