Jeffrey Ventrella is a software artist, innovator, and creative developer
working at the intersection of artificial life, human-computer interaction,
augmented reality, and user experience design. He is
the creator of many interactive software works, available at Ventrella.com.
He co-founded the virtual world company There.com, worked as a senior developer on
Second Life and wrote the
Virtual Body Language, about avatars and the future of human visual expression on the internet.
Jeffrey founded Wiggle Planet - to develop technology for self-animated characters. He and his team developed seven mobile apps, three of which use augmented reality.
Jeffrey has lectured in Europe and North America on artificial life, virtual worlds, and computational art. His work in realtime computer animation includes gesture-based interactive visual music, data visualization, and education-oriented software tools.
Jeffrey lives in Petaluma California with his wife, Nuala Creed and their dog Otto.
Jeffrey was born at age 0 in Richmond Virginia
Jeffrey got his first degree from
Virginia Commonwealth University, in Art Education
with a minor in Art History.
In his mid-20's, he was shown a short fractal program in BASIC. Not knowing anything about programming, he only knew that changing a few letters in what looked like alphabet soup made the picture change in interesting ways. He had an epiphany. He discovered a new visual language.
This new journey in algorithmic art led him to
where he earned an MFA
in Computer Graphics, under Ed Zajec.
After graduating, he worked at SU for four years as Computer Graphics Specialist, working with researchers and faculty on Data Visualization, and teaching programming to Art students and CAD to Industrial Design students.
Jeffrey moved on to
UC San Diego,
where he served as Visiting Professor for one semester, under
teaching artificial life, software programming, and CAD to Art students.
Jeffrey then moved back to Cambridge, where he got his third degree: a Masters from the
MIT Media Lab's Visible Language Workshop. There he met
Nuala Creed, who later became his wife.
Jeffrey and Nuala moved to San Francisco, and Jeffrey began working at
Rocket Science Games,
prototyping simulation-type games.
After that he became Principle Inventor and second co-founder of
He wrote the first line of code in 1997, and went on to invent a virtual dog,
vehicle physics, and many other aspects of the virtual world. He co-designed
'Avatar-Centric Communication' with Chuck Clanton.
While working at There.com, he adapted the artificial life simulation Darwin Pond to become GenePool. This work resulted in a handful of papers and presentations at artificial life conferences in the US and Europe.
After briefly working at
on the Acrobat3D platform, Jeffrey joined
Linden Lab, makers of
Second Life, where he invented Flexies,
He then joined
and developed the home page for
NASA Images.org, and also consulted on user interaction.
Jeffrey worked in Vancouver, BC as a visiting professor at the Centre for Digital Media. The following year he worked as a researcher at the School of Interactive Art and Technology, of simon Fraser University, where he also taught a class in Advanced Game Design.
While in Vancouver, Jeffrey finished his first book, Virtual Body Language, which is published by ETC Press.
Jeffrey worked closely with internet visionary
on an experimental project to implement the
Database/Visualization scheme as a front-end to the
Jeffrey gave the first keynote at
in France. He also gave a keynote at the
Conference, in Vancouver.
In June of 2011, Jeffrey joined a new startup company, Visual Music Systems, founded by Bill Sebastian. He worked for a little over a year, creating particle systems, fractal algorithms, and strongly-procedural, highly-parameterized, control structures, for realtime visual performance.
Jeffrey completed a book called
a visual math exploration of fractal images, which includes a new way to
find and categorize all plane-filling curves.
|2013||Jeffrey helped build-out some core avatar systems, camera behaviors, and particle systems for High Fidelity.|
|Making it Real|
At age 52, Jeffrey decided it was time to put his best foot forward. He founded
with the help of
Jeffrey gave a keynote presentation at VISIGRAPP in Barcelona about his recent work.
Jeffrey was awarded a residency at Work Petaluma, where he directed a project using augmented reality to help young people learn about local ecology. This morphed into a Kickstarter campaign.
Barry Stump, and the
Wiggle Planet team
celebrated their successful
to fund the development of an innovative augmented reality book-game, called
Peck Peck's Journey
Jeffrey was featured in
about Wiggle Planet
Jeffrey spoke on a panel at Digital Hollywood in October, along with Paul Zak and other notable speakers.
Wiggle Planet published
on the Apple store. The app features breed-able characters that are geolocated (this was completed before Pokemon Go came onto the scene).
Jeffrey was a featured speaker at the Immersive Learning Research Network Conference in June.
Jeffrey provided consultation and software development on the HoloLens for Pillantas - an innovative startup company exploring new possibilites with stereo vision.
|2017||Jeffrey worked with senior developers at Leap Motion to implement his Clusters particle system algorithm in virtual reality.|
Jeffrey provided user experience design oversight for
MeshOS, a Sausalito startup.
Jeffrey consulted with EndlessOS, a San Francisco company developing the Hack Laptop, with tools and games that help kids learn to code. He was the primary/initial designer and developer of their first game: "Fizzics".
Jeffrey is currently working to complete a book about fractal curves using complex numbers,
and preparing a paper on the subject to present at the
Bridges conference in Austria.
Jeffrey is also preparing for an art show featuring his Organic Algorithm Series at the Lori Austin Gallery in April.
Jeffrey continues to design and develop interactive experiences in several ongoing collaborations and is available for professional consulting for innovative startup companies or non-profits focusing on education, science, progressive social causes, and environmental health.