UCCA presents “Immaterial / Re-material,” a group exhibition tracing the history, present, and future of computing art through more than 70 artworks by more than 30 artists from around the world, ranging from the pioneers of the 1960s to today’s emerging voices.
The exhibition is arranged into four main sections, which gesture towards the progression of computing art, and different approaches within the field as a whole. Opening section “Pioneers of Computing Art: The Invention of a New Palette” focuses on the work of artists including Harold Cohen, Manfred Mohr, Vera Molnar, and Frieder Nake, who as early as the 1960s began using algorithms to create drawings and paintings, long before computers had attained their current sophistication and ubiquity. In the next section, “Generative Art: A Language for Infinity,” computing power is harnessed to create self-sustaining artworks that transcend durational limits. While artists such as Ryoji Ikeda grant digital code a kind of materiality in its own right, John Gerrard and Leo Villareal alternately simulate and distort reality, and Michel Bret and Edmond Couchot, Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer, and others bring an element of interactivity to their pieces, positioning each work as a collaboration between artist, algorithm, and viewer.