A true pioneer

The sudden death of Andy Cameron last month prompted a wave of tributes to a hugely influential figure

Andy Cameron, digital pioneer, co-founder of the Antirom collective, artist, teacher and, latterly, creative director at Fabrica and Wieden + Kennedy and CR columnist, died on May 28. A great many of those leading the field of digital design and interactive media today were influenced, inspired and guided by him. Friends and former students and colleagues paid tribute to Cameron on the CR website. Here are a few of the messages posted.

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 the 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 plans to develop a new art prize in this area, one of our greatest prizes is no longer with us.
Shane Walter, onedotzero

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.
Mike Williams

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 wouldn’t be where we are without him. Much love.
Sanky, All of Us

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, Wieden + Kennedy

Andy was a pioneering artist, an inspirational mentor, a thoughtful critic and a true comrade. He was one of the most prominent (only?) voices in the advertising world advocating respect for artists and not exploiting them. Goodbye, friend.
Golan Levin

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 indelible 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 an amazing legacy and, hand on heart, I can say with confidence you changed our not-so-little-anymore industry and practice much for the better. Thank you.
Nicolas Roope, Poke

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

Andy came to my RCA graduation show and suggested that I take some time away from London 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. 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

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