jeffrey ventrella CV



I am an algorithmic artist, animated artificial life developer, interaction designer, virtual world builder, and visual language practitioner, working at the intersection of art, science, and math. I am antidisciplinarian by nature.

I was co-founder and principle inventor of the virtual world company I also worked as a senior developer on Second Life and wrote the book Virtual Body Language, about avatars and the future of nonverbal communication on the internet. I am the creator of GenePool, a classic artificial life simulation.

I have lectured in Europe and North America on artificial life, virtual worlds, and mathematical art. My work in realtime computer animation includes gesture-based interactive visual music, scientific data visualization, and simulation-based games.

I live in Northern California with my wife, Nuala Creed and our dog Otto.

I have a Master's degree from the MIT Media Lab. I also have a MFA from Syracuse University.

Since the mid-90's I have been developing interactive experiences on the web. I continue to innovate and share my creations on

I am a passionate lifelong student of Darwinian evolution.

1960 Jeffrey was born at age 0 in Richmond Virginia

1984 Jeffrey got his first degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, in Art Education with a minor in Art History.

In his mid-20's, he was shown a short fractal program in BASIC. Not knowing anything about programming, he only knew that changing a few letters in what looked like alphabet soup made the picture change in interesting ways. He had an epiphany. He discovered a new visual language.

1987 This new journey in algorithmic art led him to Syracuse University, where he earned an MFA in Computer Graphics, under Ed Zajec.

After graduating, he worked at SU for four years as Computer Graphics Specialist, working with researchers and faculty on Data Visualization, and teaching programming to Art students and CAD to Industrial Design students.

1992 Jeffrey moved on to UC San Diego, where he served as Visiting Professor for one semester, under Harold Cohen, teaching artificial life, software programming, and CAD to Art students.

1994 Jeffrey then moved back to Cambridge, where he got his third degree: a Masters from the MIT Media Lab's Visible Language Workshop. There he met Nuala Creed, who later became his wife.

1996 Jeffrey and Nuala moved to San Francisco, and Jeffrey began working at Rocket Science Games, prototyping simulation-type games. After that he became Principle Inventor and second co-founder of He wrote the first line of code in 1997, and went on to invent a virtual dog, vehicle physics, and many other aspects of the virtual world. He co-designed 'Avatar-Centric Communication' with Chuck Clanton.

While working at, he adapted the artificial life simulation Darwin Pond to become GenePool. This work resulted in a handful of papers and presentations at artificial life conferences in the US and Europe.

2005 After briefly working at Adobe on the Acrobat3D platform, Jeffrey joined Linden Lab, makers of Second Life, where he invented Flexies, FollowCam, and Puppeteering.

2008 He then joined his MIT housemate Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, and developed the home page for NASA, and also consulted on user interaction.

Jeffrey worked in Vancouver, BC as a visiting professor at the Centre for Digital Media. The following year he worked as a researcher at the School of Interactive Art and Technology, of Simon Fraser University, where he also taught a class in Advanced Game Design.

While in Vancouver, Jeffrey finished his first book, Virtual Body Language, which is published by ETC Press.

2010 Jeffrey worked closely with internet visionary Ted Nelson on an experimental project to implement the ZigZag Database/Visualization scheme as a front-end to the Open Library.

2011 Jeffrey gave the first keynote at Laval Virtual in France. He also gave a keynote at the Computational Aesthetics Conference, in Vancouver.

In June of 2011, Jeffrey joined a new startup company, Visual Music Systems, founded by Bill Sebastian. He worked for a little over a year, creating particle systems, fractal algorithms, and strongly-procedural, highly-parameterized, control structures, for realtime visual performance.

2012 Jeffrey completed a book called Brainfilling Curves, a visual math exploration of fractal images, which includes a new way to find and categorize all plane-filling curves.

2013 Jeffrey helped build-out some core avatar systems, camera behaviors, and particle systems for High Fidelity.

At age 52, Jeffrey decided it was time to put his best foot forward. He founded Wiggle Planet with the help of Ken Pearce.

Jeffrey gave a keynote presentation at VISIGRAPP in Barcelona about his recent work.

Jeffrey was awarded a residency at Work Petaluma, where he directed a project using augmented reality to help young people learn about local ecology. This morphed into a Kickstarter campaign.

2014 Jeffrey, Barry Stump, and the Wiggle Planet team celebrated their successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of an innovative augmented reality book-game, called Peck Peck's Journey

2015 Jeffrey was featured in this video about Wiggle Planet

Jeffrey spoke on a panel at Digital Hollywood in October, along with Paul Zak and other notable speakers.

2016 Wiggle Planet published Wiglet Hatchery on the Apple store. The app features breed-able characters that are geolocated (this was completed before Pokemon Go came onto the scene).

Jeffrey was a featured speaker at the Immersive Learning Research Network Conference in June.

Jeffrey provided consultation and software development on the HoloLens for Pillantas - an innovative startup company exploring new possibilites with stereo vision.

2017 Jeffrey worked with senior developers at Leap Motion to implement his Clusters particle system algorithm in virtual reality.

2018 Jeffrey provided user experience design oversight for MeshOS, a Sausalito startup.

Jeffrey consulted with EndlessOS, a San Francisco company developing the Hack Laptop, with tools and games that help kids learn to code. He developed a prototype for a physics game and other interactive exoperiences.

still innovating
2019 Jeffrey completed The Family Tree of Fractal Curves, a book describing a taxonomy of fractal curves using complex integers.

Jeffrey had an art show featuring his Organic Algorithm Series at the Lori Austin Gallery in April.

Jeffrey gave a presentation in Linz, Austria, at the Bridges conference, on his taxonomy of fractal curves. The paper is publshed as Portraits from the Family Tree of Plane-filling Curves

2020 Jeffrey started developing a browser version of Gene Pool.

Jeffrey started working with Dr. Frank Delaglio of IBBR on a new version of the graphical interface to nmrDraw, a scientific software package for spectral analysis from nuclear magnetic resonance data

2022 Jeffrey started collaborating with composer Canton Becker on several generative NFT projects, and is now preparing to start a new artificial life research project (tbd)!