It’s been 13 years since A Computer in the Art Room was published. My original intention was to provide a highly-illustrated, accessible introduction to a subject that was, in 2008, little explored and to give voice to the very many pioneering artists and practitioners who made work in the 1960s and 70s in Britain. For many, this was the first time they had told their stories. Sadly, a number of these individuals are no longer with us, which now makes me grateful that I was able to record their contributions in the way that I did, placing their work within a wider art historical context. Today an increasing number of scholars are working in this field and there have been many more contributions to this history; this book still contains valuable information about the early days. It’s now available as an ebook for an affordable price – see SHOP tab above. Also available on Apple Bookstore – search the title.
If, like me, you missed the ’60s, but always wished you’d been there, be sure and read David Curtis’ new book about an aspect of London’s alternative, experimental art scene – the Arts Labs and the artists who made it possible. Read my review of the book published today in Studio International.
What if we could adjust to new creative ways of doing things, to make and experience art to keep it relevant during times of Lockdown? Use of digital technologies facilitates an art made for networks and is a way for people to have a connection through art across the globe when museums and galleries are unable to open to the public. Read my article published today in Studio International.
Congratulations to Mathieu Copeland on his eagerly-anticipated book which brings together all published writings of conceptual artist Gustav Metzger. Totalling nearly 700 pages and including some 350 texts this important book gives a great advantage to historians to have everything in one place, as well as a wonderful introduction to a new audience who have yet to discover this artist. Metzger invented Auto-Destructive Art and was a pioneer of computer art; he was among the first artists in Britain to consider the possible creative use of computing technologies at the same time as warning of its potential dangers. The Need for Art to Change the World – An International Symposium on Gustav Metzger, convened by Copeland took place at Zurich University of the Arts this month. I was honoured to attend, see my lecture Shouldering the Tasks of the Century.
See also my article for Studio International published last month.
An exhibition of historical and contemporary digital art and a programme of events will be at the RCA from 12-17 July, travelling to Leicester from 22 July. I will be presenting a paper at the symposium on the evening of Tuesday 16 July at the RCA, do come along and hear about the origins of the Computer Arts Society and the continuing legacy of the EVENT ONE show which featured artists such as Gustav Metzger, Alan Sutcliffe and many others.
Very soon, artificial intelligence (AI) will probably be present in all aspects of our lives. The Barbican’s new exhibition (till 26 August) attempts to address the question where do we end and where does it begin? Read my review just published in Studio International.
If you are in the vicinity of Richmond upon Thames, West London this October, why not come to my lecture with the Richmond Art Society at the American International University on 31 October 2018. A Machine that Makes Art: from early computer drawing to the art of the iPad – the inspiration for this talk comes from the great conceptual artist Sol LeWitt’s statement, The idea becomes a machine that makes the ar (1967).
Although LeWitt’s machine was metaphorical rather than literal, nevertheless this radical concept raised questions about art process and creative behaviour and challenged the notion of what art was or could be.
Start time 8pm. Open to non-members: £5.00
Read my review in Studio International of the new display of computer art at the Victoria & Albert Museum London – Chance and Control: Art in the age of Computers and learn of the remarkable diversity of the V&A’s collection and how it has grown from early beginnings in just ten years. Among many things of interest here are three fabulous works by Harold Cohen from his early, mid and later period. Exhibition on now until 18 November 2018.
The computer, like any tool or machine, extends human capabilities. But it is unique in that it extends the power of the mind as well as the hand. Robert Mallary, 1976
Read my essay From Mind to Machine, computer drawing in art history, just published in the catalogue to coincide with the Writing New Codes exhibition at the Mayor Gallery, Cork Street.
I was inspired by the above quote from American pioneer of computer arts, Robert Mallary (1917-1997), whose work will be on view in the show from 6 June, along with drawings by Vera Molnar and Waldemar Cordeiro. The fully illustrated catalogue can be purchased from the Gallery.
See also this review by Colin Gleadell in the Daily Telegraph.