Eric Martin

Martin, Eric 81, died from a fall at his Palm Springs, California home. He is survived by his longtime girlfriend, Mary Kay Stolz; his brother, Mark; his sister-in-law, Toni Apicelli, and his cousins, Robert Painter, Judy Wilen, Carla Johnson and Tony Martin. Eric attended the Francis Parker School and Harvard University. Eric was a designer and teacher who participated in groundbreaking research in digital media, serving as principal consultant to MIT's Lincoln Lab in the development of the Genesys digital animation system (1967-71), and to Xerox PARC (1974-5) for Alan Kay's Dynabook project. He had been an interface design consultant to Apple Computer's Human Interface and Advanced Technology Groups (1989-93) and to individual clients. He taught photography, film, animation and video at Harvard's Department of Visual and Environmental Studies (Lecturer, 1964-75), where he was later a Visiting Lecturer in Digital Media (1993-94). He also served on the faculty at CalArts (1976-95) where he was Dean of the School of Art and Design (1979-83) and founding Director of the CalArts Macintosh Lab (1985-95). At both institutions he was a pioneering teacher of computer animation. After Cal Arts he taught classes at Otis College of Art and Design, Art Center College of Design and SCI Arc. (Southern California Institute of Architecture. He was working on a book that explains the relationship between ideas, digitization and wealth, the ways the digital revolution has revolutionized our lives, and how the surveillance state has moved us into a post-democratic society. His intellect, wit, humor and humanity will be missed by his family and his many friends.

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Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Dec. 5, 2017