CATHERINE MASON was born in Australia, raised in the United States and trained in Britain, gaining a degree in History of Art from Birkbeck College, University of London (1993) and a Masters in Museums & Gallery Management from City University. For seventeen years she has worked variously as an educator, researcher and curator, based in London and Norfolk.
A special interest in the history of Computer and Digital Art was fostered in 2002 when she was awarded an AHRC research position at Birkbeck College, University of London, investigating the history of digital art. During this time she interviewed over 60 British pioneers of early digital art, and their artwork, experiences, collaborations and stories are told in her book A Computer in the Art Room (2008), as well as in a further edited collection of essays White Heat, Cold Logic (2008), published by MIT Press. As part of this project she assisted in the re-formation of the UK-based Computer Arts Society and negotiated with the Victoria & Albert Museum the donation of the Patric Prince archive, an important American collection of international computer art, which formed the basis for the creation of the National Centre for Computer Art, a first for a British publically-funded museum. Work from this collection was shown alongside the critically-acclaimed ‘Decode’ exhibition at the V&A in 2010. She also produced Bits in Motion, a screening and panel discussion of early British computer animation at the National Film Theatre in 2006 (see Past Projects).
Catherine has wide-ranging teaching experience spanning the adult education sector. In the 1990s she taught art appreciation courses with Birkbeck’s Faculty for Continuing Education, the Workers Educational Association and NADFAS (The National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies) and continues to lecture to art societies, clubs and groups around the British Isles on an occasional basis. (For a list of lecture subjects please email me). Previously she worked as a consultant, organising exhibitions, running public relations campaigns and promoting artists. This led to the foundation, with Alexandra Billam, of The Art Partnership, a visual art and PR consultancy which worked with many of the major commercial London art dealers and galleries.
Currently Catherine spends most of her time writing.
SPIRIT OF PLACE is her new book project on the contemporary landscape art of North Norfolk.
Catherine is also writing a television documentary ART MACHINES with Charlotte Frost about computer arts.
She appeared on BBC Radio 4′s Arts Programme Front Row in November 2012, discussing Computer Arts with John Wilson. Listen again here.