Mutator 1 + 2: Evolutionary Art

Latham, William and Gollifer, Susan. 2013. Mutator 1 + 2: Evolutionary Art. In: "Brighton Design Festival", Brighton, 7 Sept - 13 Oct 2013. [Show/Exhibition]

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Creators: Latham, William and Gollifer, Susan
Abstract or Description:

William Latham is a pioneering figure in computer art. The exhibition presents the full range of his output from his early drawings to his later digital and interactive artworks.

William Latham was one of the first UK artists in the 80’s to create computer art, and he rapidly gained an international reputation as a pioneer in the field. His work blends organic imagery and computer animation, using software modeled upon the processes of evolution. Starting with a simple shape, Latham introduces random ‘mutations’ of a form in order to generate increasingly complex three-dimensional creations that resemble fantastical, futuristic organisms. Mutator 1 + 2 is Latham’s first major exhibition in the UK in over twenty years, and includes his early hand-drawn work, large computer generated Cibachrome prints, video art and his most recent interactive projected imagery that explores and embodies evolutionary processes, physical and virtual space.

Trained as an artist, Latham moved into the world of computing through his work at IBM, and during this time collaborated with mathematician Stephen Todd to develop a methodology for mutating and evolving forms. Their Mutator code allows designers to ‘breed’ designs in the same way as Latham generates art, pulling us into the virtual laboratories of artificial life. The manipulation of the natural world by humans is a theme which runs though much of Latham’s work; in fact he likens himself to a gardener who breeds organic art by exploiting and amplifying mutations in order to create new, hybrid forms, a process he describes as “an evolution driven by aesthetics”.

After working in the computer games industry for thirteen years, Latham returned to research and academia as Professor of Computer Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he works with Professor Frederic Fol Leymarie; he is currently collaborating with Lawrence Kelly on software to explore the world of protein folding and scientific visualization. His recent interactive video projections and web based programmes draw upon his most recent work undertaken at Goldsmiths, and they allow viewers to participate in and witness the process of evolution in a direct and intuitive way, whether this takes place within a gallery setting in Brighton or online from across the world.

Sue Gollifer (curator for ACM SIGGRAPH international computer graphics, ArCade 1-V11, and director of ISEA International Headquarters) brings Latham’s creative work from over three decades to Phoenix Brighton as part of the Brighton Digital Festival in 2013. Situated in a large artist-led organization with over a hundred studios, the gallery is a suitable breeding ground for work which pushes the boundaries and makes connections between artforms and disciplines, and Latham’s output perfectly fits with this setting. As part of Mutator 1 + 2, Gollifer has commissioned the artist to create a large scale Retro-Form Synth drawing directly on the gallery walls. This piece will link together the various aspects of Latham’s unique career and serve as an entry point for an impressive body of work which reveals the scope and range of this groundbreaking artist.

Phoenix Brighton is the largest artist led organisation in the South East of England (outside London). It provides studios for over 100 artists, runs a major arts education programme across digital, fine art, photography, craft and performance, and is one of the leading art galleries in the city. Phoenix Brighton is a Registered Charity, number 1051551.

Coinciding with our exhibition of ‘Mutator 1+2: Evolutionary Art by William Latham’, Phoenix Brighton’s programme for Brighton Digital Festival celebrates some of the most innovative and internationally renowned artists working with digital technology in the city today. During the exhibition there will be large scale screenings in the nearby park called The Level, times and date to be confirmed. See the Phoenix Brighton website for more information about our events and other work.

Official URL:
Departments, Centres and Research Units: Computing
Research Office > REF2014
Date range: 7 Sept - 13 Oct 2013
Event Location: Brighton
Item ID: 9288
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2013 14:24
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2017 10:49


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