CR Blog

Andy Cameron

Digital, Graphic Design

Posted by Patrick Burgoyne, 29 May 2012, 10:22    Permalink    Comments (115)

Andy Cameron, digital pioneer, co-founder of the Antirom collective, artist, teacher and, latterly, creative director at Fabrica and Wieden + Kennedy, has died unexpectedly.

Cameron was a hugely influential and inspirational figure in the development of digital media, both through his own work (which encompassed commercial projects as well as art installations for shows in the Barbican, MoMA in New York, the V&A and the Pompidou Centre) and as a teacher and mentor at first the University of Westminster and latterly at Fabrica, Benetton's research centre. He believed fundamentally in the potential of digital media to re-invent the way we communicate with one another. A great many of those leading the field of digital design and interactive media today were influenced, inspired and guided by him.

Cameron first became interested in digital media in the early 1990s after becoming disillusioned with photography. "I realised I was just deeply bored with photography and was really, really excited by the opportunities that interactive representations offered," he told CR in a July 2010 interview. "I just thought it was really, really cool that you could interrogate an image and that it would respond to your actions in different ways depending on what you did. I actually still haven't got over that, I still think it's really cool."

He was teaching photography at the University of Westminster at the time. As he switched to digital media (co-founding the university's Hypermedia Research Centre in 1996), he shared his discoveries with his students, who also found them more interesting than the course they'd signed up for. This led to a fruitful collaboration - in Cameron's first class were Tom Roope, Andy Polaine and Sophie Pendrell. The group (joined by others, including Roope's brother Nik) went on to form Antirom in 1994, the collective set up to explore creative and artistic ideas in interactive media.

Antirom's first release was a CD-Rom, self-published with funding from the Arts Council. Packed with small, interactive 'toys', it featured graphics by Tomato and music from Underworld. "It was a little interactive CD-Rom full of very, very immediate experiments," remembered Cameron. "One of the things that we worked out very quickly was that an interactive piece has to engage its audience very rapidly. We used to take our work in installation form to the Big Chill parties on Sundays and set up a computer and then stand back and watch people. It becomes very obvious that if they don't get it within five or ten seconds then they wander off. So we built that into the interface, so if people didn't engage with an interaction, it would randomly go to another one."

Brands were quick to see the potential of interactive and digital media and in 1995 Antirom began working with Levi's, creating an series of interactive kiosks for stores, and later an interactive shop window which would respond with different musical notes when sensors on the window were banged.

After the break-up of Antirom, Cameron founded Rom and Son with Joe Stephenson, which continued to explore new means of interaction, as in the CD-Rom, romone, stills shown above

Antirom broke up in 1999 – "basically because we got bored and a little fed up with each other, as collectives often do," Cameron said - but a talk that he had given on the collective at Fabrica in Treviso a few years earlier led to an invitation to return as a visiting interactive artist in 2001. Again his timing was fortuitous and he arrived there at an interesting time - flamboyant photographer Oliviero Toscani, who was behind Benetton's controversial yet brilliant poster campaigns of the 80s and 90s had just left, leaving a big hole in the company.

Cameron encouraged Fabrica to explore interaction design, and remained at Fabrica for eight years, working first as creative director for interactive and then later becoming executive director of Fabrica. He also worked with the international bursary holders, the young artists or designers who received funding to work on creative projects at the centre for a year.

 

Always ahead of his time, Cameron created United People for Benetton in 2002, an in-store video installation and online community for Benetton stores worldwide whereby customers could upload videos of themselves.

A trip to the London offices of Wieden + Kennedy to take part in its Platform project, led to Cameron joining the agency as interactive creative director in spring 2010. During this time, in which he jokingly referred to himself as "the oldest bloke in interactive", he also wrote a wonderfully insightful regular column for CR. Last year, Cameron left Wiedens to pursue other projects, including a planned book. He was also appointed a Royal Designer for Industry at the Royal Society of the Arts.

 

From The Exquisite Clock, created for the V&A Decode show in 2010 by Cameron and Joao Wilbert, in which a digital clock is created using images that resemble figures grabbed from the web.

CR understands that Cameron died of a heart attack yesterday (May 28). Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

 

115 Comments

a sad sad loss to his family, friends, colleagues and all those he influenced. having known him for almost 20 years he is a true pioneer of this area of interactive, digital and new media having taught or mentored so many that have gone on to be he leading lights in the industry. there are not many people with his track record, energy, enthusiasm, generosity of spirit and intellect. onedotzero with andy had great plans to develop a new art prize in this area, sadly one of our greatest prizes is no longer with us. RIP.
shane
2012-05-29 11:28:51


I first met Andy when Antirom first got started around 1996. I was immediately struck by his fresh approach, and ability to inspire people to make great stuff. He was probably one of the first people I came across who really believed with a passion that interactive was a medium for artistic expression. He matured in someone with a fierce intellect and leviathan knowledge to draw upon. I remember most clearly a really happy time when I visited him and his family in north London just before he left for Italy. The friendliness in that little over crowded garden is so clear in my mind...which bring my thoughts back to his family. Andy will be greatly missed.
Mike Williams
2012-05-29 12:02:58


My god. Very sad to hear this... From an ex-Fabrica member, RIP.
Damien Poulain
2012-05-29 12:12:00


I just wanted to show my true respect and love for andy....from way back at antirom and helping us start in london to simply always being about, active for our industry, helpful and sharing....we wouldnt be where we are without him....he will be very missed...much love....sanky.
sanky
2012-05-29 12:23:09


Waking up to the news, so saddened... Andy was a long time friend and avid supporter of my work over the last 15 years. It was always such a pleasure and experience to hear him talking about design. My thoughts are with his family. He will be fondly remembered.
Daniel Brown
2012-05-29 12:27:26


Our paths only really crossed recently when he joined W+K, but I knew his work and a few of the vast number of people he influenced for much longer. Just last Friday I was telling people they ought to get to know Andy and what a smart, kind, wonderful, generous guy he was.

