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Paras Kaul

George Mason University
Virginia, USA
pkaul@gmu.edu
Alien Encounter
11" x 14"

Artist Statement: Using Mississippi swamp imagery as a texture map on the inside of a sphere, Paras Kaul built a 3D model of a generic body. In "Alien Encounter," an alien being assists by enabling both rebirth and transformation to occur. The attempt was to break down the hard edges of digital imaging and create an atmospheric, conceptual depiction of the artist's experiences.

Paras Kaul is a neural artist/researcher, multimedia composer, web coordinator, and educator at George Mason University. She began her art career as a photographer, an experience that provided a natural transition to digital image making. After completing undergraduate and graduate studies in photography, she began MFA studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before advancing to digital imaging, she studied photography with Ken Josephson, who was chair of the photography department at the Art Institute.

After a semester of photographic study, she continued her graduate studies in computer animation. Working with Phil Morton at the Art Institute, she had the opportunity to interact with Copper Giloth, Jane Veeder, and Dan Sandin. The influence of these Chicago artists opened the door to her later career in computer graphics and animation. While completing graduate studies, she worked as an apprentice artist at Real Time Design in Chicago. Upon completion of her MFA degree, she went to New York and worked for Jeff Kleiser at Digital Effects. Later she moved to Hollywood and became an artist in residence at Omnibus, Inc. at Paramount Studios.

During a period of upheavals in the computer industry in the mid 1980s, she began to focus on academia, since she had originally planned to be an educator in the arts. She began teaching computer graphics at California State University, Los Angeles. Additionally, she had opportunities to lecture at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. In 1997, she moved to Mississippi and became an assistant professor in a graduate program in electronic visualization at Mississippi State University. There she had the opportunity to learn Alias|Wavefront's Maya 3D software. Working with a music composer at the university, she produced a computer animation called "Raw Data." The image presented at SIGGRAPH 2003 was later created from the digital data used in the animation.