Watermans presents a long-overdue show of leading pioneers of digital art…

Recent blockbuster international shows have shone a light on the field of software art and highlighted some of the most cutting edge examples of technology. Welcome though this exposure has been, in the pursuit of ‘the new’ it has often been overlooked that artists have been working in the field since the 1950s – who were all cutting edge in their time. In fact, the medium is now so well rooted it even boasts a ‘father and son business’ – Brown & Son, Purveyors of digital images since 1968, with Paul Brown being a visiting professor and artist-in-residence at the Department of Informatics.


Father and son Paul Brown and Daniel Brown work with computers as their primary medium for making art. They have a shared interest in manipulating media to create beautifully evolving artificial life-forms.  Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford, West London will be the venue for their first ever joint exhibition – Art That Makes Itself – from 31 March – 31 May 2015.

Works by Brown & Son will fill the main gallery, foyer spaces and screens whilst displays on text boards will reference pioneering artworks by other artists who have in turn inspired them. These will be drawn from almost five decades of experimentation with algorithms, print and digital image making demonstrating that far from being a recent thing that the digital revolution has had a very long history.

‘A long overdue show, Art That Makes Itself brings to Watermans work by two artists who represent different generations of work. Its a great chance for our audiences who have mainly seen and engaged with work by younger artists in the gallery to experience earlier important work’ (Irini Papadimitriou, Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans Arts Centre)

The show playfully explores the interrelationships and differences between Paul and Dan’s work as first generation and second generation artistic pioneers in the evolving realms of digital media, across a spectrum of almost sixty years. It conveys the range of styles and diversity of expression of both artists as well as the lineage and context within which their diverse and complementary practices can be viewed from systems to generative art, from art made with software to contemporary design.  Who said the digital revolution was new?

*** EVENT***

Art That Makes Itself Symposium Saturday 16 May

A symposium supported by the Computer Arts Society addressing topics relating to generative art and its collective histories will take place on 16th May when a book with artworks and essays by digital theorists, art and design curators and media historians with unique interviews with Daniel and Paul Brown will be launched. Public workshops will also be held at Watermans in May teaching children, young people and families to make art with code. Click here to see details on the event…

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