It's rare to find someone so talented with such an openness and willingness to share what they know and love.

Andy will be missed by so many people for so many different reasons. RIP.
iain tait
2012-05-29 12:32:31


Andy was an inspiration to me and so many other people. I'll always remember how much fun we had writing 'The Californian Ideology' together...
Richard Barbrook
2012-05-29 13:05:24


Such a shock.... Andy's name has been synonymous with our industry even before it was an industry... the early work he did with Tom and the guys was such a huge influence on me that I have no doubt, like many people I would not be where I am now without 'interacting' with his work.

I am sure he will be missed by many...
Orlando Mathias
2012-05-29 13:10:17


Andy joined SPACE as a trustee last December and we were so excited at the energy, enthusiasm and hands-on approach he brought with him. We so much valued the time we had working together over the last few months and were looking forward to doing so much more. We will truly miss Andy's openness and creative spirit. A great loss to London's creative community.
Anna Harding
2012-05-29 13:20:44


I think the above comments tell the story of Andy and his amazing ability to give and be a force for good. He was always incredibly encouraging and maintained a good dry sense of humor not only about his work but also himself. You are loved and missed Andy. RIP.
Peter Hellicar
2012-05-29 13:43:12


Andy has taught and inspired me a great deal, and I have just been stripped away the chance to return it all.
André Amaral
2012-05-29 13:46:24


Good man with great passion. Thoughts to his family & friends.
Chris H
2012-05-29 13:56:10


It has been an absolute pleasure and honour to have known Andy. The reason we hired him was because he was so unaffected by this business. He truly was one of the good guys who just wanted to help others realise their potential. That is a rare quality indeed in someone so talented. He was keen to push the respect for Digital Arts that is so lacking in many of the more traditional creative establishments and organisations. I am just one of many lucky ones who will have learnt from him.

Huge respect and loss.
tony davidson
2012-05-29 14:02:20


Really sad news. Andy and I worked together at Wieden + Kennedy last year and he was always an inspirational character. He was a true visionary in the art and digital world. We will all be so much the poor for his passing. Rest in Peace.
Julien Buckley
2012-05-29 14:17:37


Ciao my friend, big hug to you and a tribute to your creativity and leadership
Enrico
2012-05-29 14:22:00


Andy gave me the chance to enter the exciting new frontier of the digital age when I was looking for a place to express my creative ideas back in 1993. I will never forget the yellow dungarees he was wearing that afternoon, when he said there was a place for me on the course at Westminster Uni.

So sorry to lose you way before we were ready too.
May you rest in peace.

Isabel
isabel fereday
2012-05-29 14:33:27


Andy was a pioneering artist, an inspirational mentor, a thoughtful critic, and a true comrade. In his last years he was one of the most prominent (only?) voices in the advertising world advocating to respect artists and not exploit them. Goodbye, friend.
Golan Levin
2012-05-29 14:54:55


Andy was one of our industry's great givers. And whilst his dancing around creative technology's forefront often obscured his work from the warm glow of mainstream recognition, his ideas, inspirations, energy and insights are all pervasive and touch all corners of interactive media, internet, digital or whatever we choose to call it 20 years after he started tinkering with it. He had the brain power to unravel the most complex conundrum coupled with an infectious, almost naive respect for making, playing and doing. His approach let the qualities of the medium reveal themselves rather than imposing his own, a perspective that I still hold dear. And like many great people, the impact he made will only surface later, when interactivity gets its own historians and documenters and when they unravel so many important connections and ideas that lead them back to Andy.

We worked together at antirom which was the ride of my life. He left an indellible mark on me that still helps me balance conceptual thought with the need for down-and-dirty doing, the only route to really knowing a medium, let alone command it.

Rest in peace Andy. You have left and amazing legacy and hand on heart, I can say with confidence you changed our not-so-little-any-more industry and practice for the much greater. Thank you.
Nicolas Roope
2012-05-29 14:59:44


I'm more sad now after reading these messages. Suddenly feel the sense of loss even stronger. And memories of Fabrica and Andy flooding back.
Zenobia
2012-05-29 15:00:51


Andy was an inspiration to all who knew him and worked with him. In his hands interactive media became not only fun but also a critical tool that became central to our understanding of how the future might look.
Now we have to look at the future without Andy and his playful seriousness, we are devastated.
Graham Evans and colleagues at the University of Westminster.
Graham Evans
2012-05-29 15:08:24


Andy was considered a mentor to so many at Fabrica. A good mate, and a pioneer in fields that were still being developed. He genuinely cared about the creative process and the voices of the creatives themselves. I learnt so much from him.
You will be sorely missed Andy.
Thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
Daniel Hirschmann
2012-05-29 15:10:38


I'm totally shocked and terribly sad about the news. Andy was the most responsible for both my intellectual and professional development over many years and certainly one of the only people I could count as being my mentor. His mix of playfulness combined with a great mind wrapped in a charming chaotic nature was unique. What a terribly untimely passing.
Andy Polaine
2012-05-29 15:12:39


Proud to have worked with Andy - Advertising was not his world, and neither is it mine. I'm happily still fighting some of the fights he started in his passion for interactive art. He's had a lasting impression on me.

