About Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia joined the Computer History Museum in 1999. As Curator, Chris provides information on artifacts, develops content for exhibits, assists in donation review, gives talks, tours and writes articles for CORE—the official publication of the Museum. He specializes in the history video games, personal computing, computer music and art, and computers and technology in literature. In his spare time, Chris is a fan of science fiction and edits a number of fanzines, including The Drink Tank (Hugo Award winner, 2011).

Articles by Chris Garcia(27)

Bringing A New Voice to Genius—MITalk, the CallText 5010, and Stephen Hawking’s Wheelchair

Bringing A New Voice to Genius—MITalk, the CallText 5010, and Stephen Hawking’s Wheelchair

 Mar 26, 2018 Curatorial Insight
Stephen Hawking suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease would eventually paralyze him, and a bout of pneumonia in the mid-1980s made him unable to speak on his own. For such a public figure, this was a significant difficulty, one that led Hawking to a long-lasting and now widely recognized solution: voice synthesis. Read More
In the Holiday Spirit: Festive Music by Computer!

In the Holiday Spirit: Festive Music by Computer!

Before computer gaming, music, and art became mainstay applications and tools for creation, engineers often created programs to demonstrate a machine’s capabilities in ways that were easy for the public follow. It took many years to get musicians into the idea of composing using a computer, and even longer to get general audiences to take those works seriously. Read More
Early Frontiers for Computer Creativity: TX-0 Writes a Western

Early Frontiers for Computer Creativity: TX-0 Writes a Western

 Aug 23, 2017 Curatorial Insight
In April 2016, filmmaker Oscar Sharp and NYU artificial intelligence researcher Ross Goodwin teamed up to create the short film Sunspring. Goodwin created an AI bot called Benjamin to write the script, and Sharp filmed it as a part of the SCI-FI-LONDON 48 Hour Film Challenge. It was impressive, but it wasn’t exactly something new. In fact, the exact same concept had been done before—in 1960. Read More
Rediscovering “Mockingbird—A Composer’s Amanuensis”

Rediscovering “Mockingbird—A Composer’s Amanuensis”

 Jul 27, 2017 Curatorial Insight
One day, while I was going through the videos in our archive at the Computer History Museum, I came across an interesting title: Mockingbird—A Composer’s Amanuensis. I instantly realized this was the video that I’d been waiting for ever since I started exploring computer music. Read More
Computers & The Oscars—Best Animated Short Film

Computers & The Oscars—Best Animated Short Film

 Jan 23, 2017 Curatorial Insight
Outside of my life as a curator, I work with several film festivals as a film programmer. I am heavily invested in the Oscars every year, and most deeply involved with the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Having seen every Oscar nominee in the category since 1980, and nearly two-thirds of all the rest, I can say that no other category gives you a better view of film’s evolution. Read More
Computing Luminaries Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Computing Luminaries Honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

 Nov 18, 2016 Remarkable People
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed by the President of the United States. It recognizes “An especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Read More
A Walk through the 2016 Vintage Computer Festival

A Walk through the 2016 Vintage Computer Festival

 Sep 27, 2016 Curatorial Insight
The 2016 Vintage Computer Festival (VCF), an amazing grass-roots showcase of historical computers, was held at the Computer History Museum recently. VCF has a rich history and is a favorite event among computer enthusiasts everywhere with new standout exhibits each year. Read More
Harold Cohen and AARON—A 40-Year Collaboration

Harold Cohen and AARON—A 40-Year Collaboration

Harold Cohen was a pioneer in computer art, in algorithmic art, and in generative art; but as he told me one afternoon in 2010, he was first and foremost a painter. He was also an engineer whose work defined the first generation of computer-generated art. His system, AARON, is one of the longest-running, continually maintained AI systems in history. Read More
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