Digital art is often thought of as a newborn medium of the future. Gazelli Art House’s latest exhibition, however, also explores its place in history
Gazelli Art House is showcasing an exploration of the modern phenomenon of digital art – but with a view to the past. This month, their exhibition GEN/GEN: Generative Generations, created in collaboration with Verisart, has taken over all three floors of Gazelli Art House‘s central Mayfair gallery. The works of 15 digital artists are presented, including the pioneering computer art of Harold Cohen, who created AARON – a computer program designed to produce art autonomously – in the 1970s.
In addition to Cohen’s work, the exhibition includes the works of his contemporaries, such as recordings of AI-programmed films and computer-generated, hand-modified images by fractal geometrist Ernest Edmonds; computer scientist William Latham‘s early piece from the critical FormSynth series, which served as a blueprint for later software systems, Mutator and Form Grow; and Stephen Willats‘ works from the Change Exercise and Unit Drawings series, which explore the intersection of art with systems, structures, and cybernetic theories. These works from recent history provide context for the starting points of computer-based art and are presented alongside pieces from contemporary digital artists, from Monica Rizzolli to Darien Brito to Loren Bednar.
The gallery’s digital branch, GAZELL.iO, launched an online art residency programme in 2015 dedicated to digital, VR and AR artists. Interactive works by previous GAZELL.iO residents Sougwen Chung and Rhea Myers are on display, bridging the gap between artwork and observer. Myers’ graduate show pieces use code to form a striking narrative and draw inspiration from Latham’s career, while Chung’s works, some recently acquired by the V&A, explore the overlap between human creativity and machine intelligence. Brendan Dawes adds to this interactive landscape, showcasing his sculpture, “You, Me and the Machine” (2022), and a new iteration of his “Cinema Redux” series (2004-ongoing).
Gazelli Art House will also be hosting artists, curators, collectors, and the GAZELL.iO community for a conversation in their online Twitter (X) space @GazelliArtHouse on 26th September at 5pm BST/12pm ET. The dialogue will cover historical and contemporary uses of computers and machine learning, and how this technology has integrated into artistic practices, ultimately reconstructing ideals of creativity, authorship, and authenticity in art.
This exhibition is running from 8 September – 7 October 2023 at Gazelli Art House, 39 Dover St, London W1S 4NN
Find out more: gazelliarthouse.com
All images courtesy of Gazelli Art House