Originally trained as a computer scientist, Myron
Krueger, under the influence of John Cage's
experiments in indeterminacy and audience participation, pioneered
human-computer interaction in the context of physical environments.
Beginning in 1969, he collaborated with artist and engineer
colleagues to create artworks that responded to the movement
and gesture of the viewer through an elaborate system of sensing
floors, graphic tables, and video cameras.
At the heart of Krueger's contribution
to interactive computer art was the notion of the artist as
a "composer" of intelligent, real-time computer-mediated spaces,
or "responsive environments," as he called them. Krueger "composed"
environments, such as Videoplace from 1970, in which the computer
responded to the gestures of the audience by interpreting, and
even anticipating, their actions. Audience members could "touch"
each other's video-generated silhouettes, as well as manipulate
the odd, playful assortment of graphical objects and animated
organisms that appeared on the screen, imbued with the presence
of artificial life.