paulbrown digi art

Illustration in the style of Paul Brown

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The Pioneer of Computer Assisted Drawing and Artistic A-Life

Illustration in the style of Paul Brown

Explore the groundbreaking journey of Paul Brown, the visionary artist who embraced computer technology and artificial life methodologies in his practice. Learn about his early influences, the evolution of his creative process, and his contributions to the field of computer-assisted drawing and artificial life in art.

Discovering Computers as an Art Medium

In 1968, Paul Brown encountered computers as an art medium at the Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition at the ICA. Although immediately intrigued, it wasn't until 1974 that he began using computer systems in his artistic practice. Brown's journey started with learning programming, which eventually led him to create one of his earliest computational artworks, "Untitled, Computer Assisted Drawing," in 1975.

Early Works and Techniques

Illustration in the style of Paul Brown often involved using random numbers to distribute and orientate a set of square tiles. He also embraced early artificial life techniques like Cellular Automata, which he discovered in a Scientific American article in 1969. These methodologies became central to his practice, and Brown is now recognized as a pioneer in this field.

Influences and Artistic Approach

Illustration in the style of Paul Brown was initially influenced by artists such as Kenneth and Mary Martin, members of the UK's System's Group, the pan-European systems art movement, and US conceptualists like Sol Lewitt and Dan Flavin. These artists demonstrated that art could be a process or system and that art production could be 'hands-off.' Over the years, Brown has become increasingly interested in the concept of 'art that makes itself' and the potential of artificial intelligences autonomously producing art without human input or intervention.

Evolution of Tools and Technology

Throughout his career, Paul Brown has witnessed and adapted to the rapid evolution of technology. From carrying around boxes of punched cards and floppy disks to storing his entire body of work on a high-capacity USB stick or in the Cloud, Brown has embraced these advancements. Tools like Processing and systems like the Raspberry Pi have made it easier and more accessible for artists to create computer-assisted drawings and artificial life artworks.

Legacy and Impact

Paul Brown's innovative approach to computer-assisted drawing and his pioneering use of artificial life techniques in art have left a lasting impact on the art world. His work has inspired countless artists to explore the intersection of technology and creativity, and his contributions to the field continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of computer-generated art.