Free and open

Bill Klaila

2017 FSP/Jerome Fellow


Dimensions variable with installation
Outdoor audio system, infrared camera, computer, fiberglass

Artist Statement

I tend to evolve an artwork over time. A new idea usually starts out as a relatively simple piece, like using a video sensor to place the viewer into a 2D scene. Over time, I add to the piece - things like 3D animations, graphics effects, and 3D models. For example, the first immersive environment I made was a simple soundscape that played splash sounds as you walked through it. That evolved into a complex video landscape with animated foliage, which included several different scenes or levels. Using a Kinect video sensor, you were projected into the scene where you could wander through this animated landscape.
Several artists have influenced my work: Bill Viola, Nam Jun Paik, Urban Screen's projection mapping onto buildings - but especially Liz Phillips. I experienced a piece by her in NYC that was, essentially, an empty room with sensors. As you moved about the room, you generated this amazing music. It was then that I realized I wanted to make this kind of artwork.


Bill Klaila's "Empyream" in Action from Franconia Sculpture Park on Vimeo.

Bill Klaila


Born: Syracuse, NY, 1951
Resides: Minneapolis, MN

• MFA, The University of Texas at Austin, 1985

Selected Exhibitions
• Virtual Bog (Wonderland), St. Louis Art Museum, 2000
• Imaginary Forest, Hopkins Center for the Arts, 2013
• Grotto, Minneapolis Institute of Art

Selected Awards
• Jerome Fellowship, 1996
• Experimental Television Center, 1991