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MA1 “Abstract Originals”: Data

MA1 “Abstract Originals”: Data

ByGeoff Davis

9 of 10 Editions Available

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The generative art for MA1 “Abstract Originals” was coded by Geoff Davis in 1983 and released on data cassette in 1984 by the his Micro Arts Group. The series of seven longform generative artworks was distributed by post or directly. In 1985 most of the Micro Arts work was published on the UK's Prestel teletext (like Minitel). The series name "Abstract Originals" in quotes references the debate on whether algorithmic computer art is art and the role of human creativity, which still continues today. Data, also known as Switches, is another absorbing and meditative watch. Tiny shapes appear and flip, slowly building up patterns, mesmerising the viewer. Geoff Davis was inspired by the experimental film and video art scene in London at the time, and the communicative energy of the music scene. Independent of academia, Micro Arts Group reached new places with a community approach. In the 1980s computer technology was changing from black and white to colour, in the first modern digital decade.

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ETH($250)
About the artist

Geoff Davis (b. 1957) is a generative artist who founded the Micro Arts Group in 1984, with the goal to support artists and make computer art accessible to the public, as inspired by the London experimental film and video scene.

With Micro Arts Geoff Davis released a series of computer-generated conceptual art pieces and story text generators on data cassettes and Prestel TV Teletext. Davis also provided a forum for computer artists and musicians, with a print magazine and articles and downloadable software on Micronet 800 on Prestel. Micro Arts was revived in 2019 by the Computer Arts Archive (part of the Computer Arts Society CAS and BCS) and has had exhibitions in Leicester and London UK.

Geoff Davis is an Artificial Intelligence researcher in the ethical use of generated text at the University of the Arts London UAL. He has worked for the UK’s innovation trust Nesta, developed ‘eco’ buildings, and was a founder member of the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission SDC. His fiction has been published by PEN International.

Davis is currently working with the CAS for two online talks on “AI and Art,” and “AI and Text”. Davis is the editor of a forthcoming book on AI and Creative Writing.

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9 of 10 Editions Available

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