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Engineering Formalism and Artistry: The Yin and Yang of Multimedia
A Talk With Luyen Chou ("The Mandarin")

Luyen Chou Photo

Introduction by
John Brockman

CD-ROM developer and publisher Luyen Chou stopped using the word multimedia because nobody knows what it means. He is interested in "interactivity" media that forces an interaction with your brain or the synapses in your brain. "Most people consider interactivity to stop at the fingertips, so if you look at what most people consider interactive, a remote control for a television, or a light switch in a home, would be considered interactive. That's not very interesting to me," he says. What interests him is how we build media that forces an engagement with the mind, and very little is doing that right now. That's the direction that he's trying to take interactivity.

His company, Learn Technologies Interactive, produces products that sell, products which are also both interesting and enlightening. ("Qin" has already sold 100,000 copies). In February they received both recognition and notoriety by winning the Milia D'Or at Milia in Cannes for the best Culture and Art product. What was the reaction of the French audience to an American company walking away with the top award for a CD-ROM based on an art exhibit at the National Museum of American Art ? They booed him off the stage. C'est dommage, Luyen.

Luyen Chou is "The Mandarin."


Luyen Chou talks with John Brockman...