Tobey Crockett PhD    Author Artist Trickster

Your Subtitle text

Publishing, Teaching and Research


I have been a professional writer for over twenty years, with over 100 essays, chapters and reviews published internationally.  My writing falls into three basic categories: the arts, digital media and personal topics such as spirituality, creativity and gardening - the latter are featured on my 
Projects page.  I publish very regularly and am happy to add you to my mailing list so you can receive notices of my latest work - just drop me a line.  

I also have taught Art History and digital media topics at the university level, and truly love to teach.  I am available for lectures and to discuss my research, most of which has for the past decade concerned the fundamental philosophy of cyberspace as revealed by 3D technology, avatars, robot rights and the role for a new consciousness of the "indigenous" at home in a virtual dimension. 

Major Digital Media Essay in Print

I am thrilled to announce the long awaited publication of my landmark essay "The 'Camera' as Camera - How CGI Changes the World As We Know It" in the anthology Cinephilia in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Film, Pleasure, and Digital Culture, vol. 1, edited by Jason Sperb and Scott Balcerzak, published by Wallflower Press, UK and now available from Amazon.

About the book:

For years, "cinephilia" has been a part of the theatrical experience, denoting a deep, even limitless passion for the medium. Cinephilia encompasses consuming, defining, sharing, discussing, and writing about films, but what happens when the experience of watching movies becomes something increasingly complemented by digital means?

This volume of original essays explores the pleasures of cinema in the realms of online communication, digital imagery, and digitized home viewing. Including the work of critics, scholars, and bloggers from the US, the UK, and Australia, Cinephilia in the Age of Digital Reproduction provides an innovative and multifaceted approach to the ever-evolving world of cinema culture. The first in a two-book series (volume two follows in 2009), this collection features contributions from Robert Burgoyne, Zach Campbell, Tobey Crockett, Brian Darr, Kevin Fisher, Andy Horbal, Christian Keathley, Adrian Martin, Jenna Ng, Lisa Purse, Dan Sallitt, and Girish Shambu.

More Writing on Digital Media

“The ‘Camera’ as Camera, or - Why 3D Virtual Worlds Matter” in Travels in Intermedia - ReBlurring the Boundaries, edited by Bernd Herzogenrath. Mellen Press, UK.  Forthcoming in 2010.

"The 'Camera' as Camera: How CGI Changes the World As We Know It" in Cinephilia in the Age of Digital Reproduction: Film, Pleasure, and Digital Culture Volume 1. Eds. Scott Balzerak and Jason Sperb. From Wallflower Press, UK. 2009. Now available from 

“An Aesthetics of Play, Or How To Understand Interactive Fun” in Mapa do Jogo – relevância cultural dos games, edited by Lucia Santaella and Mirna Feitoza Pereira. Cengage Publishing, Sao Paulo Brazil. 2009.

"The Computer As A Dollhouse (excerpts)" in Video Games and Art
Eds. Andy Clarke and Grethe Mitchell. University of Chicago Press. 2007  Available on Amazon.

Copies of my 2006 PhD Dissertation "
The 'Camera' As Camera: New Subjectivities in 3D Virtual Worlds"  are available in both print or as an affordable download from

See my 2004 Intelligent Agent essay on building architecture and ritual into virtual environments.  

Writing on the Arts

"Hard Candy and Good Humor - the Art of Jean Wells".  Essay included in the forthcoming catalogue for shows at Yarger Strauss and various international venues.

“We Are All Made of Stars” in Of the Flesh: The Art of Andrew Krasnow. 
Ed. Jonathan Hutt. London: GV Art. October 2008

For my archived essay (2001) about the art of the future at the
Anthology of Art,
look me up under contributions A-Z.


You can click on the links here for some sample pieces from my archives.  With nearly 100 published reviews and essays since 1988, my art criticism has appeared in the US, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia, in such journals as ArtForum, Art in America, Artweek, Artspace, L.A. Reader, L.A. Village View, High Performance, New Observations, Sculpture and others. 

Interview subjects include Christo, Komar & Melamid, William Wegman, Dennis Oppenheim, Vito Acconci, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Tim Rollins, Tamiko Thiel and Michael Heim, among others.  I plan to produce selected podcasts from the original tapes.

