The Artist of the Future Is a Technologist

By John S. Couch

Steven Holtzman says throw away those 19th-century notions of creativity.

Steven Holtzman looks at humans as mechanisms, a series of neural electrochemical impulses, not unlike the zeros and ones of digital technology. In his book Digital Mantras, Holtzman used this human-machine parallel to find a spiritual connection in technology.

With a PhD in computer science, a background in both Eastern and Western philosophy, and successful forays into experimental music, Holtzman is well positioned to push digital media toward greater meaning. Yet his ideas aren’t the isolated musings of a pure academic. Holtzman’s been around the Valley for 15 years, and his current post is president and CEO of Perspecta, a company that develops search tools for navigating through 3-D visual information spaces. Wired caught up with the fast-talking entrepreneur and asked him how digital media is reshaping our lives.