I'm glad I can call him a friend. I think most people who met him would. A very sad day indeed. Andy, we'll miss you greatly.
Paul Skinner
2012-05-29 15:20:52


Tragic and shocking news.

I worked with Andy for only a short time at W+K but he was a great character, a passionate artist and he clearly had a significant impact on those who worked alongside him. His spirit will live on through those he inspired.

My thoughts go to his family.
Gav Gordon-Rogers
2012-05-29 15:29:47


As Creative Director of Fabrica Visual Communication I worked with Andy for 8 Years. We shared many projects in which he daily inspired me and everyone else with his knowledge, future visions, leadership and playfull and friendly charisma.

I wish his wife Emily and his boys much strength in this moment.

Arrivederci Andy, Omar
Omar Vulpinari
2012-05-29 15:37:23


Going to miss our "Dad" ( nickname assigned to differntiate from the other 3 Andys at antiROM).

It was a pleasure to be Andy's student, collaborator, business partner and friend.

It was great to see him recently as excited and frustrated with the creative world as he has always been.

Andy will be missed, but his inspiration lives on, in all those you have infected with the belief that things can and will change for the better, by going out there and making things.
tomas roope
2012-05-29 15:47:39


Very sad news.

Your work is absolutely inspiring.
gibo
2012-05-29 15:56:08


I knowed Andy at Fabrica Workshops.
He was a great mind and beautiful soul.
Rest In Peace
Paolo Tonon
2012-05-29 15:57:09


Utter shocked. A funny, smart, inspirational man who's company was always a pleasure and lesson. He'll be much missed.
Jean
2012-05-29 16:17:18


With all the best wishes to Andy's family and with deep respect for his life times work in an interactive universe.
Christa Sommerer
Christa SOMMERER
2012-05-29 16:18:42


tomato was lucky to know anti-rom
i was lucky to know andy
tears and respect and joy and love forever
graham
graham wood
2012-05-29 16:21:41


I missed you on the phone this morning Andy.. I will miss you on the phone forever more. I will miss your presence, your generosity of spirit, your empathy, your the joy for possibilities. You were so cool.

Starling has lost its Creative Director, I have lost a dear friend, colleague and mentor.

Deeply shocked. So sad.

Declan Caulfield.
Starling.tv
Declan Caulfield
2012-05-29 16:26:04


Caro Andy , la cosa che amavo di piu di te e' che eri l'unico inglese che parava italiano! Che bello aver lavorato con Te a Share Festival nel 2009 come guest curator e come gia' avevi capito la crisi economica che ci attanaglia con il tuo intuito di sempre. Qui a Torino piangiamo io Chiara e Luca. Ci mancherai tanto nella giuria di Share Prize: avevi un talento straordinario per capire gli artisti perche' lo sei stato anche tu,
con affetto .
Simona Chiara e Luca / Share Festival
Simona Lodi
2012-05-29 16:27:15


Andy was the person that came to my RCA graduation show and suggested that I might want to take some time away from London after my mugging and spend a year with him and the rest of the team at Fabrica. He changed my life (and many others) for the better. After a year of long Italian lunches and discussions on the future of everything, I returned to London. Andy kept in touch, and I was lucky enough to work with him on a few (not enough) projects in the intervening years. Always humble, and willing to listen as well as talk, he could always make me laugh with just a glance. Only last Thursday night I was wandering through Brick Lane with him, talking of old projects and new. He told me he owed me one, but it's me that owes him. Thanks Andy.
Joel Gethin Lewis
2012-05-29 16:29:11


Very shocked and terribly sad.
Luke Pendrell
2012-05-29 16:32:52


I first met Andy when he came to Artec, the UK's first place to learn interactive design, early in its life. He shared our foresight that a world changing industry was about to be born and in the way that he continued engage with that industry, he re-engineered the design & photography focussed “Contemporary Media Practice” degree course to become a hot house for new creative talent excited about interactive media. I remember initially feeling too young and in-experienced to be a “university lecturer”, but in the way that he inspired his students, he gave me the confidence. The fact that what he created was a space for creative collaboration rather than didactic teaching also helped.

Despite Anti-ROM's success in persuading major brands to take early risks, Andy resisted premature attempts to define and structure the industry along traditional advertising industry lines and always sought to work pushing at the boundaries. This made him invaluable to Fabrica and the evolution of the industry as a whole.

