Harold Cohen gave a good talk, and a good Q&A session afterwards (including fielding questions from Huw Jones from the Landsdowne Centre For Electronic Arts and Dave Bausola from Ixi). I managed to meet Harold and briefly say hello beforehand.
I can’t do justice to the talk in a weblog entry, so it’s fortunate that a video of the talk will soon be online here. The talk ranged over Harold Cohen’s introduction to computing, the potential of technology, the artistic demands of expertise and technological innovation in an “idiot-proof” age, the struggle to explain colour to AARON, how AARON’s latest work came about, and more.
AARON’s latest work is painting-based with a wider range of objects, shadows, and more expressive virtual “brushwork” as well as a new palette made possible by its new archival quality large-scale inkjet printer. It’s strange seeing AARON’s plants and other objects without their traditional black outlines, but AARON is now truly painting rather than colouring drawings. I do wonder about “simulating” the layering of opaque colour to be rendered flat by an inkjet printer: this feels different from the physical “proofs” AARON has produced previously, but the results certainly look good and the effect could be achieved with real opaque paint anyway. I think I missed several minutes of the talk just looking at the slides of the new images as they were shown. I’ll need to check that archive myself to see what I missed. :-)