Shawn Lawson

Students in the GSAS program have the unique opportunity to work alongside faculty who share years of combined experience in the game design industry. The faculty bring to the program a diverse range of research interests, including computer science, artificial intelligence, interactive art, and serious games.

Shawn Lawson

Professor & Department Head

Photo of Shawn LawsonPhoto of Shawn Lawson

Shawn Lawson is a computational artist and researcher creating the computational sublime. Performing under the pseudonym Obi-Wan Codenobi, he live-codes real-time computer graphics with his open source software, The Force. Lawson’s other work explores with a range of technology: stereoscopy, camera vision, touch screens, game controllers, hand-held devices, random number generators; and output formats: print, sculpture, mobile apps, instruction sets, animation, and interactive.

He has performed at NIME, Australia; Radical dB, Spain; ICLI, Portugal; ICLC, UK; ISEA, Canada; GENERATE!, Germany; CultureHub, NYC, and more. Shawn’s artwork has been exhibited or screened in museums, galleries, festivals, and public spaces in England, Denmark, Russia, Italy, Korea, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, and Canada; locally in ACM SIGGRAPH, IEEE ProCams, ACM MM, The Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, Chelsea Art Museum, Eyebeam, Aperture Foundation Gallery, Nicholas Robinson Gallery, MIT, OSU, ASU, and LTU. He has given workshops in programming or live coding in Europe and the USA. Shawn is published in the proceedings of ICLC, ACM CC, ACM SIGGRAPH, ACM SIGCHI, and ACM MM. 

Lawson has received support from the Electronic Media and Film Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Experimental Television Center’s Finishing Funds Program, The Kamel Lazaar Foundation, CultureHub’s Micro-Residency, and Signal Culture’s Toolmakers in Residency.

Lawson studied Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the École Nationale Supèrieure des Beaux-Art in Paris, France. He received his MFA in Art and Technology Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. He is Professor of Computer Visualization in the Department of the Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and selectively consults for independent artists and entertainment R&D branches.


Contact info:
Office number: WEST105
Phone number: 518.276.2206
Fax number: 518.276.4370
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