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Loughborough University & Loughborough College of Art & Design
Loughborough, England

Chair: Prof. E.A.Edmonds

Public Seminars

30th April, 1996

Lecture: Beyond Art and Science: How and Why Einstein, Picasso and Braque Explored the Nature of Space

Arthur I. Miller
Department of Science & Technical Studies
University College London


We are struck by parallelisms between developments in modern art and modern science, particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By this I mean the shift in representation in art from the extremely figurative or naturalistic, to the increasingly abstract art of the late 19th and 20th centuries. These shifts in art happen to be coincident with increased abstraction in physical theory accompanied by transformations in intuition. Was this merely coincidence? As a case study of the interplay between art and science I will discuss the rise of Cubism in the hands of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and compare and contrast it with Albert EinsteinÕs explorations of space and time during the same period.

Panel: Two Artists Meeting the Computer

Chair: Frieder Nake, Department of Informatics, University of Bremen, Germany
Manfred Mohr, Artist, New York
Michael Kidner, Artist, London

2nd May, 1996

Lecture: The Artist and the Computer

Ernest Edmonds
LUTCHI Research Centre
Department of Computer Studies
Loughborough University


In January 1996 four artists who had not previously used a computer in their art practice spent a week at an artists-in-residence on the Loughborough Campus in order to explore the potential of the computer for their art. The artists were Jean-Pierre Husquinet of Lige, FrŽ Ilgen of Eindhoven, Michael Kidner of London and Birgitta Weimer of Cologne. Each artist was paired with a technical expert who helped them identify computer applications and support tools that might be appropriate and drew in other experts when necessary. By the end of the week, Birgitta Weimer had produced computer generated prints to her artistic satisfaction. FrŽ Ilgen was making virtual sculpture that resided in a void and was not subject to gravity. Michael Kidner and Jean-Pierre Husquinet had not completed new works but both had begun explorations into new ideas and realisations that have continued since.

The lecture reports upon the activities and personal artistic processes of the week which were recorded on audio and video tape and which included both pre and post interviews with each artist. The nature of the interchanges between artist and technologist as well as the artists' perspectives upon the use of the technologies and what they gained from it are described. Both positive and negative aspects can be observed but, in all cases, the nature of the art practice involved was illuminated. One example of the results to be reported is that, despite the apparent straightforward nature of the artists' demands, it proved to be a technological challenge to provide the computer support needed. It seems that very few standard computer systems can support adequately established artists such as those participating. The positive side of this observation is that, bearing in mind the technical support provided, one week was sufficient to overcome the initial problems that were faced.

Panel: Face to Face: Artists and Technologies

Chair: James Alty, Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University, UK
Roy Kowalsky, Professor of Virtual Reality,Loughborough University, UK
Helmut Bez, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University, UK
Fré Ilgen, Artist, The Netherlands
Mike North, Artist, UK

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