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Photo by Galen Brandt (2009)

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Bruce Damer is a leading expert in the subject of Avatars, the representation of people in 2D and 3D graphical Cyberspace worlds. In the mid 1990s he formed the Contact Consortium, the first organization and conference dedicated to the subject and authored the first book "Avatars!". In the past several years Bruce has headed up DigitalSpace, a company which now provides NASA with 3D modeling and visualization for the future of space exploration. Bruce and his wife Galen Brandt live on a farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains where they host a hippie bus art and music studio and stage performances, raise pot bellied pigs and house a large vintage computer collection in their barn called the DigiBarn Computer Museum. More about Bruce at his homepage


Bruce Damer: CEO and founder of The Digital Space Commons, director of the Contact Consortium, and author of the book "Avatars". Bruce co-directs a research and development consortium bringing virtual worlds and communities to the net. He is a visiting scholar at the University of Washington HIT Lab and through Digital Space is engaged in innovative projects with such partners as NASA and Adobe Systems Inc.

More fun "life" bio

Bruce Damer was raised in the back woods of British Columbia, Canada, and made his way by a circuitous route to the back woods of Silicon Valley where he lives now with his love, Ms. Galen Brandt, on a homestead called Ancient Oaks Farm in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Besides collecting vintage computers and raising pigs the duo explore the frontiers of virtual worlds, immersive VR and virtual community Cyberspace.

Starting on the circuitous route in the early 1980s Bruce wrote some of the first graphical UI software for PCs leading a team at Elixir Technologies and Xerox to build a rendition of the Xerox Star interface now used worldwide in 3,000 organizations. Bruce located in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1991 to work on establishing one of the first software laboratories behind the former Iron Curtain. There he also helped initiate a Silicon Valley style network of high tech companies and sponsored one of the first post cold war salons for the arts.Finding his way back to the woods in Northern California in 1994, Bruce then established the Contact Consortium with Anthropologist Jim Funaro, with the goal of catalyzing a new type of Cyberspace, virtual worlds with living humans represented inside them as "avatars". The Consortium hosts several conferences and sponsors the project which ponders the meaning of (artificial) life in digital networks. Bruce wrote a book about avatars and the work of his organization has been featured widely in world media and scientific publications.Currently Bruce serves as CEO of The Digital Space Commons which is an innovative non-shareholder licensee/member "chaordic" style corporation engaged in projects such as modeling future missions to Mars for NASA and working with Adobe on its Atmosphere 3D world platform. If you have further interest on any of the above, please see and feel free to contact Bruce directly at this page.

More serious "biz" bio

Bruce Damer is CEO and founder of The Digital Space Commons and a founding director of the Contact Consortium, two organizations dedicated to the use of virtual worlds and virtual communites for positive societal change and scientific advancement. Digital Space is an innovative "Corporate Commons" which has a non-shareholder "chaordic"-style structure consisting of individual licensee/members working with a pool of shared intellectual and social capital. Since 1995 Digital Space has provided virtual world platforms, content and virtual community infrastructure for a large number of innovative client projects including recent work for NASA (a virtual habitat on Mars) and Adobe Systems Inc. (Adobe's Atmosphere community).

The Consortium has an extensive individual and institutional membership and hosts several conferences and colloquia annually on topics of advanced virtual communities and their applications. Consortium projects since 1995 have included a 3D virtual town (Sherwood Forest), a virtual university and architecture competition (The U), a virtual garden world (Nerve Garden), development of virtual learning spaces (, the Digital Biology Project and Conference ( and the global "Avatars" cyber-conference series: Avatars98-Avatars2002.

Education and Past Work Bruce holds an MSEE from the University of Southern California and a BSc from the University of Victoria in Canada. Bruce formerly served as chief technologist at Elixir Technologies Corporation and as a member of the Charles University (Prague) Math/Physics Faculty. Bruce is has also served as a member of the staff of San Francisco State University Multimedia Studies Program and a visiting scholar at the University of Washington Human Interface Technology Laboratory. Prior to founding Digital Space and the Contact Consortium in 1995, Bruce was in the field of optical computing beginning in 1984 at the IBM Canada Toronto Laboratory and at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center and then continuing as a graduate student at the USC Optical Materials and Devices Laboratory. In 1987 he entered a career in software engineering at Elixir Technologies Corporation where he built some of the original personal computer GUI systems based on the Xerox Star workstation. Bruce was awarded the "Xplorer of the Year" award in 1992 by Xplor International for his contributions to the field of high speed electronic printing and document composition. In 1994-95 Bruce advised Xerox Corporation on document standards strategies. Lectures and Publications Bruce has lectured extensively around the world including a speaking tour for his book "Avatars" sponsored by Border's books. Bruce's writings and work have appeared in numerous media outlets and scientific journals including: the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times, Leonardo, CNNfn, CBS Morning News Sunday, CNET, Wired Magazine and Wired News, Suddeutchland Zeitung, Ars Electronica's CyberArts, Kybernetes, 3D Design, SIGGRAPH, COMDEX, Info World, Knowledge Management, The Encyclopedia of Community, The Chronicle of Higher Education, ACM SIGCHI, Computer Graphics, CSCW, and elsewhere. Other Interests Since his work with Xerox and Elixir in the 1980s Bruce developed an interest in the history of computing and the evolution of the graphical user interface. In 2002 he cofounded the DigiBarn Computer Museum a 5,000 square foot facility housed in his barn at Ancient Oaks Farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The DigiBarn features hundreds of working personal computers dating back to the kit systems of 1975. Extensive documentation telling the story of computing has been made available at the DigiBarn web site. Also at Ancient Oaks Farm he is currently developing a community garden and raising pigs with his love Galen Brandt. Bruce has long had an interest in drawing, as a cartoonist and sketch artist sometimes turning to surreal themes. Bruce has also has enjoyed photography and has created an extensive collection of Burning Man images. Bruce sometimes writes poetry and hopes to work on another book or two, themes yet to be determined. For more interest in Bruce's life and work please see his personal home page at:

Also see: Other information about Bruce including Curriculum Vitae

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