Julian Bleecker

Curriculum Vita





Email: julian [at] techkwondo [dot] com

Web: http://www.techkwondo.com




2004          Ph.D. Program in History of Consciousness University of California, Santa Cruz

Concentration: Entertainment, Technology and Culture


1993   Master of Science in Engineering University of Washington, Seattle

Concentration: Computer Human Interaction, Computer Science


1988   Bachelor of Science In Electrical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca NY

Concentration: Digital Signal Processing and Computer Architecture


Teaching Experience


Fall 2004. Design and Technology for Mobile Experiences. University of Southern California, Interactive Media Division, School of Cinema-Television. Graduate level, literature review and project-based seminar focusing on the design of mobile experiences using various forms of mobile technology.


Fall 2004. Survey of Interactive Media: Interactivity in the Age of Electronic Media. University of Southern California, Critical Studies Department, School of Cinema-Television. Graduate level lecture course surveying forms of interaction and interactivity with a particular emphasis on the age of electronic media. Through readings, films, discussions, projects and writing, students are exposed to a wide variety of activity that falls within the expression ìinteractivity in the age of electronic media.î Through lectures and a final project, students develop an appreciation of the complex ways in which interactivity is situated historically, and develop fluency with the important associated pragmatic, cultural, political and philosophical issues.


Spring 2003. Design Technology for Mobile Experiences. Parsons School of Design. Graduate level collaborative studio investigating the design of mobile-based user experiences, and implementing a mobile game called ìPet Rock Star.î


Fall 1996.  Ideologies of Technology.  Simonís Rock of Bard College. Introductory survey course on the history and philosophy of technology, with particular emphasis on the intertwining of technology, culture, and science.  


Fall 1996.  Computer Gaming and Simulation. Simon's Rock of Bard College. Hands-on and seminar course interrogating the nature of computer-based gaming and simulation techniques.  Lab work included participating in a unique multi-participant semester long game of SimCity 2000, along with write-ups and journaling of the game.  Reading material included urban studies articles, cultural studies of space, and computer gaming magazines. 


Winter 1993. Technology, Science and Politics. Professor: Donna Haraway, History of Consciousness, UCSC. Assisted in teaching a course on social, political, economic, fictional and cultural specificity

of technology and science.


Relevant Professional Affiliations and Experiences

      Research Faculty, Institute for Multimedia Literacy, Annenberg Center, University of Southern California, 2004-2005

      Vectors Fellow, Institute for Multimedia Literacy, Annenberg Center, University of Southern California, 2004-2005

      Banff New Media Institute, Mobile and Wireless Technology Workshop, Invited Artist, November 2003

      Eyebeam Engineer-in-Residence, developed WiFi Toolkit, a SDK for wireless art-technology development, Fall 2003

      Xerox PARC Invited Workshop Participant, ìThe Future of Wireless Technology and Servicesî, October 2001

      Adjunct Professor, Design and Technology Department, Parsons School of Design teaching courses in mobile and wireless technology



Art-Technology Projects


Mobile Scout Nov 04 – Present.

Mobile Scout is a global public art project that collects audio narratives of your local surroundings, personal rituals, and public sightings. Using your mobile phone, you leave a voice message of your observations with the Mobile Scout Ranger, an automated, voice-activated naturalist. Mobile Scout defines place as being made of social habits, not geography. Your recordings are organized into an audio-visual field guide according to the kind of space you occupy, be it play, work, nature, culture, public, private, branded or free speech.

Mobile Scout was commissioned by the Banff New Media Institute for the Walter Philips Gallery exhibition Database Imaginary - http://databaseimaginary.banff.org/index.php

Mobile Scout Phone Number: 877-564-3060


PDPal May 02 – Present.

PDPal explores the way we conceptualize cities, allowing for an alternative type of cartography, an experiential and poetic mapping of space and time. Users create their own maps, and view the maps of other users, commenting on each otherís constructions. A virtual community is created through shared memories and communal discussions.

PDPal was co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center and Creative Time and is archived on the Whitney Museumís Artport. PDPal is part of the permanent catalog at the Walker Art Center.

Designed and developed a custom Palm Pilot PDA personal mapping application and server-side API used by a Flash-based web client.


      Metrowerks Codewarrior 8, C/C++, Java, Tomcat, JSP, Palm OS 4


WiFi Toolkit. 2003.

The WiFi toolkit is a programmerís API providing a suite of services I found useful for wireless networking. In the toolkit are APIs for ad-hoc networking, peer-to-peer communication in networks that require peer discovery, domain name resolution for networks off the public internet, and location-based data caching. These APIs allow for a very large number of possible applications and configurations. This Toolkit was commissioned by Eyebeam Atelier and developed as part of my Engineer-in-Residence at Eyebeam.


      Java, Tomcat, Rendezvous, .NET, C#


Pussy Weevil 2003 - Present.

Conceptual design and implementation of a unique, reactive screen-based character that integrates position sensing technology, Flash animation, and Tomcat. Using ultrasonic position sensors, a custom-programmed embedded microcontroller, and custom Java code, the character interacts with the user by sensing how far away from the screen they are. Based on the userís position, the system determines which of three sets of animations to play.

Pussy Weevil has been installed at FACT in the UK, Bitforms Gallery in NYC, Art Interactive in Cambridge, MA, and is currently on display at the American Museum of the Moving Image.



