Radio Lear Podcast 017 – Sean Clark Leicester Computer Art Pioneers

Radio Lear Podcast 017 – Sean Clark Leicester Computer Art Pioneers

In this podcast episode, we hear from Dr Sean Clark about his exhibition, Leicester Computer Art Pioneers, being held 2nd November 2023 to 30th January 2024 at the Phoenix Arts in Leicester. Sean discusses the digital legacy of Leicester-based artists and educators – such as Stroud Cornock and Ernest Edmonds  – who played a significant part in the development of computer art in Leicester.

Sean shares his insights on the Leicester Computer Art Pioneers, a group of artists who played a vital role in the early stages of computer-generated art.

This exhibition looks at the history of computer arts in Leicester and Leicestershire before 2000, with the starting point being Cornock and Edmonds’ artwork in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It includes images of Cornock and Edmonds’ work, both individually and together. The exhibition then moves on from those early days, to look at work by subsequent computer artists, with artworks by Stephen Scrivener, Stephen Bell and myself – all of whom were students of Ernest Edmonds. The exhibition also features artworks by Dominic Boreham, an important artist based at Leicester Polytechnic in the 1980s. Artwork by Graham Bate is included, who worked at Leicester Polytechnic in the late-1980s. Finally, it features artwork by Brian Reffin Smith, a renowned computer artist and author who grew up in Sileby and has been active since the 1970s.

Sean takes us through the origins and development of computer art in Leicester, highlighting the contributions of local artists who experimented with the intersection of technology and creativity, setting a foundation for the future of digital arts.

Sean also talks about the importance of documenting and preserving this unique history, a task undertaken by projects like the archive of computer arts work in Leicester managed by Interact Digital Arts. This archive not only celebrates the city’s role in the early days of digital art but also serves as a resource for contemporary artists and researchers.

Music included in this episode includes: Kraftwerk, R10, Gavin Bryers, Dylan Hewnner

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