British Conceptual Art

There’s an exhibition of British conceptual art, 1964 – 79, at Tate Britain at the moment. The catalogue sees stages in the development of conceptual art: – new frameworks: slightly childish reaction against contemporary Modernist art as described by Clement Greenberg, although many early UK conceptual artists did not knowof US equivalents and worked in…

Homage to Ralph Bagnold

When the English become eccentric, they do so thoroughly. Ralph Bagnold, (1895 to 1990), was a British army officer based in Egypt before the Second World War. In his spare time he and colleagues drove out of Cairo in precarious early vehicles, and explored the vast Western Desert developing new navigation and driving techniques in…

Big Bang Data

The Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House is both pedagogic and an art show. I went twice. Highlights include: thingful, a search engine and geographic display of the internet of things. The whacky world of open data. Some things available are genuinely useful (eg DEFRA air quality monitoring stations, river level gauges, weather stations).…

The problem with corpuses…

A previous post describes several attempts to provide ‘creative’ programmes – systems to write poetry, music, or even complete musicals by computer. My concern is that most of the presenters started off by saying ‘we built a corpus of jazz chords/ stories from hit musicals / pictures/ words’ and then went on to analyse the…

Machine creativity

A very stimulating meeting at the British Library last week, called ‘Digital Conversations’, asked whether computers can be creative. There were several short talks: – one about a machine that generated chord progressions for new jazz tunes. (The speaker, Tom Hedges, brought a jazz pianist who played a progression the machine had generated, though later…

Cybersecurity… will it ever end?

I’ve been doing a lot of research on cyber security and credit card security recently. There have been a high number of well-publicised failures – such as Target and the US Government Office of Personnel Management– not to mention Ashley Madison. The list seems to grow and grow. These suggest that hackers can access many…