Ready to learn more about the expert jurors behind last summer’s inspiring SIGGRAPH content? For this week’s feature, SIGGRAPH 2019 Technical Papers Committee member Javier Molina, engineer, actor, and media artist, shares a bit about his past work and where he finds inspiration.
SIGGRAPH: What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it?
Javier Molina (JM): The best advice I’ve received comes in the form of a quote from Elizabeth C. McLaughlin, CEO and lead executive coach of Gaia Project Consulting. Elizabeth said, “Our failures remind us that there are no peaks without valleys.”
SIGGRAPH: In your opinion, what technology doesn’t get a lot of love but has greatly improved the world?
JM: The timeless mechanical alarm clock! ⏰
SIGGRAPH: What excites you most about your work? Where does your passion come from?
JM: I love discovering and working with the latest technology developments. I’m especially intrigued by how digital technology interfaces with structural inequalities alongside matters of identity and personal formation, for example race, class, gender, ability, etc.
SIGGRAPH: What is one contribution you’ve made to the industry that has been most meaningful to you?
JM: I once worked as a technical director of dance motion-capture performances and created the first live theater performance of “Hamlet” in virtual reality. This performance was broadcast live to audiences around the world through social virtual reality. I am very proud of what the team accomplished.
SIGGRAPH: What’s one thing you keep at your desk that inspires you?
JM: I always have sticky notes available at my desk. Having them helps me get away from the screen and organize my thoughts.
SIGGRAPH: Is there a resource you frequent for inspiration?
JM: “The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self” by philosopher Thomas Metzinger — a book that analyzes the way humans think and our concept of “self.”
Javier Molina is an engineer, actor, and media artist working with virtual reality, motion capture, interactive installations, performance art, and experimental film. He holds a degree in telecommunications engineering from the Army Polytechnic School in Quito, Ecuador. Javier moved to New York City to study at the NYU School of Engineering and at Uta Hagen’s HB Studio. He has worked at NYU MAGNET, researching virtual and augmented reality technologies and teaching motion-capture workflow for virtual reality. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in electronic arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, focusing on ritual performance in immersive media. Javier’s interest in performance has evolved from conventional performing arts to more eclectic and interactive performances. His work offers a creative way to join passion and involvement with contemporary art and combine it with cutting-edge technology.