I am super thrilled to be joining two dynamic creators/editors – Jess Britton and Johnny Dean Mann on their digital art magazine The Tickle. I am writing a monthly column – starting with Issue No.80, about the history of this field – each month a new topic. I’m looking forward to covering some historical subjects that still have relevance in the art world today, especially with reference to technology, society and early digital art. First up is Stroud Cornock and Ernest Edmonds with a work from 1970!
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 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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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