Bio: William A. Brown

Artist’s Statement 2021

William A. Brown

Education: MFA University of Florida, BA Emory University

Work: Emory University Faculty (Sr. Lecturer Emeritus)

Works produced as an artist: Avant-Garde films and videos 1976- present. Still Photographs: 1972–1976, 2006-present. Documentary Videos: 1976-present.

Photo-Sculpture Proposals: 1990-present. Paintings for a Robot 2019-present.

Art Video Site:

I take the idea of being a multi-media artist seriously, perhaps to an extreme level. I’m mainly known as a video artist but have always taken still photographs. In the past few decades I’ve also been producing virtual works of sculpture (with one realized example). In 2019 I stumbled upon a way of creating paintings that are designed to be created by robots in the near future.

I amuse myself with many conceits but I have a particular fondness for my importance as an artist with a track record for serious explorations that push the boundaries of what exactly defines painting, video, and sculpture is this era of exponential technological change. With painting I’m trying to find new digital solutions for the coming era of painting by robots. With sculpture I’m proposing incorporating photography as a source material for public art, believing the realistic imperative of the lensed image will make public sculpture relevant. With video I’m trying to shoot as if I’m a still documentary photographer but shooting slow motion video. Blurring definitions of what painting, sculpture, and video can be is my mission as an artist.

In my latest my latest work, Paintings for a Robot, I’m proposing the use of film editing technologies to rapidly create merged images that will be made into paintings in the near future by robots. I have no doubt that robots will be capable of creating high resolution paintings in the near future, meaning artists will be freed from the time consuming tedium of fine art painting. I consider myself a pioneer in the use of digital techniques to create “pre-paintings” that will be rendered by robots that have mastered the highly complex task of applying precisely mixed paint to a flat surface creating the kinds of images that have made painting, historically, the medium which has defined the visual imagination of our most brilliant artists. I’m currently working with ArtMatr in New York to render my digital pre-paintings as oil paintings and have several examples of this process available to show. Phase II of my digital Paintings for a Robot includes political works and works in a 3D virtual environment (mid 2021).

I would describe the work I’m known for as Minimalist Videos. These wall art minimalist videos exist somewhere between photography and film. These are intended to be displayed on a wall like a painting and viewed over time. There is no compelling narrative in these slow motion experiments. I am interested in what the slow motion reveals about people in their public personae, lost in thought if on the street, or emotionally consumed by modern tribal activities such as parades, sporting events, marriage parties, etc.

Proposals for Photo-Sculptures are virtual sculptures I created based on photographic imagery. These include works for Washington, D.C. and Stone Mountain, Georgia, home of a colossal monument to Confederate heroes. With most of the Washington D.C. works I suggest public art pieces that have nothing to do with memorializing politicians. Rather, I’m interested in raising public awareness for the need to develop big science solutions for problems such as global warming- a new environmental Manhattan Project. The Stone Mountain works are proposed photo-sculptures based on Civil War photographs. I would hope these reality based works would disabuse Southerners of their romantic delusions about the Civil War. I have produced one 3-D model for a colossal photo-sculpture based on the first nano-second of the atomic era.

William A. Brown

June 2, 2021

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Education: MFA University of Florida, BA Emory University Work: Emory University Faculty (Sr. Lecturer Emeritus)