As part of the Hunters and Gatherers lunch, week 2 brought John Bird into the studio on Thursday. Dedicated teacher, visionary, pioneer, enabler of the industry, and founding father of the AIM Centre courses, there was a palpable sense of reverence emanating from our small group of lecturers.
Professor John Bird has a background in art and graphic design, and was initially involved in the School of Film and Television at Swinburne University in the 70s. Bird was instrumental in providing Australia with its first ever accredited animation course and established the School’s postgraduate program in 1976.
In the late 1970s and early 80s, Bird recognised the enormous potential of making computers available to visual artists and animators; and convinced the Victorian Government to fund the establishment of the Computer Animation Development Centre in 1983. Bird’s contribution to the industry meant that the film school’s students had access to cutting edge resources and technology, in many ways pre-empting the development of the local industry and the creative potential of computer aided animation.
John continues to work as a consultant and policy advisor to government, education and industry bodies and retains an active interest in the courses he founded through his membership of AIM's Course Advisory Committee. Bird has engaged in research concerned with image recognition, telepresence and 'cluster' intelligence systems for airborne, autonomous, robotic aircraft.