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Michael Wright in front of wall of digital portraits at SIGGRAPH, 1990s
In the mid-1980's, a group of Los Angeles artists embraced digital technology before there was anyone around to recognize this spontaneous initiative as part of an international movement. Digital art in Los Angeles took root and flourished in a scene that was built by the artists themselves. These artists secured the venues, mounted the shows, published the mailings, and self-promoted a series of exhibitions that are historic, as their legacy is not, as an alternative to some other series of artist-produced Los Angeles digital art exhibits. In fact, there weren’t any others…
Michael Wright, as an in-joke with Victor Acevedo, referred to this aforementioned group of art activists as the “DIGILANTES”. These individuals were instrumental in establishing the digital art scene in Los Angeles. This group includes artists Wright and Acevedo, Dona Geib, Michael Masucci, Mason Lyte, David Glynn, and art historian Patric Prince, whose art historical focus is art and technology. “Digilantes” is a play on words named after the self-organized 19th century ‘law men’ in the American West who were alert, watchful, and advocated the taking of action into one’s own hands.
Postcard invitation for the L.A. Digilantes, 1997