Seeing him again 2 years ago at a party after far too long a gap, was a joy for many of us there. I have to admit I was looking forward to seeing more of him. I will miss him dearly and the industry, even those who didn't know him, owes him a massive debt.
Derek Richards
2012-05-29 16:33:42


Andy Cameron was one of my biggest heroes. I will miss the old Scouser greatly.
dominic tunon
2012-05-29 16:45:07


I only met him once so cannot profess to much, but I knew his work, his incredible heritage of ideas but more importantly he seemed completely without ego - a human trait I wish many others would consider embracing. I hope we as an industry find a way to commemorate your departure in a worthy fashion.

A very sad, unexpected and untimely loss.
Steve Price
2012-05-29 16:52:50


Andy was an instigator in the true sense of the word.
He inspired me and will continue to.

X
Robert Le Quesne
2012-05-29 17:02:18


Very shocked and terribly sad.
Luke Pendrell
2012-05-29 17:14:11


Absolutely shocked and saddened to read about Andy passing away. He was a truly inspiring artist and creative as well as being one of the nicest people I have met in the creative industry.

I bumped into him a couple of months ago on his bike. He mentioned we should catch up for a drink and a chat . Gutted that I wont be able to do that now.

RIP Andy.

My thoughts go to his family and friends.
Tom Seymour
2012-05-29 17:20:03


What a tragic loss. I only met Andy a couple of times, but in that short space of time he showed himself to be a warm, gentle, passionate, interested and interesting man. Not to mention an appreciator of the good things in life! We should take this sad news as an extra spur to grab every moment of what little time we have available to us, and make the great work he loved so much.
Igor Clark
2012-05-29 17:20:31


he was the first tutor who introduced me to the world of interactivity.
I wouldn't be doing what I am doing now if I haven't met him in the college.
I was very lucky to meet him in early stage of my life.
thank you andy.
respect forever. rest in peace.
tota hasegawa
2012-05-29 17:21:09


I first met Andy at the IDN conference in Singapore in 2004 with an ex fabricanti Steve Lawler and they both told me to sign up for Fabrica (I had no clue about Colors nor Fabrica then), and a new writing department had opened. I arrived on trial and joined Fabrica in 2005-2006 and worked on mostly writing projects, but was incredibly lucky when Andy asked me to join the team discussions and my area was to put together China research. He was such an inspiration and a real visionary, had a great sense of humour, incredibly open minded. Just most recently, we revisited the conversation to bring those Venetian mirrors to Asia and possibilities of further collaborations. Andy, we'll miss you and it was such an honour and privilege to work with you at Fabrica. RIP. xx
Juliana Loh
2012-05-29 17:26:31


Andy was an inspiration: damn fun to argue with, brilliant to work beside. The few moments I got with him made my brain stretch in the best ways - and my heart goes out to his family and the others whose lives he touched. He was truly one of the good ones.
renny gleeson
2012-05-29 17:28:19


A sad and unexpected loss. We worked together & became friends. A fine, funny man and an inspiration to many.
rob steiner
2012-05-29 17:38:09


Very shocked and terribly sad.
Luke Pendrell
2012-05-29 17:40:39


I truly enjoyed every debate I had with Andy. He was such a vivid, crisp, alert guy that I learned something fresh and new every time. If Andy hadn't described the California Ideology, us Yankees wouldn't have even known that we had one.
Bruce Sterling
2012-05-29 17:59:30


I'm really sad about this. Andy was my tutor at the University of Westminster, and really the only teacher who I feel has genuinely inspired me and changed me for the better. He was a great person, and I'm sad he's gone. Very sad for his family too. Miss you Andy.
Jo Wright
2012-05-29 18:03:04


So much already said, a truly great human being who will be sadly missed and remembered fondly by all. The wisdom of a teacher, the eyes of a child and most wonderfully vice versa. Our thoughts are with his loved ones. Dylan and all at tomato x
Dylan Kendle
2012-05-29 18:03:20


Thank you Andy.
You inspired us to think of what was possible.
That is your everlasting gift.

John C Jay
john c jay
2012-05-29 18:08:32


Andy interviewed me for a place at University of Westminster way back in the mid-90s. It was the most amazing interview at the end of a hot, sticky day - he put his feet up on the table, read the copies of the small press anthology comic I'd been editing and we had a lengthy discussion about our favourite video games. He saw some kind of potential in me, and set me on the path I am still following. I'm gutted, truely gutted to hear that he's no longer with us. May he rest in peace and may his memory and legacy live on forever.
Adam Hoyle
2012-05-29 18:12:49


I was a fun of Anti-rom...when I met Andy I understood many things. I'm terribly sad and I have the picture of him talking about new media in the Tuscany's countryside ...
diana le quesne
2012-05-29 18:51:45


It is really sad to hear that Andy pass passed away, and so suddenly. It feels really unfair for someone who is full of energy, ideas and life... I met Andy many times over the years, ever since the early AntiROM times, connected by our shared interest in interactive media. I visited Fabbrica with Andy, and spent some memorable times in the countryside with Andy and his family in the beautiful old house they were renting. Those discussions will feel even more memorable now that I know there will be no way of continuing then. Andy was a wonderful, smart and creative person, who will be sorely missed in the media arts community.

