Mutator 1 + 2 : Evolutionary Art

22 April - 24 May 2014
Mutator 1 + 2 : Evolutionary Art

Video, drawings and interactive installations

William Latham was one of the first UK artists in the 80s to create computer art, and he rapidly gained an international reputation as a pioneer in the field. His work blends organic imagery and computer animation, using software modelled upon the processes of evolution. Starting with a simple shape, Latham introduces random 'mutations' of a form in order to generate increasingly complex three-dimensional creations that resemble fantastical, futuristic organisms.

Mutator 1 + 2 is Latham's first major exhibition in Europe after his show in 2013 in Brighton (UK) in over twenty years. The show at iMAL proposes his latest interactive installation where the visitors are invited to participate in the evolutionary generative process. The new scenography integrates large translucent digitally printed curtains and the videoprojections.

The show includes his early hand-drawn works, large computer generated Cibachrome prints, video art and his most recent interactive projected imagery that explores and embodies evolutionary processes, physical and virtual space. William will also execute some large scale hand drawings in the iMAL space.

William and his assistant P.Todd will give 2 exceptional workshops: Evolutionary Hand Drawing on Sunday 27 April and Live Coding workshop on Saturday 24 May. Register on the online form!

Arts/Sciences Lecture
William will give a lecture in our Arts/Sciences series on May 22, 20:30.

About William Latham and his work

From 1987 to 1993 William Latham, who was trained as an artist, became a Research Fellow at The IBM UK Scientific Centre in Winchester UK and his Mutation work achieved world-wide recognition at SIGGRAPH and other events and a number of IBM patents were published. He was co-author with mathematician Stephen Todd of the book "Evolutionary Art and Computers" published by Academic Press which is still recognised as a key works in this area. His organic artworks and films were shown worldwide in major one person touring exhibitions in the UK, Germany, Japan and Australia during that time backed by The British Council.

Started at IBM with S.Todd, the Mutator software, based on his methodology for mutating and evolving forms, allows designers to ‘breed’ designs in the same way as Latham generates art, pulling us into the virtual laboratories of artificial life. The manipulation of the natural world by humans is a theme which runs though much of Latham’s work; in fact he likens himself to a gardener who breeds organic art by exploiting and amplifying mutations in order to create new, hybrid forms, a process he describes as “an evolution driven by aesthetics”.

Moving on from IBM into computer games, William was CEO and founder of leading games developer Computer Artworks Ltd from 1994 to 2003, hit games produced included The THING (Playstation2, Xbox and PC) for Universal Studios and was Number 1 hit in the UK and Germany. During this time he also worked with various infamous UK rave bands producing organic graphics and videos.

From 2005 to 2006 William was Professor of Creative Technology at Leeds Metropolitan University and in 2007 he became Professor of Computer Art at Goldsmiths (University of London).  At Goldsmith he is working on research in collaboration with the Bioinformatics Department at Imperial College applying his  evolutionary rule-based approach to the domain of protein folding, scientific visualization and gamification in collaboration with Prof Frederic Leymarie.

For the past six years William has been working again with Stephen Todd and his son Peter Todd on Mutator 2 Art.  He is a Director of SoftV Ltd working with UCL (University College London) Neuroscience Group and a Director of London Geometry Ltd.

William was a student at The Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford University and the Royal College of Art where he studied Fine Art. 

Practical Info

Opening: Wednesday 23 April

24 April - 25 May
Wed-Sun, 13:00-18:30

Free entrance!

Group visits
02 410 30 93

Location: iMAL
30 quai des Charbonnages - Koolmijnenkaai
1080 Brussels

Media Gallery


The Brussels exhibition is the second version of the Mutator 1 + 2: Evolutionary Art exhibition which  was shown at The Phoenix Gallery Brighton in 2013. It was curated by Sue Gollifer and supported by a grant of Arts Council England.  Arts Council England Lead: Jon Pratty. 

With the support of the Brussels-Capital region. A partner event of Art Brussels 2013.

    Brussels-Capital Region

Phoenix   Arts Council