Hubs, Nodes and Networks: a new history of British digital art
A curatorial research project mapping digital artistic practices in Britain from 1960s to now
About the Project
This project funded by the Paul Mellon Centre, explores the relationships between digital art practitioners, communities, and institutions in Britain from 1960s to the present. It considers the V&A’s Computer Arts Society archive and collection as a central resource.
Digital art is commonly used to describe artistic practices that explore computational materiality and processes, while demonstrating the social impacts of technology. The field initially emerged in the 1960s through collaborations between artists and scientific laboratories. During this period, the Computer Arts Society (CAS) was pivotal in establishing a formal structure of intellectual and artistic inquiry that supported the development of computational and digital arts in Britain. This project investigates these historical beginnings and connects them to the present digital scene.
The project aims to inform contemporary digital artists of the field’s rich heritage; to support academics and curators in telling untold and under-researched histories; and to model the importance of partnerships between artists and organisations in the development of digital art practice. At the same time, it will generate primary research through the documentation of the voices of pioneering artists, linking their practices and perspectives to emerging generations.
The primary outcome will be a networked body of research mapping digital artistic practices in Britain, focusing on institutional affiliations. The map will track how universities, computer laboratories, art galleries and technology firms have supported this artistic field. Complementary outcomes will include interlinked online articles; a series of interviews; a compendium of resources; and a timeline of exhibitions and projects. Additionally, this research will contribute to Digital Art: 1960s to Now, a co-authored Thames & Hudson book to be published in October 2024.
Pita Arreola is Curator of Digital Art at the V&A, and the co-founder of Off Site Project. Off Site Project is a curatorial platform founded in 2017 that through exhibitions, events and residencies offers opportunities for international emerging new m ... Read more