Erkki Huhtamo
Erkki Huhtamo
2012-05-29 19:00:45


It's always tragic when someone dies young. And all the more so when that person influenced the work you do every day of your own life. My condolences to his family.
Carl Rogers
2012-05-29 19:03:37


Tears when I heard the tragic news. We spoke at length only recently and I am deeply saddened that our paths shall never cross again. He was a true visionary.

My love goes out to his family.
Sophie Pendrell
2012-05-29 19:28:00


Huge influence. Even during the short period of time we worked together at WK, Andy, without making any effort, made me reconsider everything about my work. All of a sudden, everything I took for granted felt old an outdated. His words about coding as means of expression and the value of prototyping ideas were a massive wake up call. I wish I had the chance to thank him in person.

The guy was a true visionary.
Rodrigo Lebrun
2012-05-29 19:33:17


I first contacted him in 2009 by email then met him and worked with him during my trail at Fabrica in 2010, he was an incredibly busy person, sadly at the time I think he spent more time away from his family than he would have liked. Working in Italy but having his family live in the UK. Thank you so much for all the advice you gave, what a tragic loss to the creative community.
Tom Lynch
2012-05-29 19:35:47


A dark day... A legend has past.
Andy, you will be remembered and revered forever...
A friend
2012-05-29 20:16:11


Andy was one of the first people to give the digital era it's visual language in interactive setting. I still remember when he walked into our first Internet Cafe Cyberia at Whitfield Street in 1994 with an already formed deep understanding of where he wanted to take the Web and interactive experience. I remember the late night debates on how to move from anorak-grey world of ftp universe to the rainbow of colours and images and touch-based fun that the early ANtiRom has offered to us all. Andy has paved the way to artistic use of the digital environment in a truely pioneering way and will be terribly missed by us all.

Eva Pascoe
Cyberia & Cybersalon
Eva Pascoe
2012-05-29 20:17:28


I only had the chance to work with Andy for a few months when our paths crossed in London. He was so passionate, excited and interested in where things were going. It was an absolute pleasure to have worked with him, and it's so good to see how he inspired so many people.

Thank you, Andy. You're gone far too early. My thoughts with your family and I'll miss you a lot.
Dan Hon
2012-05-29 20:28:31


Andy, we will miss you.
Here in São Paulo and elsewhere
Giselle Beiguelman
2012-05-29 20:47:51


Andy: An artist , a digital designer ahead of his time, a great listener, a doer and a great colleague. He was a great support during my business venture. The digital industry has lost one of the greats too soon. He will be sadly missed.
Greta Corke
2012-05-29 21:14:25


This has been a long day. Tom mentions the 'Dad' thing, which was a joke with a real twist. For some of us (with uninspiring Dads) Andy took that place. Big brother, friend, Dad, teacher, fellow digital artisan or whatever, you will be missed.
You always had that little more to say about things, always mocking or super enthusiastic - a true inspiration.
In one of our last conversations Andy said: "... but I think it's interesting to remind yourself that there is actually some really amazing work and that that's why we all bother with art, because in the end there are works of art which are just transcendental..."
He always wanted everyone to make more and more good work. He enjoyed it!
joel baumann
2012-05-29 23:15:46


So saddened to hear this news. Andy was a great source of inspiration, a suuportive ear, caustic but balanced and experienced view and supporter of all our efforts at D&AD to encourage talent. He was always generous with his time-his advice will be much missed. My condolences to his family.
Rhiannon James
2012-05-29 23:16:45


Andy was my teacher - the best - and he influenced the direction of my life completely with his well-timed nudge or suggestion or gathering together, introductions, lots of support, laughs, arguments, good times and gossip. A brilliant guy. Wish I'd said thank you properly for the huge difference he made. Respect and love.
Rosie Higgins
2012-05-29 23:41:23


Very sad news - my deepest sympathy to his family .
Anthony Cullen
2012-05-30 00:25:14


Terrible, terrible news, a great loss for Andy’s family and friends to bear, and a great loss to many people in design who hardly knew his name. ‘Playful seriousness’ (as Graham Evans and his colleagues put it), is what Andy brought to everything he did. Thank you.
John L. Walters
2012-05-30 00:46:37


andy was a huge advocate for the medium, a mentor to many of my generation, and he always brought his dark sarcastic, british humor to the table. I have really fond memories of conversations about our work and the medium on tram rides in linz, over the cafe table in treviso, and I really looked up to him -- to me, he represented an older generation that was actively engaging the younger folks coming up. Several of my students worked with him at Fabrica after studying at Parsons, and flourished there. When I visited fabrica, and I watched andy leave the mess hall surrounded by his posse of students, it was so clear how respected and looked up to he was. Thanks for the good memories Andy, rest in peace.
Zach Lieberman
2012-05-30 01:38:59


Andy was one of the most inspiring, influential and pioneering people i've ever had the opportunity to meet. As a mentor and teacher his influence in my early years exploring installation, sound toys and 'hupdate' is immeasurable and working alongside him at Fabrica was one of most memorable and creative times of my life.

He shaped the lives of so many digital creative people that it's hard to imagine a world without him.
Dave McDougall
2012-05-30 08:56:03


Shocked and deeply saddened. I met Andy for the first time when he was working on Digital Dialogues for Ten 8, then Antirom and at University of Westminster. Much of what has already been said above I agree with - such a talented and warm person. I hadn't heard that he was ill or had a heart problem so it's all the more shocking. My thoughts are with his family and those closest to him
Peter Dunn
2012-05-30 09:45:56


Absolutely in a state of disbelief. I called his cell last night with selfish hopes I had heard the news wrongly.
Only a few months ago we sat around and spoke of typography, new program languages, graffiti, Pakistani food, inter-racial relations, marriage, children, parenting, advertising & the odd cigarette.

