ANALOGUE AND DIGITAL – THE LATEST ARTY BUZZ WORDS April 2016

I recently attended The Digital Draw, a conference at the Drawing Room in London. It is a small but dynamic non-profit gallery that explores ideas around contemporary drawing and makes them visible in the public domain. I’ve visited many times and never been bored, I’ve always had my thoughts challenged, and days afterwards ideas are still pinging around my head, loosening things up and moving me on.

Aside from unfortunate technical glitches, and an absence of nametags that made conversations and networking difficult to initiate, the conference brought up much of interest. Art and tech are both blooming in London at the moment, and the latest arty buzz words, “analogue and digital” kept coming up during the day. I’m on many mailing lists, and “analogue and digital” are also the theme of exhibitions from across the pond, and in the museums and galleries of Europe, Africa and the Far East. I’m not feeling smug, because so many artists got there decades before me, but my own particular epiphany was in 1999 when I first used an experimental 3D digital body scanner at UCL (and I am still grateful to Laura Dekker and her successors for their generous collaborations). My own practice has employed a combination of analogue and digital ever since. Good to have spent a day where I didn’t have to explain myself, and the seamless workings or conflicts of the analogue with the digital and the digital with the analogue was the norm. I’ve been doing it for a very long time, combining technology with pencil, pastel and paint, and with the Drawing Room shaking me up again, watch this space for the next manifestations, it’s a big wide world out there.

www.drawingroom.org.uk