Thursday, 11 December 2014

William Latham on the early inspiration that informs his pioneering work in Computer Art

William Latham's Mutator 2 (Triptych) is currently on display in Centrespace, VRC. This interactive video projection is inspired by the processes of evolution, and once activated by the viewer uses complex computer software to create fantastical forms that mutate and spin on the gallery walls.

William Latham: Mutator 2, Centrespace, VRC, DJCAD, 2014. Photo: Kathryn Rattray
In an interview with Central Station, Latham highlights one of the significant starting points of his practice; drawing utilising 'FormSynth' rules. These early drawing works hold a clear resonance with the computer art installation, Mutator 2 (Triptych):

While I studied at RCA I began to devise an evolutionary rule-based drawing system that would generate organic rather than geometric forms. I called the system FormSynth (short for Form Synthesis). This system uses transforms such as “Bulge”, “Beak”, “Stretch” and “Scoop,” which define how to distort or sculpt 3D forms starting from geometric primitives to evolve increasingly complex forms with each transform step recorded and laid out in large evolutionary tree drawings. Some of these early works are currently in the exhibition Mutator 2 in Centrespace, VRC.

William Latham: Mutator 2, Centrespace, VRC, 2014. Photo: Kathryn Rattray
I take inspiration from the natural world (including fungi, sea urchins, jelly fish, viruses, octopuses), sci-fi movies, paisley patterns, William Morris, heavy metal imagery, D’Arcy Thompson, and Surrealist Art (Dali, Magritte, Tanguy). Initially my work at RCA was heavily influenced by Russian Constructivism, Pop Art and Process Art and by contact with artists such as Kenneth Martin, Mary Kelly and Eduardo Paolozzi, who became a mentor for many years. I still find these areas of interest relevant today.

Catch William Latham: Mutator 2, at Centrespace, VRC, DJCAD which is located on the lower floors of the DCA, 152 Nethergate, Dundee, until 31 January 2015. The exhibition is open Mon-Sat 12-4pm but will be closed from 20 December - 7 January. 

For more information on the exhibition please see: