Digital Revolutions

Usman Haque, Assemblance, a 3D interactive light field, 2014.  Image courtesy of Umbrellium, reproduced with permission.
Usman Haque, Assemblance, a 3D interactive light field, 2014. Currently on view at the Barbican. Image courtesy of Umbrellium, reproduced with permission.

An ambitious exhibition of digital art and design opens this month at the Barbican Centre – Digital Revolution, featuring several works specially commissioned for the show – including our featured BCS image this month by Usman Haque, and much else besides to surprise and delight followers of the digital medium. Read all about it here.

Coding Conundrums

Andy Lomas, Cellular Form 14_0017_0011, 2014
Andy Lomas, Cellular Form 14_0017_0011, 2014

Andy Lomas is a self-confessed code junky, saying,  I write it for my own pleasure.  His Morphogenetic Creations on view earlier this year at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, has just been awarded one of the best artworks at the Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (AISB) conference recently held in London.  This month at the BCS he shares with us this amazing image and his coding vision.

The Final Frontier

Anna Hill, Stardust, 2014 Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission
Anna Hill, Stardust, 2014. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission

This month we are considering a truly extraordinary use of the digital.  Artist and creative entrepreneur Anna Hill is exploring how immersive art can communicate the human experience of space travel and, in her words, bring space down to earth.  Read all about her unique approach in our BCS feature here:http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/52588

Digital Opera

Martin Rieser and Andrew Hugill, still from Secret Garden, Opera/Ballet, iPad screen, 2013.  Copyright the artists, reproduced with permission.
Martin Rieser and Andrew Hugill, still from Secret Garden, Opera/Ballet, iPad screen, 2013. Copyright the artists, reproduced with permission.

Digital Opera is emerging as a new art form and our BCS image this month is a still fromSecret Garden, the world’s first opera and ballet created for the iPad by media artist Professor Martin Rieser from his original poems, set to music by composer Professor Andrew Hugill.  It aims to recreate a contemporary interactive version of the Eden myth in an urban environment through a virtual reality amalgam of animation, poetry and sound.  Full article here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/52341

Going with the Flow

James Faure Walker, Another Dream of Summer, 80 x 109 cms, archival inkjet print, 2013.  Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission.
James Faure Walker, Another Dream of Summer, 80 x 109 cms, archival inkjet print, 2013. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission.

James Faure Walker’s art is fundamentally about painting; the act of applying paint, whether it be digital or physical, to a surface.  The pictorial elements of line, form, space and most of all colour work together to create an art that is appealing to the eye, yet intrigues and resonates with the viewer, staying with us long after we look away.  Our featured image this month for the BCS is no exception, read the full article here.

An Artful Life

Barbara Nessim, A Current Past, from the Chronicles of Beauty series, digital painting on brushed aluminium, copyright the artist, reproduced with permission
Barbara Nessim, A Current Past, digital painting on brushed aluminium, 2010

It was my great pleasure recently to spend the afternoon with Barbara Nessim, a pioneer in digital art and illustration, and to hear first-hand about her inspiring career spanning six decades.  She is the BCS-featured artist this month, read the full article here.

A significant body of her work has been donated to the Victoria & Albert Museum, where it was exhibited in 2013 accompanied by the beautiful monograph Barbara Nessim: An Artful  Life, (which I can highly recommend).

Chinese Fusion

Yang Yongliang, Viridescence, Pages 2, 44 x 44cm, Epson Ultragiclee print on Epson textured fine art paper, 2009
Yang Yongliang, Viridescence, Pages 2, 44 x 44cm, Epson Ultragiclee print on Epson textured fine art paper, 2009

The superb exhibition surveying 12 centuries of Chinese art currently on view at the Victoria & Albert Museum (to 19 Jan), showcases a culture that values continuity, tradition and repetition.  Also evident is the strong history within Chinese art of honouring the artistic achievements of the preceding generation through the deliberate mimicking of previous styles of painting.  The Shanghai-based Yang Yongliang, our BCS featured artist this month, does exactly this but gives a contemporary interpretation to his traditionally-inspired art, utilising new technology and updated imagery.  A fusion of the old with new modalities from the West creates something entirely new in art.  Read full article here:http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/51975

Binary Bon Bons

Susan Rosenberg, Hide n Seek at the Atelier, pastel, graphite, archival ink on paper, 112 x 82.5cms, 2013
Susan Rosenberg, Hide n Seek at the Atelier, pastel, graphite, archival ink on paper, 112 x 82.5cms, 2013

For the British Computer Society column this month, it’s the annual end of year
special – a celebration of work submitted by readers of the column, BCS & Computer
Arts Society members. This demonstrates the wide variety of work being produced today with digital technology at its heart.  Here is just one example, by Susan Rosenberg, fresh from her London exhibition.  Read it here:http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/51769

Expanded Evolution

William Latham, Mutator 2 Evolving Form, 2013. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission.
William Latham, Mutator 2 Evolving Form, 2013. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission.

Bizarre, strange mutated forms looming out of computer space; William Latham is a gardener steering and evolving forms within a kind of virtual evolution.  These images lead
us to imagine we are being allowed in on the secrets of the universe.  Following on from his exhibition in Brighton, William is my BCS featured artist for the month of November: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/51594