I always looked forward to the interesting, unconventional dialogue that would be.

All my heart and prayers go out to his wife and children.
Matthew McGuinness
2012-05-30 10:10:01


And I wanted to thank you,
Yates
2012-05-30 10:10:13


I've had the privilege of working in close collaboration with Andy for the last six months. It's rare to meet a person with so much knowledge and profound experience in the field, but also someone who is truly inspiring, friendly and kind. For me, who in comparison is just getting started as a digital designer, the inspiration and guidance that Andy provided means the world. The news of his untimely death comes as complete shock, it's so hard to grasp and part of me still expect him to ping me on skype, wanting to discuss some details or new ideas for the project we were working on.

I will miss you Andy. It's been an honor.
Karl Rehnström
2012-05-30 10:35:29


I am deeply saddened by the passing of my old colleague, mentor and friend.
A true pioneer, artist, visionary, our loss is great.
When Andy and Richard invited me to join them at the Hypermedia Reseach Centre, a whole new world opened up to me, as well as to our wonderful students.
Andy was one of those key figures in my life, it was a privilege and real pleasure to work with him.
I regret that we lost touch many years ago, however I still had the hope we would connect again, alas.
My love and condolences to your family, may you rest in peace old friend.
Jeremy Quinn
2012-05-30 10:48:36


I had the real pleasure to work with Andy during his years at Westminster when he was working with so many of those who have left comments above. He told it like it was and fought hard to develop a critical mass of students, creative practice, theory and kit that transformed the BA in Contemporary Practice course.

Andy, you were and are a joy . . .
Stevie B
2012-05-30 11:59:42


I'm really sad to be writing this, as Andy was a deeply profound influence on me, in his work as a teacher at Westminster. He demystified digital technology for me, and made me confident to use it in my artwork, and always to think critically about it. He was never a "tech head" - he always contextualised what he taught within a wealth of knowledge about art film,literature and so on.
From time to time over the years we would run into one another in London and it was always great to see him: always active, always inspiring, always critical.
I'm very sad that his great gifts are not longer available to new generations, but I suppose it is the job now of those who benefited from his influence, to pass it on!
gillian mciver
2012-05-30 12:02:57


Deepest condolences to your loved ones, Andy, and indeed to the wider community you've so clearly rallied. We felt privileged to have you with us barely a week ago, at Sussex. As always, your input was memorable and uniquely insightful. I was lucky to have crossed paths with you decades ago at Imagina, and even more lucky to have managed to sporadically stay in touch and check out that remarkably resonant wavelength. Including last week's discussion about temporality and values. Ironic.

This is far, far too fast and soon for any of us. Dammit. You're irreplaceable.

Sally Jane
Sally Jane Norman
2012-05-30 12:06:26


dear Andy,

protect your family from heaven,


gaia
gaia
2012-05-30 12:59:07


Andy Cameron was a great friend to us at Mint Digital. He trusted us with a big project when we were a much smaller agency. I now realise that's a big risk for someone working at a big company like Benetton. It's rare that someone in his position has the guts to make that sort of decision. That he did shows his commitment to innovation and his trust in his own creative instincts.

Since then we've collaborated on a few projects and discussed many more. Andy was always ambitious, visionary, questioning, sound and a pleasure to work with. He combined a great eye for the big picture with a craftsman's eye for the detail. He was an inspiration of what a creative director should be.

We shared many enthusiasms. Reading the comments here, I realise he was the sort of person that many people shared enthusiasms with. I guess that is part of why so many people saw him as a mentor.

One of my colleagues said 'When I think of Andy, I think of strong leadership, artistic vision and an openness to continual learning. All qualities I keep close to my heart, as I continue to carve my path as a designer. He was an incredible talent that I was very fortunate to have worked with.' All that is true and much more.

You are gone far too soon and we will miss you sorely. Our thoughts and condolences are with your family.
Andy Bell
2012-05-30 13:07:08


Andy spoke at Sussex University last week. This turns out to be one of his last public performances and I just want to say here that he was - as I have always known him to be - and in many different spheres over the years - brilliant, intelligent, insightful, and engaging. He made a new generation of students think.

