Art takes place outside of the machine – Charles Csuri

Charles Csuri Different from Us, frame 001, war16 series, 2012, Linus environment and AL
Charles Csuri Different from Us, frame 001, war16 series, 2012, Linus environment and AL

This striking new work by one of the great pioneers of computer art Charles A. Csuri, references and expands one of his original ideas Random War, a plotter drawing created in 1966.  Random War (2012), is a new online version which uses gaming logics and the Internet to re-create a hypothetical war, based on our own friends, with people wounded, dead, awarded medals or missing in action, using names gleaned from our Facebook account. There is a delicious irony in using technology originally designed for defense purposes to create art that speaks to the consequences of such use. This art work is a powerful comment on the human cost of war and a stark reminder that every conflict has an after effect. Full article here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/44253

In Pursuit of the Slow

John Gerrard, Cuban School (Community of 5th October), 2010. Realtime 3D software, custom made monitor (69x115x30cm) or projection, dimensions variable. Copyright the artist. Courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Simon Preston Gallery, New York. Reproduced with permission. Collection of mima, purchased with assistance of the Art Fund supported by the Sfumato Foundation.
John Gerrard, Cuban School (Community of 5th October), 2010. Realtime 3D software, custom made monitor (69x115x30cm) or projection, dimensions variable. Copyright the artist. Courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Simon Preston Gallery, New York. Reproduced with permission. Collection of mima, purchased with assistance of the Art Fund supported by the Sfumato Foundation.

In our world where the digital is almost by definition associated with high speed, quick manoeuvrability and near instantaneousness, it is an inspiration to learn of John Gerrard’s deliberately slower paced work – the subject of this month’s column for the British Computer Society and premiering in March at AV Festival 12  in conjunction with Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. Read it here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/43887

A Bigger (Digital) Splash

David Hockney, perhaps Britain’s most famous living artist, has never been one to shy away from the use of new technology. Whilst a student at the Royal College of Art he embraced acrylic paints when they were still quite new in the 1960s and has used the photocopying machine and a Polaroid camera to create collages, exploiting the unique characteristics of each of these mediums. Recently Hockney has turned to the iPad and this month’s image, from a group called The Arrival of Spring in East Yorkshire, was made on the iPad, printed out on a large scale and is currently on show at the Royal Academy, London. Read the full article here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/43630  See also a related post here:http://www.spiritofplacenorfolk.org/pages/aspects.html

A Machine that Makes Art

Jack Tait, Turntable light drawing 14, 2011. Taitograph, dimensions variable. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission.
Jack Tait, Turntable light drawing 14, 2011. Taitograph, dimensions variable. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission.

The inspiration for this month’s BCS column comes from the great conceptual artist Sol LeWitt’s statement, The idea becomes a machine that makes the art (1967). Although LeWitt’s machine was metaphorical rather than literal, nevertheless this radical concept raised questions about the notion of art process and creative behaviour and challenged the notion of what art was or could be. This month we explore the history of the use of analogue mechanical systems and machines in art through the work of Jack Tait, seen above. Read the full article here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/43260

Optic Allsorts

Self-Portrait with the WebCam by Alan Sutcliffe
Self-Portrait with the WebCam by Alan Sutcliffe

To mark a year’s worth of writing about the world of computer arts for the British Computer Society’s on-line journal and as an end of year special, for December we are celebrating with a quartet of images submitted by readers. The four images by Alan Sutcliffe, Ursula Freer, Mark Thorpe and Nigel Williams reveal a kaleidoscopic mixture of digital technique, complexity, happenstance, experimentation and dazzling colour.

Read the full article here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/43024

Plotted Stitching

Grayson Perry, Hold Your Beliefs Lightly, 2011. Computerised embroidery on cotton and silk, programming by Tony Taylor. 32.5 x 45cm, Edition of 250 plus 10 Artist�s Proofs, copyright the artist, reproduced with permission, courtesy ofVictoria Miro
Grayson Perry, Hold Your Beliefs Lightly, 2011. Computerised embroidery on cotton and silk, programming by Tony Taylor. 32.5 x 45cm, Edition of 250 plus 10 Artist�s Proofs, copyright the artist, reproduced with permission, courtesy ofVictoria Miro

This month’s image is by Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry and shows he has more strings to his bow than pot-making. Hold Your Beliefs Lightly is a small flag featuring Alan Measles, Perry’s childhood teddy bear and source of inspiration in his art (he even has his own blog!) This comes from Perry’s current exhibition at the British Museum  highly recommended for the artist’s intriguing selection of rarely-seen objects from the BM’s collection, interspersed with his own art works to create an interesting dialogue between objects and makers throughout history. Read it here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/42643

Digital Post-Pop

"It Could Be You" by Marina de Stacpoole, Lambda C-type print, 36 x 49cms, 2011. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission
“It Could Be You” by Marina de Stacpoole, Lambda C-type print, 36 x 49cms, 2011. Copyright the artist, reproduced with permission

This month’s artist turns Pop art on its head and gives us a digital take on painting that forces us to confront an uncomfortable truth about modern life. British artist Marina de Stacpoole plays out a scene from popular television series Desperate Housewives against a richly-coloured backdrop of the kind more typically seen in computer games animation. Read the full article here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/42102

A Sense of Place

Un_Space Mountain, digitally manipulated image by Orly Aviv, 2011
Un_Space Mountain, digitally manipulated image by Orly Aviv, 2011

A ghostly, lone figure appears out of the mist as if something half-remembered from a dream in September’s artwork by Orly Aviv. It’s an image with strong representational, even narrative elements; although the typography of the original location is subsumed the work manages to create a real sense of place. It is a reinterpretation of the Sublime facilitated by the artist’s use of digital technologies. Read the full text here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/41489

A Magical Forest That Reacts To Your Presence

Alsos* (installation view) by Scenocosme, 2011. Copyright the artists, reproduced with permission.
Alsos* (installation view) by Scenocosme, 2011. Copyright the artists, reproduced with permission.

Currently on view at Waterman’s in London is this recreation of an imaginary forest by French art duo Scenocosme (Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt) which aims to turn spectators into apprentice musicians. Read the full article here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/41054

Light Constructed by Numbers

This month’s image is a selection of stills from an interactive digital artwork by French artist Anne-Sarah Le Meur, who is interested in questions such as: How does light behave in a virtual space, constructed only by numbers? How do these numbers allow one to play, to disturb, to possibly twist physical laws of light, when one is not looking to simulate realistic phenomena? Read the full text here: http://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/40701

Still images of Red to Come, performance (30 minutes), computer rendered, by Anne-Sarah Le Meur, 2011
Still images of Red to Come, performance (30 minutes), computer rendered, by Anne-Sarah Le Meur, 2011