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b 1944 in Melbourne, Australia; 1962–64 studies in architecture and art history at the University of Melbourne, Australia; 1965–66 studies in sculpture at the Accedemia di Belli Art di Brera, Milan, Italy and at St Martin's School of Art, London, UK. 1977 Formation of Javaphile Productions in Amsterdam (NL) with Marga Adama and John Munsey; 1988-1989 visiting professor at the Rotterdam Academie van Beeldende Kunsten and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam; 1990 visiting professor at the Städelschule, Institut fur Neue Medien, Frankfurt/Main (D); 1991–2002 Founding Director of the Institute for Visual Media at the ZKM Karlsruhe (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie); since 1995 Professor of Media Arts at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe, Germany; lives and works in Sydney (AUS).
Shaw has constructed numerous installations that challenge conventional concepts of space. His early experiences with performance and multimedia experiments lead him to his occupation with concepts of virtual reality which expose the viewer in visually simulated spaces. Shaw updates the strategies of immersion into virtual space (anamorphosis, perspective, trompe l´oeil-effects and panoramic rotunda) by using new technologies. He picks out as a central theme the relationship between reality and simulation, imagination and experience.