The Californian Ideology which he wrote with Richard, is still one of the best polemics ever written on cyberspace and digital culture. Andy we will miss you.
Caroline
Caroline Bassett
2012-05-30 13:44:21


Only met Andy for the first time on the 17th of May - privileged to have met him, even though just for a short time - so desperately sad.
Lorraine Warren
2012-05-30 13:55:00


I have very few words to say only this Andy was my teacher and friend
Will miss you always
From 1 third of the Techno W
Estella Rushaija
2012-05-30 14:39:07


I met Andy when I curated one of his pieces developed with his Fabrica students for an exhibition at Sónar Festival in Barcelona. His enthusiasm was contagious, and it ended up spawning endless conversations in taxi rides, hotel lobbys, conference halls and restaurants all over Europe. He was always fascinated about what would be coming next in the medium of interaction, as well as obsessed with pursuing a sense of trascendence that he felt was missing in a lot of cutting edge work. And then The Californian Ideology, which must seem a little article but was a fundamental contribution.
I will always remember his legendary sarcasm, and how great a polemicist he was (you only had to ask him about Critical Design, or Silicon Roundabout).
The last email I have from him ends "we will have that proper chat sooner rather than later...". We never had.
It's so sad.
Jose Luis de Vicente
2012-05-30 15:36:55


I first met Andy in 1993 when he submitted one of the most blatant and, to some, shocking images to the ArtAIDS project. Whilst we had infrequent contact over the years, he always managed to open, explore and expand on new ways to look at the world, opening my eyes further to new possibilities. I'm saddened by our loss.
Andrew Nimmo
2012-05-30 16:19:46


I have very few words to say only this Andy was my teacher and friend
Will miss you always
From 1 third of the Techno W
Estella Rushaija
2012-05-30 16:56:05


Gobsmacked. I'm so very sorry and hope your family can take some strength from the obvious love and admiration held for you amongst your peers and friends. Dave P. just told me and we've been singing your praises to each other. 'Composition Station' is still one of the best and most delightful interactives we've had the good fortune to display. Go well Andy, You will be sorely missed and for sure media art and culture will be lesser for the absence of your vision and commitment.
Hannah
Hannah Redler
2012-05-30 18:50:03


Looking at these comments, it's obvious that Andy inspired a huge number of people.
I'm proud to be one of those people.
He was a fantastic uncle.
tom booth
2012-05-30 19:12:58


I just wanted to add my thanks to Andy for his relaxed and generous approach to teaching us way back in the early '90s. The comments here from old friends remind me of a long time ago, and they are good memories. He did help start us off on such interesting paths. Thank you.
Bryony Beckitt
2012-05-30 20:46:26


What a sad year.
William Bottin
2012-05-31 01:08:56


I just met you Andy two weeks ago at Sussex. I really felt that you were someone I would love to know. I bring all my greatest condolences to your family and friends
Martin Gylling
2012-05-31 08:20:33


Really sorry to hear this. Great inspiration to me. I would never had made soundtoys and interactive music if it wasn't for his early work.
Paul Farrington
2012-05-31 09:35:27


You always lied to surprise, and you always have - and always will. Keep on inspiring us, mate
Sean Cubitt
2012-05-31 12:19:23


He was a lovely chap.
Chris Davenport
2012-05-31 14:39:48


I only met Andy once, just two weeks ago, but I hardly thought then that it would be the only time. Reading the many comments I'm struck by how much he has inspired others. A giver not a taker indeed. Something we should all aspire to, even if it causes us a lot of pain. So sorry to hear about this great loss to the world. RIP Andy xx
Lisa Harris
2012-06-01 22:18:28


I too only met Andy Cameron once, but it was so clear how inspiring and generous nature he possessed. My thoughts and sympathy go out to his family.
Cécile Chevalier
cecile chevalier
2012-06-02 11:59:23


In shock as I went to the Polytechnic of Central London and met him in 1977. Olivier, Andy and I went on to collabortae making two photo projects called Swiss Account and Milton and Keynes.
I met him last year again after years of not seeing him at Paradise Row. He had not changed, just a bit older !
I will sadly miss having missed him before he left. XX
Karen Knorr
2012-06-02 18:12:28


Lovely Andy, a huge force, energy, personality, humour, smile. With your wonderful cooking, attention to detail, your hosting, music and energy we were so incredibly lucky to have known you. Seems completely surreal that you have gone from our lives, even as I write I am struggling to believe what has happened. SO much love to Emily and your gorgeous sons, you are a really special person and will stay in our hearts and minds always xxx Mel, Dave, Cass and Bailey xxx
Mel and David
2012-06-02 22:20:49


I am so sad....
Another Andy, Andy Polaine from our course in the University of Westminster about... 20 years ago send me an email today telling me about Andy’ s sudden death. I am devastated. Andy was, is the reason I loved and worked until now in interactive media. I admired him as an artist, as a teacher, as a programmer and most of all as a authentic person who could inspire others to create and to move on to new things. In a few weeks I will be in London and I was planning to see him after so many years. I will not. I’ ll miss him. My greatest sympathy and thoughts to his family.
Tina Chatzara
2012-06-03 09:27:56


i didnt know Andy as a colleague, but as a friend. He was the funniest guy i knew, and truly inspirational in all aspects. He will never be forgotten, we miss you Andy.
Claudia H
2012-06-05 11:35:53


Very sad news, such a huge influence
Will Pearson
2012-06-05 13:45:50


Andy you taught and inspired me every day that we were at W+K. It was an honor to have worked for you and I will never forget you. Thank you for everything.
So sad at this great loss.
Hayley
2012-06-05 18:13:05


I met Andy in the late 1980s. We were both Contributing Editors of the journal Ten-8 and shared the challenge of conceptualizing the shifting terrain affecting photography on a still relevant special issue Digital Dialogues. We met many times and I remember bringing him a fast Global Village modem from NY (2500 baud). . We collaborated a number of times and he thoughtfully contributed so much in his practice, writing, and thinking. Immediately he understood both the critical issues and the creative possibilities of working in a field that had few boundaries, too many utopian superlatives, and many issues to untangle. And he did this with his usual mix of humor and rigor ... and this is what will be so missed. This news is truly sad and I can only remind his family of his generous with and on-going contributions.

