James Faure Walker is an artist, writer and educator. He is currently artist in residence at Kingston University, London, UK
In the Pozzio coffee bar next to the Barbican tube there's an animated discussion going on about algorithmic art. Apart from the two cappuccinos on the table, there's a lap-top, and scrolling across the screen is a Persian carpet. As it scrolls it seethes, oscillates, and re-arranges its symmetries like gauze over scurries of luminous ants. Jamy Sheridan is showing me his real-time magic carpet. It's character-based and fast - the letter D is assigned a little onion form and so on - and wonderfully low-tech. At this scale it's a de luxe screen-saver, but it's really the compressed data for an installation where the image is projected down onto sand, with music by Sheridan's colleague John Dunn generated through the same program. Effectively the viewer gets inside the piece. As Sheridan elaborates on the symbolism of the carpets - the sacred gardens, the pools, fountains, trees, flowers, hedges - outside in Aldersgate the buses clatter by and the temps get their take-away baps.
This paper is published in CGI Magazine, Summer 1997
Faure Walker studied painting at St Martins (1966-70) and aesthetics at the Royal College of Art (1970-72). Since 1988 he has been integrating computer graphics into his painting. He has exhibited in Holland, Germany, Austria, Spain, the USA, Japan, Russia and in numerous computer art festivals. In 1998 he won the 'Golden Plotter' prize in Germany.
Faure Walker was a founder of Artscribe magazine in 1976 and editor for eight years. His writings have also appeared in Wired, Studio International, Modern Painters, Mute, Computer Generated Imaging, Art Review, and in catalogues for the Tate, Barbican, Siggraph, and Computerkunst. He is Senior Research Fellow in Fine Art at Kingston University; in 2002 he won a major AHRB fellowship for research into painting and the digital studio.