Guest Lectures (selected)
"3D Theory" Art Center College of Design, Pasadena 2009
Guest of M.A. Greenstein's classes on Critical Practice

"3D Theory" School of Visual Arts, NYC 2009
Guest of Joseph Nechvatal's class on the "viractual"

“Playing With Space and Time”, Cornell University  2006  Live, remote guest lecture and inworld presentation Topic: “TCWF: Tobey Crockett’s Wild Frontier”
“Virtual Minds – Congress of Fictitious Figures”, exhibition and symposium 2004 Kunstlerhaus Bremen, Bremen Germany. Live, remote lecture and inworld presentation 
Topic: “Virtual Resistance, Virtual Minds”

The Southern California Institute of Architecture, “Fire in the Library” series, created by Eugenia Butler 1997 & 1998. Featured speaker, with Dr. Zhen-Su She
Topics: “Q.I.: Quantum Information”  and “Q.I.: Quantum Information 2”

Orange County Museum of Art, featured speaker  1997
Topic: "The Pursuit of Deity"
"Art Protects You - Municipal Project by Jochen Traar” 1994.
Villach Kulturamt, Villach, Austria  (in German)
“The Art of Arleen Schloss”, Bremen KunstAkademie  1993. Bremen, Germany
“Joseph Nechvatal and Excess in the TechnoMediacratic Society”  1992
Arbois, France (in French)
"The Architecture of Memory and Mischa Kuball" 1990
Wittgenstein Haus, Vienna  (in German) 


As is evidenced by my CV, I am quite passionate about the role of the arts in our society today, and can address this in depth for either a lay audience or from a more academic and art historical perspective. In keeping with my doctoral research, I am well versed in topics related to digital media and virtual worlds, and I enjoy offering illustrated lectures and leading active discussion groups.  Please see my You Tube video lecture on my own virtual world which can be accessed at the bottom of this page. In recent years, I have been a guest teacher and presented on this digital material at Art Center in Pasadena, the School of Visual Arts in NYC and online with digital design students at Cornell University. 

During the past two decades, I have lectured, moderated panels and been a guest speaker at museums and galleries in the US and internationally, including such venues as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Armand Hammer Museum of Art, the Orange County Museum of Art, the USC Public Art Forum, the California Institute for the Arts, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, the University of Rhode Island, the Bremen Kunstakademie, the Wittgenstein Haus in Vienna, the Villach Kulturamt, in Villach, Austria, and the Arbois Municipal Museum in France, the last lectures being in german and french.

I have addressed conferences and delivered papers at such venues as the 2007 Indigenous Film and Media Conference at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, the 2006 Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in Vancouver, the first Refresh Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology at Banff in 2005, the Siggraph 2002 and 2004 Art Gallery talks, the 2004 Virtual Minds, Congress of Fictitious Figures held at the Bremen Kunstlerhaus, the 2002 Digital Cultures Conference at UCLA, the 2002 WHA Conference on Translation and the Reproduction of Culture, the National Conference on Liberal Arts, School of Visual Arts in New York in 2000, the Digi Debate at the American Film Institute in 1994, and the International Art Critics Association in Vienna in 1992.

In addition, I coordinated the 2003 Digital Cultures Project conference held at UC Irvine, the Life By Design: Everyday Digital Culture symposium and an exhibition at the Beall Center for Technology, organized UC Irvine's 2003 round table on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and organized and chaired the 1992 panel at the Los Angeles Art Fair “Quality and the Marketplace: What Role for the Art Critic Today?”

I was a part time Art History lecturer at the California State University at Northridge (CSUN) from 1995-1998, and was a teaching assistant in Asian Art History at UC Irvine in 2002-2003. Besides my more academic offerings, I continue to offer lectures at such venues as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Joslyn Center in San Luis Obispo County, and the Institute for Philosophy and the Arts in Pasadena.

Education & Honors

Overview: I have been the recipient of several grants, fellowships and scholarships from the University of California, a private foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and in 2006 I received my doctorate in Visual Studies from UC Irvine.  I received my Master's Degree in Critical Theory from the Art Center College of Design in 2000, where I worked closely with Dr. Michael Heim.  My B.A. is from Barnard College, in Art History with departmental honors for my thesis on "Street Art in New York in 1983.”

current curriculum vitae


My digital artwork has been included in exhibitions at the Beall Center for Art and Technology, the Bremen Kunsthalle and New York University, and in 2001, I received a prestigious New York Foundation for the Arts grant for my virtual world “Tobey Crockett’s Wild Frontier” (TCWF) which has been featured in talks at Siggraph, the Refresh conference at Banff, The Society for Cinema and Media Studies and numerous universities as noted above. 

I encourage you to watch the
mini documentary below I made that explains that project - a virtual world as self portrait (and power point substitute!)