november, 2017

08nov6:00 pm7:00 pm“A huge space of endless predetermined possibilities”: Computer art and the influence of D’Arcy Thompson

Mutation Space by William Latham


Event Details

A public lecture by Catherine Mason

This talk considers how the writing of code has been used to draw since digital computing technology became accessible to artists from the mid-1960s.  Computer art is a rare and sometimes overlooked example of inter‐disciplinary cooperation within the history of art.  D’Arcy W Thompson’s ideas from On Growth and Form had a formative influence on the pioneers of algorithmic art including Harold Cohen, Manfred Mohr, Frieder Nake and many others.  New frameworks for collaboration between arts and sciences were established by these pioneers.

Thompson’s thesis continues to be important today with a younger generation who see a correlation with the way things grow & the shapes they take on and the crafting of code to produce art.

In this talk we will learn how complex and visually arresting imagery often comes from surprisingly simple sets of instructions.  We will discover that the use of the computer offers “a huge space of endless predetermined possibilities.” (William Latham, artist)

Part of NEoN Digital Arts Festival supported by Creative Scotland.


(Wednesday) 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm GMT


Carnelley Lecture Theatre

Carnelley Building, University of Dundee


Abertay Historical Society

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