Biografica ↬

Hi! I'm Daniel Rehn. I create new electronic art while also re‑tracing and documenting the medium's past.

I'm currently focused on VR as cofounder of New Tropics.

I also run Soft Detours with Sarah Caluag. As a media archaeology studio, we re-trace the origins of creative computing, software-based art, and network culture. In addition to internal projects, we frequently invite outside artists to create new electronic works (most recently at ANI GIF).

Since 2012, I've been artist-in-residence at WWWTXT where I revisit the conversations of early online communities (1980–94) and reveal paths not taken while also foreshadowing contemporary issues.

From 2004–12, I was a researcher at Calit2/San Diego Supercomputer Center where I was a core participant of the Software Studies Initiative. Together with Lev Manovich and Jeremy Douglass, we pioneered “cultural analytics”—the visualization and algorithmic understanding of the time-based media. I was also heavily involved in launching the Center for Design and Geopolitics with Benjamin Bratton.

During this time, I also spearheaded several efforts to expand the potential of videogames as a creative medium. This included directing an interdisciplinary game studies lab (Re:Game) and a MacArthur Foundation supported non-profit that designed learning games for developing countries (Playpower).

And long before any of this, in 1986, I dialed the “Future Link.” That led to operating my very own techno-arts BBS and creating art, code, and music for the ANSi and demo scenes of the early 1990s. Ultimately, it set in motion a life-long journey.

—DR, 2016