Michael Scroggins received his MFA from CalArts where he studied video under Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe and with whom he worked on the construction of the historic Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer. He has been on the faculty of the California Institute of the Arts School of Film/Video since 1978 and taught courses at the University of Southern California, School of Cinema/Television from 1996 to 2006.
From 1968 to 1970 he was a member of the multimedia ensemble Single Wing Turquoise Bird, who, under the sponsorship of Betty Freeman and Sam Francis, presented a legendary series of concerts in museums, galleries, and loft spaces. The ensemble reformed in 2010 for a series of exhibitions and performances including Invisible Writing, an installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, and live performances at the UCLA Broad Center as part of the Getty’s comprehensive initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A, 1945-1980, and the University of Southern California’s 2014 season of Visions and Voices .
Scroggins’ work in absolute animation extends a cinematic tradition that began in the twenties with the work of visionary artists such as Oskar Fischinger, Viking Eggeling, and Walther Ruttman. Like those pioneers, Scroggins aspires to the creation of a visual experience that resembles musical experience in its ability to achieve affect purely through the architectonic structuring of basic elements such as shape, color, texture, and rhythm.
His absolute video works have been widely screened internationally, including exhibitions at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Union of Filmmakers, Moscow; Seibu Ginza, Tokyo; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. His work has also been honored at numerous festivals, among them; the Sony-AFI National Video Festival, Washington DC; ARS ‘83, Helsinki; Annecy ‘85 International Animation Festival, Annecy; Hiroshima ‘87 International Animation Festival, Hiroshima; Sonic Light 2003, Amsterdam.
In addition to his recorded work, Scroggins’ has created live interactive video performances at multimedia events such as Telos et Koine at the Manca Festival in Nice and Mata-Pau at the Rende-Vous Musique Nouvelle ‘92 in Metz.
He has been active in the field of immersive Virtual Reality, and in 1992 received a grant from the Banff Centre for the Arts to produce a VR work, Topological Slide, which premiered in 1994 at The Fourth International Conference on Cyberspace. He is currently engaged in ongoing research centered on the potential of gesture capture in creating realtime absolute animation in immersive VR. This research has led to the development of the visual instrument, Anaphorium, which is planned for release on the HTC Vive in the spring of 2020.