2018 Digifest Digital Pioneer Award Recipient


Norman White is recognized as an early pioneer of electronic, machine and robotic art.

He started his career as a painter and later shifted his practice to kinetic electronics in the late 60’s. He presented his first collection of new media work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1969. His electronic work merges motion, sound, movement and light. His work can be found in public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Canadian Art Bank. While Norman has exhibited in major institutions around the world, he feels that art functions best, and is most needed, outside of galleries and museums.

Norman taught for more than twenty-five years at OCAD University (formerly the Ontario College of Art and Design) in the Integrated Media Program, Digital Electronics, Computer Programming and Mechanics for Real-Time Sculpture. He also taught similar subjects at Ryerson University in the School of Image Arts. At OCAD University, Norman helped initiate a program with a focus in electronics, mechanics and computer programming. Norman’s work has influenced many new media artists even until this day, including Doug Back, David Rokeby, Peter Flemming, Jeff Mann and Graham Smith.

Norman currently resides north of Toronto in an old watermill (the Normill) and hosts annual gatherings at the Normill, to celebrate friendships with his friends and fellow artists for swimming, music, art as well as robot fights and machine wrestling.

Digifest will feature three works by Norman White including Telephonic Arm Wrestling, The Music Lesson and Midnight Special #1.

The Digifest Digital Pioneer Award recognizes outstanding Canadians who have made significant contributions to the field of digital media. They are a true trailblazer within technology and culture. By embracing the unknown and standing at the forefront of innovation, their work explores previously unimagined uses for emerging technologies. Please join us at Digifest 2018 as we present the award to the next Canadian innovator!


Past Digital Pioneers

 Don Tapscott (2017), Author and leading authority on technology and business

Bill Buxton (2016), Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research

Steve Mann (2015), Research and Inventor

Vera Frenkel (2014), Artist

Luc Courchesne (2012), President of the Society for Arts and Technology

Vincent John Vincent (2011), CEO and Co-Founder of GestureTek

2017 Awards Ceremony Gallery


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