John Crawford is an intermedia artist, interactive performance director, technology developer and projection designer. Intersecting software with digital media and theatrical performance, he uses computers and video to create painterly animations and motion graphics for dance, theatre and music.
His projects explore embodied interaction, creating real-world performative environments that respond in rich and meaningful ways to all aspects of human movement. He originated the Active Space concept in 1994 for his intermedia performance systems that investigate embodied interaction through movement and other forms of dynamic expression.
Active as an intermedia artist since 1992, he has performed and exhibited across North America and in Asia, Europe and South America, including The Sacre Project, co-produced with Pacific Symphony; Eurydice, Cloudlands and Silent Sky for South Coast Repertory; otherworld (machine) at Berkeley Art Museum; Urban Fabric: Prague at the International Biennale of Contemporary Art; The Gravity of Revolution, a dance/media performance at La MaMa in New York; the dance films Shadow Signs, Anabasi, Galileo: Last Letters, In Search of Eurydice, Tubae Mundi, Voice of the Rings and Ascension, presented in festivals around the world; and telepresence networked performances linking studios, concert halls and theatres in multiple locations through advanced digital media technologies.
He is Professor of Dance and Media Arts at University of California, Irvine, where he directs the Institute for 21st Century Creativity and serves as Associate Dean for Research Creation in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. His course offerings include dance filmmaking, telepresence, interactive performance, motion capture, and digital media art fundamentals. He is a frequent participant in transdisciplinary research projects connecting performing arts and digital media practices with engineering, computer science and medicine. He founded the eMedia Studio, a distributed arts collaboratory in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), and directed the campus-wide Digital Arts Minor program at UC Irvine for nine years.
He has been a visiting artist and researcher at numerous universities in the United States, Europe, China and Japan. As a software developer, his credits include projects for Adobe, Microsoft and other companies. As a theatre director and actor, he studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.