News of changes, events and new releases.
Lumia, images and links to other sites where people are creating dynamic visual art.
Software and ideas for creating your own lumia, including instruments to connect sound and vision.
Comments from visitors like you.
Credits, footnotes, bios, and other loose ends.
Annotated bibliographies, books, a timeline, profiles of pioneers, and other historical and background material.
Fred Collopy's bio.
People who contributed to this site.
Why imagers and lumia seem like useful terms for describing these instruments and art form.
Order visual music for your computer.

Fred CollopyDuring high school and college I did black and white photography and experimental film-making. In 1970 I helped to organize the April Video Conference, the first large gathering of alternative video artists and media organizers in the United States. Through Stepchild Radio, Cincinnati Video Software, CoWorks Artists Collective, and Whitewood Stamps I participated in the development of alternative radio, public access television, and related movements aimed at broadening access to the media and media arts.

In 1972, having grown frustrated with time-sharing computers on which I had taught myself to program, I bought a Wang 600 programmable calculator for $4400. It had 4k of ram, a cassette tape drive for storage, and a 16-digit display. The salesman told me he had to get permission from corporate headquarters before selling it to me, as "we've never really sold one to an individual before."

I am an ENTP, so I enjoy being involved in new enterprises and inventing new  instruments. I was one of five during the earliest days of Thiel Audio, which has since become a leading manufacturer of high-end loudspeakers. In 1979, I founded Conceptual Instruments to develop and market The Desk Organizer, which created a new product category in the early days of personal computer software.

I developed the first version of Imager on the Apple II. Since then, I have developed versions on the original IBM PC, the Lisa, the 128k Mac, and the PowerPC.

In the past couple of years I have presented my work widely including at SIGGRAPH 2000, the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA), the Academy of Management, the MIT Media Lab, The New Media Festival at Columbia University, the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, and San Francisco State University.

I spent the academic year 1998-99 as a visiting scientist at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where I workedwith members of the Computer Music Center on the design of new instruments.

The Swiss artist Karl Gerstner, conducted numerous experiments with mass production, distribution, and personalization of art. They were clever, beautiful, and inspiring. This site is in the spirit of his experiments. My grandfather Oscar Hugo Kompst was a paint-mixer. He is another inspiration, perhaps operating even at the genetic level.

You can email me at My phone number at CWRU is (216)368-2048.

Copyright 1998–2001 Fred Collopy. This document was last updated on 6/22/01; it is located at

Yin Yang