Paul Brown, honorary visiting professor and artist-in-residence in the department of Informatics at the University of Sussex is showing his work in two major London exhibitions this summer.
Paul, who has an international reputation for his pioneering work in the computer arts, has artwork in both Digital Revolution at the Barbican Centre from 3 July to 14 September 2014 and also in Automatic Art which ran at the GV Gallery from 4 to 26 July.
The piece Paul is showing in Digital Revolution is called Builder/Eater and it is a reconstruction of a work first created in 1977. The original ran on a Data General Nova 2 – a refrigerator-size minicomputer with 16KB of memory – and was coded entirely in Assembler language. The reconstruction runs on a matchbox-size Raspberry Pi. Coincidentally 1977 was also the year that Paul’s youngest son Daniel was born. Now he’s also an artist and his pioneering web-based artwork Noodlebox (1997) is also included in the Digital Revolution show.
The work Paul showed at Automatic Art is called Dragon. It’s a real-time generative artwork that was created in 2012 for the Intuition and Ingenuity exhibition that toured the UK to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing.
“Daniel and I have both been influenced by the biologist D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson and his book On Growth and Form,” says Paul. “Thompson’s work also influenced Alan Turing and the work on Morphogenesis that dominated his research toward the end of his life.”
Paul and Daniel are now working together on a joint retrospective of their artwork that will open at London’s Watermans Gallery in March 2015 before touring the UK. Paul will also exhibit with three other pioneers of early computer art – Frieder Nake, Harold Cohen and Ernest Edmonds (who is also curator of the GV Gallery’s Automatic Art show) – in the Códigos Primordiais (Primary Codes) exhibition at the Oi Futuro Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in late 2015.