A major exhibition exploring the twilight world of human/machine creativity, including installations, video and computer art, Artificial Intelligence, robotics and Apps by leading artists from Goldsmiths and international artists by invitation.
The vision for organising the Creative Machine Exhibition is to show exciting works by key international artists, Goldsmiths staff and selected students who use original software and hardware development in the creative production of their work.
The range of work on show, which could be broadly termed Computer Art, includes mechanical drawing devices, kinetic sculpture driven by fuzzy logic, images produced using machine learning, simulated cellular growth forms and the self-generating works using automated aesthetics, VR, 3D printing, and social telephony networks.
Traditionally, Computer Art has held a maverick position on the edge of mainstream contemporary culture with its origins in Russian Constructivist Art, biological systems, “geeky” software conferences, rave / techno music and indie computer games. These artists have defined their own channels for exhibiting their work and organised conferences and at times been entrepreneurial at building collaborations with industry at both a corporate and startup level (with the early computer artists in the 1970s and 1980s needing to work with computer corporations to get access to computers). Alongside this, interactive media art drew upon McLuhan’s notion of technology as extensions of the human to create participatory, interactive artworks by making use of novel interface technology that has been developed since the 1980s.
However, with new techniques such as 3D printing, the massive spread of sophisticated sensors in consumer devices like smartphones, and the use of robotics by artists, digital art would appear to have an opportunity to come more to the fore in public consciousness. This exhibition is timely in that it coincides with an apparent wider growth of public interest in digital art, as shown by the Digital Revolution exhibition at the Barbican, London and the recent emergence of commercial galleries such as Bitforms in New York and Carroll / Fletcher in London, which, acquire and show technology-based art.
The Creative Machine exhibition is the first event to make use of Goldsmiths’ new Sonics Immersive Media Lab (SIML) Chamber. This advanced surround audiovisual projection space is a key part of the St James-Hatcham refurbishment. The facility was funded by capital funding from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Goldsmiths, as well as research funding from the European Research Council (ERC). This is connected respectively to the Intelligent Games/Game Intelligence (IGGI) Centre for Doctoral Training, and Atau Tanaka’s MetaGesture Music (MGM) ERC grant. The space was built by the SONICS, a cross-departmental research special interest group at Goldsmiths that brings together the departments of Computing, Music, Media & Communications, Sociology, Visual Cultures, and Cultural Studies. It was designed in consultation with the San Francisco-based curator, Naut Humon, to be compatible with the Cinechamber system there. During Creative Machines, we shall see, in the SIML space, multiscreen screenings of work by Yoichiro Kawaguchi, Naoko Tosa, and Vesna Petresin, as well as a new immersive media work by IGGI researcher Memo Akten.
We would like to acknowledge the generous support from Arts Council England and in particular thanks to Jon Pratty at ACE for all his work.
Special thanks to exhibition producer Steph Horak along with the exhibition design team Alastair Frazer, Angus Braithwaite, Nicky Donald and Peter MacKenzie.
William Latham, Atau Tanaka and Frederic Fol Leymarie: Curators, November 6th 2014