This IT4Arts workshop looked at the way in which digital techniques can be used to shape and enhance the creative content of the work which is presented to the public. An impressive array of speakers addressed this topic, demonstrating how they used and continued to use digital techniques in shaping their work.

Our speakers:

Tamara Ashley, MFA, PhD. – Artistic Director, DanceDigital

Michael Pavelka – Award- winning free-lance scenographer

Susan Rosenberg – Artist

James Faure Walker – Reader in Painting and the Computer

Tamara Ashley is the Artistic Director of DanceDigital, based in Chelmsford, Essex. She joined DanceDigital from her post as senior lecturer in choreography at Northumbria University. With a diverse background in dance, activism and education, Tamara is keen on further developing the organization’s presence in innovation and interdisciplinary practice.

Her talk is entitled “Moving into the Cloud: Networks, Collaboration and Sustainability in the Development of the Contemporary Arts Organisation

DanceDigital is entering a period of change, as it moves from an ACE revenue funded organisation to a project funded organisation. Following a period of evaluation and review, the company is developing a new model which will enable it to develop its innovative practice linking dance and technology. A new operating model that integrates geographically distributed hubs and extensive use of cloud technologies is providing infrastructures for the development of the organisation. Tamara will discuss how DanceDigital balances the harnessing of new technologies in the infrastructure of the organisation and in the support of artists working creatively with new technologies. The issue of organisational development within the context of shifting funding models and priorities will be discussed in relationship to developing future models that are sustainable and robust. Tamara will discuss DanceDigital’s experience of the patterns of working brought forward by cloud based and distributed working in the arts.

Michael Pavelka is a set and costume designer who has worked for organisations ranging from Stan Won’t Dance to the RSC and is a founder member of Propeller Theatre. His design philosophy is centred on Victor Papanek’s assertion that, “The only important thing about design is how it relates to people”. Mighty technological leaps over the last decade in the production of lighting, sound and video projection of live events have multiplied the creative possibilities of designers. Hardware and software have reduced the response time that designers and technicians have with directors, choreographers, composers and performers. His talk will attempt to track how a conversation prompts a sketch, how a sketch grows to a proposal and a proposal fills the stage for our audiences.

Michael’s awards for stage design include the 2009 TMA Award for the Best Set Design for Propeller Theatre company’s production of ‘The Merchant of Venice’. He is a Reader at Wimbledon College of Art.

The title of Susan Rosenberg’s talk is “Mirages, Transitions, and Transformations” in which she explores image making with digital technology. Her multi-layered art works are created using many techniques from traditional paint to digital technology. She writes “Every artist is of the age in which they live and their work is a comment, reflection and product of that age”. Although still rooted in the pleasure she derives from paint, she utilises new technology to explore different ways of thinking.

She was born in South Africa, studied there and received her MA in Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin under the auspices of a Fulbright Scholarship. She has studios in North London and in the Cotswolds and exhibits regularly in London. Her works can be seen in public, corporate and private collections internationally.

James Faure Walker’s subject is entitled “Further along the Digital River”. Over the past 20 years he has been integrating the power of computer graphics into his painting. Digital art may have revolutionised the way art can be made and seen, but in some respects little has changed. Here he takes up the story, following up from his 2006 book “Painting the Digital River: How an Artist Learned to love the Computer.”

James was born in London, studied at St Martins and the Royal College of Art. He has exhibited widely since the 1970’s, including the Hayward Annual 1979. In 1998 he won the Golden Plotter at Computerkunst, Gladbeck, Germany. He has exhibited eight times at Siggraph, USA (1995–2007), and twice at the John Moores (1982, 2002). His work was featured in the 2009 ‘Digital Pioneers’ exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He co-founded Artscribe magazine in 1976, and edited it for eight years. He is Reader in Painting and the Computer at the CCW Graduate School, University of the Arts, London.

Produced by Cyril Bloch


  • Date 26/04/2012
  • Time @ 10:00-16:30


  • Wigmore Hall