Auto-Creative Art

Gustav Metzger, Liquid Crystal Environment, 1965/2005, exhibition view. Kettles Yard, University of Cambridge photo: Paul Allitt

Gustav Metzger, Liquid Crystal Environment, 1965/2005, exhibition view. Kettles Yard, University of Cambridge, photo: Paul Allitt

On view last month in Cambridge was Gustav Metzger’s Auto-Creative art, a variety of materials and methods demonstrative of his long interest in kinetic art, particularly movement and random activity. His 1964 statement “At a certain point the work takes over, is in activity beyond the detailed control of the artist, reaches a power, grace, momentum, transcendence” is apt for an installation which has both a hypnotic visual and a psychedelic delivery.  Read the full review and learn about his connection to the Computer Arts Society here.

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Antony Gormley uses the iPad

Art Everywhere 2014 –

Anthony Gormley, Feeling Material, courtesy of Art Everywhere 2014

Antony Gormley, Feeling Material, courtesy of Art Everywhere 2014

the people who put posters in public places around city centres of famous art works (voted for by the public), have commissioned Antony Gormley to produce this drawing.  Created by the artist using the stylus in one continuous motion on an iPad, Gormley says, “I’ve never drawn on an iPad before and was thinking should I draw on a blackened piece of glass? Then I thought this is really stupid, we’ve got this extraordinary facility that everybody knows about […] so why don’t I give it a try?”

I think the end result is really quite fun. Only time will tell if this marks a new direction for this veteran of the British art establishment. Antony Gormley tells me that for several years he’s been using the digital as tools – all his sculptures start ‘life’ in the computer. 3D scans of his body facilitates manipulation of forms digitally, giving countless permutations and allowing valuable feedback. He also uses 3D printers. A new way of approaching the maquette?

You can see the work, which also consists of the animation of its creation, on digital screens nationwide including Piccadilly Circus & Manchester’s Trafford Centre, supported by the The Art Fund. Downloads and limited edition prints are available.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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Remembering Alan Sutcliffe (1930-2014)

Alan SutcliffeI was saddened to hear of the passing of Alan Sutcliffe at the end of February; he was a great pioneer of computer arts, including music and graphics. Alan was a big source of inspiration and support to me when writing A Computer in the Art Room and I feel proud that we have this and White Heat Cold Logic to stand as a legacy to at least one aspect of his creative life. Here he is in 2008 at the launch of A Computer in the Art Room, reminiscing with Stroud Cornock, watched by Jeni Bougourd and Gustav Metzger.  See my obit for the BCS here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/52263.

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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.

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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).

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Book Launch Photographs!

My recent book launch – Janice Sylvia Brock: My Life on Canvas was a huge success with over 200 people in attendance, welcomed by Sir Cliff Richard at Sugar Hill Club House, Barbados.  See photographs here.

To purchase the book in the UK click here or in the USA click here (if you would like a signed copy please email me; you can also collect copies from me in Barbados until end of April 2014.)

The artist and I

Janice and I, 23 January 2014

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