People / David Orcutt

Artist. David Orcutt relocated to Vancouver from the United States in 1956. At this time, he was developing what he called “live animation,” consisting of shadow puppets overlapped with multi-source projected imagery, enacting short narrative sequences. His work caught the attention of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Orcutt was hired by the recently-opened west coast production facility to perform such sequences as live station breaks throughout the day. At the invitation of the Child Art Centre Program, he moved his studio in 1960 into several Quonset huts on the campus of the University of British Columbia to explore the use of interactive media in early education. Orcutt conducted workshops with the children, for example, using an opaque projector to enlarge a child’s artwork to a bodily scale conducive to pre-formative interaction. The motivation behind such experiments was to encourage children to be active producers of content, as opposed to passive receptors of mass media images and ideas. Concurrently, Orcutt was producing large-scale works for auditoriums, utilizing multiple projections and implicating the audience, a number of which were performed at the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design). Unsurprisingly, Orcutt was one of the original instigators of the Intermedia Society and the first project manager for its workshop. David Orcutt passed away in July 2009.

  1. 03. David Orcutt Performance
    Michael de Courcy and David Orcutt (Photograph)