Conference Papers & Lectures


April 2002.  The Special Effects of Technoscience.  Cyberculture Working Group on the panel, ìAgency and Artifice in Cyberculture.î This paper addresses the ìreality effectî of technology – that capacity of technology to become that which undergirds, facilitates, and makes possible ìreality.î  Through a particularly powerful perceived evacuation of the social and political from itself, technology appears neutral and free from the vagaries of human (i.e. cultural) influence.  I demonstrate the mechanisms by which the cultural is ìcloakedî within technology through examples drawn from special effects in film, wherein the means of production of the film are cleverly cloaked through various artifices, such as computer generated imagery.


September 2001.  Mobile Realities.  Paper delivered at the 2001 meeting of the Society for the Social Studies of Science.

This paper presents the technical and social history of mobile realities and looks closely at the different kinds of mobile realities, specifically ones facilitated by the internet and new mobile technologies.  Finally, I

articulate a theoretical apparatus derived from studies of mobility and

"place" to help understand and describe mobile realities.


October 2001.  MobileDNA.  Presentation delivered at Fuji Xerox PARC invited workshop organized by Incite: The Future of Wireless Technologies and Services. (http://www.fxpal.com/conferencesworkshops/inciteworkshop/index.htm)


March 2001.  Agency in STS.  Paper delivered at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Product Design and Innovation seminar series.  This paper raises the question as to how and if STS as a discipline can inform pragmatic and instrumental design issues within technology industries.


April 1996.  The Simulation Crisis, presented at a workshop at Cornell University titled: Simulating Knowledge: Cultural Analysis of Computer Modeling in the Life Sciences


Dec 1994. Gaming the Year 2000.  This is a paper presented at the 1994 American Anthropological Association's convention.  In the paper I am exploring the way strategies for understanding the future are articulated in the Maxis Corporation's computer game SimCity 2000.


Nov 1994. The Technologies of Race: Video Game Violence, Rodney King, and Gangster Rap.  A critical investigation on the legislative, semiotic, and rhetorical constitution of the black male through a video game designed by ex-LAPD chief Daryl Gates, hard-core gangster rap, Los Angeles gangsterism, and legislation laminating these three discourses. Presented in the course History of Consciousness 80M, Culture and Ideology, Professor Angela Y. Davis


Nov 1994.  Gaming the Year 2000. Society for the Social Studies of Science.


Jun 1994.  SimCity2000 and Urban Crisis.  Working paper on the mutual articulations of urban crisis, race, and technology, presented by invitation under the aegis of Stanford University's Henry R. Luce

Professorship of Biotechnology and Society.


Mar 1993.  Photo Opportunities.  Society for Photographic Educators National Conference, Seattle, WA

This paper discussed the ways in which the media, through film, video and photography, constructs representations of the newsworthy aspects of world affairs.  The Gulf War was used as an exemplary world affair and crisis.  Presented on the panel titled "Critical Theory and Emerging Imaging Technologies" at the Society for Photographic Educators National Conference, Seattle, WA.


Feb 1993.  Art and Technology.  College Art Association National Conference, Seattle.

An exploration of the possibilities, problems and developments of computer graphics based artistic production. Presented on the panel "Pictures from the Hyperworld: Defining the Role of the Artist in Technoculture" at the College Arts Association National Conference, Seattle, WA.


Jun 1992.  High-Tech Multiculturalism.  The Association of American Cultures National Conference, Los Angeles, CA

Paper exploring the possibilities of employing computer-based interactive multimedia systems as a way to facilitate multicultural pedagogy.  Presented at The Association of American Cultures National Conference, Los Angeles, CA.


Art-Technology Talks

      Banff New Media Institute, Banff, Canada. Presentation of Mobile Scout on a panel discussing ìdatabase artî during the opening of the Database Imaginary exhibition at the Walter Philips Gallery.

      The Upgrade, Eyebeam Atelier, New York City. Presentation of past and current art-technology projects, July 2004.

      UC San Diego, Computer Arts Department, June 2004.

      Eyebeam Atelier, New York City, October 2003. Presentation of R+D conducted during Artist Residency

      The Upgrade, Eyebeam Atelier, New York City, February 2003. Presentation of PDPal.






Urban Crisis: Past, Present, and Virtual.  An analysis of the

computer simulation game, SimCity2000 informed by race theory and cultural studies.  Socialist Review, Winter 1994-95, v. 24, no. 1-2. Reprinted in SimCity. Mapping the Virtual Cities, Matteo Bittanti, ed. 2004


The Race for Cyberspace: Information Technology in the Black Diaspora.  With Ron Eglash, Science as Culture, Volume 10, Number 3, September 1, 2001, pp. 353-374.


Incorporations: Zone 6.  Book review of a compilation of writings on

the ever changing relationship between humans interfaced and interacting with technologies.  Afterimage, vol. 20, no. 9, April 1993.


Narrativity in Virtuality.  Introduces video and film artists to new

conceptual forms of interactive narrative suggested by virtual reality.

National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture Journal, January/February



Virtual Reality and Vision Culture.  Essay on the significance of

virtual reality in a culture dominated by vision and visual phenomenon.

Afterimage, vol. 20, no. 3, October 1992.


Coherent Light: Virtual Reality, Vision Culture and the New Humanism in Science.  Masters Thesis from the University of Washington; an exploration of virtual reality from a cultural studies perspective, 1995.




Relevant Technology Development Experience

MTV and VH1, NYC 2002-2004.  Mobile and Wireless Technologist


Sonic Memorial, NYC May 02 – Sep 02.  Lead Technologist and Programmer (Winner, Peabody 2002 Peabody Award)


National Building Museum/Dotsperinch, NYC. Sep 01 – Jul 02.  Lead Technologist and Programmer