Tim
Timothy Druckrey
2012-06-05 21:54:22


I'm shocked at the news and send condolences to Andy's family and friends. We met at the Prix Ars Electronica jury in 2008 and had many of those intense conversations that one rarely has with people about the foibles and issues with interactivity and how performance would be the thing that would catch on sooner rather than later. We stayed in touch, always talking about the relationship between thinking and making - how these things were inseparable from each other. Andy, I was just thinking about you last week, wanting to get back in touch. I'll miss you.
Chris Salter
2012-06-05 23:03:56


Rememberd back in the day University of Westminster and Antirom 1994 what an inspiration and mentor will miss you so much.
Anthony Rogers
2012-06-06 09:50:14


Sudden and sad, a very bright chap, was on stage with him last year for a panel discussion at CR'S Digital event which he chaired intelligently and eloquently. Thoughts go out to his family.
Daniel O'Rourke
2012-06-06 10:12:50


Can't believe it.
I was telling my junior designers about the fact that programming languages keep changing but creative thought is still stopped at "the good old days".
Andy was a great person and designer. I feel so lucky to have met him in my life as designer.
Domitilla Biondi
2012-06-13 17:21:49


My year at the HRC under Andy's and Richard's tutelage changed my life. I'll always be grateful to him. Antirom forever.
Jim Boulton
2012-06-16 13:44:28


we had discussions & talks
we had drinks
we had late hard days of work
we had trips to paris and other cities
we did ceramics, miror and other cables stuff
we had fun and dinners
and we were building visions for next generations of kids!
bon voyage Andy.
sam baron
2012-06-23 08:20:36


A fantastic guy who helped so many progress through life. I don't know what to say...stunned ...the memories of him and everyone at Harrow and in London flood back...great times with great people... Andy was such a supportive guy....erm...er..
Phil Loughran
2012-06-29 06:02:22


Andy, you were such an inspiration to me. I will miss your beautifully creative mind, your fine sense of humour, and your disarming personality. I loved working with you or just chatting about stuff, you always raised everything a notch beyond the ordinary. I am honored to have known you. I miss you. Thank you for having given so much to those around you. Cheers. Denise
Denise M
2012-07-03 22:59:55


Andy, I am truly devastated to have learned you've left our world.
I feel blessed that I had the pleasure of getting to know you and from that time together, you overwhelmed me with your vision and inspired me as I know you've inspired all those fortunate enough to have worked with you.
A rare breed indeed Andy and the world lacks a legend.
May you light up the dark nights and shine bright, letting your family know you're there and keeping them safe...
Sarah Callis
2012-07-20 19:37:08


My first discussion with Andy was in my third year at Harrow/Westminster back in the early 90s.

There were very few people on the film and photography courses at the time who would go near a computer, mostly because it was something that wasn't easy to blag your way around: doing anything that involved a computer required practical skills like learning how to scan, how to work in Photoshop and SoundEdit, how to program lingo, rather than practising the gift of the gab, which was the culture at Westminster.

So, Andy was the exception. Andy showed his students how to program lingo and the kind of "toys" you could make with it.

Lingo was very similar to Basic, which was the language we used to program computer games with when I was a kid. Instead of typing "GOTO 10", you told the player to go to frame 10 in the timeline. So, in itself, it wasn't that new. But Andy was the first to present it all in a way that made me "get it": the power of this stuff became crystal clear, and you just knew that we were at a unique moment in history that was going to make an impact like Gutenberg on steroids.

Andy introduced his students to The Well, to the ideas of people like Stewart Brand and Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital. I've often wondered what it was that made him become so critical of the whole California ideology later on when it became an actual world-changing force, because "positive" would be an understatement for the way he spoke about it all back then. This was definitely the wave of our time, and we were lucky to have been born during such an exciting moment in history, so we could catch this wave and ride it, to create new things rather than spend 10 years carrying some ego-driven art director's cans in the hope of one day presenting a project that was worthy of being funded by some government institution.

Typically for Andy, he recommended that I shouldn't do my postgrad at Westminster, exactly because the place was filled with talkers rather than doers. He recommended Middlesex, where the focus was almost entirely on making digital things. He was right, it was a great course, and the ability to actually make things was very empowering indeed.

At Westminster, he was a breath of fresh air...
Alexander Gallé
2013-03-14 16:55:29


I don't know what to say. I just really miss Andy C. He was my mentor at Westminster with Director, Lingo, AS1 and creative New Media. He was a great friend and I strive to achieve what he did. His spirit is still with me and continues to motivate me to teach and explore the realms of digital interaction for the future generation.
A Legend that will always stay in my heart and mind.
Mark Sheppard
2013-03-19 03:48:18


I was lucky and very pleased to work with Andy for romandson back in the year 2000, when I just finished my studies at Westminster University. The sudden death of Andy makes me sad. I remember him as a truly inspiring, motivating, positive and beautiful person.
Sara Carino
2013-04-02 08:51:35


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