Professor Don Ritter is an artist and writer who has been active internationally in the field of digital media art since 1986. His large, interactive installations enable audiences to control their experiences through body motion, position, or voice. His recent theoretical writings examine the relationships between aesthetics, ethics, and digital media. Ritter’s installations, performances, and prints have been presented at festivals, museums, and galleries throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including SITE Santa Fe (USA), Winter Olympics 2010 Cultural Olympiad (Vancouver), Metrònom (Barcelona), Sonambiente Sound Festival (Berlin), Exit Festival (Paris), Ars Electronica (Linz), and New Music America (New York). His most widely exhibited work is Intersection, an interactive sound installation that has been experienced by over 600,000 people in eight countries. Ritter's early digital work focused on performances of video controlled by live improvised music using his Orpheus software. Ritter has collaborated primarily with trombonist and interactive music pioneer George Lewis, and also with musicians Nick Didkovsky, Amy Denio, Thomas Dimuzio, Ikue Mori, Geneviève Letarte, Ben Neill, Trevor Tureski, and Tom Walsh. Ritter’s work has received support and recognition from the Canada Council, The Banff Centre (Canada), Pratt Institute (USA), ZKM (Germany), Ars Electronica (Austria), DGArtes (Portugal), the Goethe Institute (Germany), and the European Union Culture Programme.
Ritter completed his graduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT Media Lab, and Harvard University’s Carpenter Center. He has undergraduate degrees in fine arts and psychology from the University of Waterloo, and a diploma in electronics engineering technology from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. His professors included artist Otto Piene, film maker Richard Leacock, film theorist Vlada Petric, and psychologist Mark Zanna. Prior to his academic positions, Ritter worked as a telecommunications and human interface designer at Nortel and Bell-Northern Research in Canada. He has held full-time professorships in art and design at Concordia University in Montreal, Pratt Institute in New York, and Hanyang University in Seoul. He directed his art studio in Berlin for seven years before joining the School of Creative Media in 2013. Ritter’s current work incorporates ethics, fine art, and mass media.