Documentary Competiton Finalist!

Catherine Mason (A Computer in the Art Room and White Heat, Cold Logic) and I have got our documentary project on the history of computers in art through to the final stages of the ‘Specialist Factual New Talent Pitch Competition’ at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival (DocFest)! This means that alongside a small selection of other would-be factual broadcasters from a variety of disciplines, we will be presenting the project to an audience of commissioning editors and specialist factual producers. We’re so excited to be taking part and getting to learn more about how to pitch and produce a documentary – not to mention meet all the other interesting people there!

We’re also really pleased to be sharing the concept for the documentary (actually we want to make a three-part series) with a wider audience. Though computers have permeated practically every aspect of our modern lives, there is one area people often remain reluctant in accepting computer technology: art! Despite art’s long-running relationship with information technology – what are pencils and paints if not communication tools – computers are often regarded as highly suspicious in art. Somehow it’s not ‘art’ if a computer has been involved. As a result, the rich early history of Computer art remains obscure – along with over fifty years of intense exploration of art and culture in the computer age. For many in-the-know, Alan Turing marks a pivotal moment in the history of art. This is summed up by artist/theorist Lev Manovich who divides art history into ‘Duchamp-land’, where the object is prized, and ‘Turing-land’, where process is champion. Therefore, what we are proposing is to write, produce and present the first ever televised public tour of Turing-land, in order to show this exciting territory to audiences mostly schooled in Duchamp-land.

We really look forward to discussing this project with you more soon, but in the mean time, do wish us luck!

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