I was saddened to hear of the death of Richard Hamilton a couple of days ago. Although I never managed to meet him, his ideas were an important part of my research into the origins of computer arts & ideas in Britain. He is remembered as the father of Pop Art, but less often discussed are his early activites which had an important bearing on the development of digital art in Britain. He had a broad vision of the artist unconfined to one discipline who could think across outmoded divisions in the arts. He ran a groundbreaking course in Basic Design with Victor Pasmore within the fine art department of King’s College, University of Durham at Newcastle-upon-Tyne (early 1950s). This was the most radical and progressive art education available in Britain at the time and was of central importance in creating a context for later developments in computer arts in this Country.
Hamilton was also involved with the avant-garde exhibition This is Tomorrow at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1956. The catalogue of this show contains what I believe is the first published allusion to the computer in relation to artistic practice in Britain.
Hear a good obit on BBC Radio 4, including an interview with Michael Craig Martin who says Richard was fascinated with everything to do with modern technology.