Richard is an artist, enterprise technologist/architect, educator & thinker. An emerging technology transformation specialist and polymath, he has managed parallel careers in education & enterprise tech whilst continuing to make computational and digital fine art, as well as writing and producing electronic chamber music. It was around 1988 that he started actively working with technology for creative purposes while exhibiting art occasionally.
Brought up in a South Yorkshire pit village, Richard went on to study art at four different art schools. Starting out doing kitchen sink landscapes, he had an epiphany and pursued high abstraction and conceptual art, which led him to come across the potential of the computer. From the era of the ZX Spectrum he became fascinated by the artistic potential of computing and became a pioneering computer artist and award-winning teacher of art and music and latterly a successful emerging technology architect. He has had parallel careers during the day in education and emerging technology.
Working in In tech since the early 90s, after completing John Lansdowne’s pioneering MA in computing and art, he was part of a team pioneering interactive TV, after which he, at various times, became senior management in agencies (digital entertainment, interactive TV, games & marketing); he produced many interactive TV progs. & games. He also spent a number of years in digital marketing in senior roles and latterly as partner.
For the last decade he has been an expert consultant in management, digital architecture and transformation, in digital transformation at companies such the BBC, BSkyB, Aviva Plc, Proximus (Brussels), Microsoft Studios and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He is currently a principal architect, working in ML and other emerging technologies.
In a parallel career in education he was a school HoD. He co-founded a university digital arts dept, creating 2 under & 2 post graduate degrees in computer arts and composing for games and he has taught at the London College of Fashion and Birkbeck College, London. He held a Visiting Professorship at the University of Salford & is currently a Senior Fellow at the University of Lincoln. As Principal, he worked with Marc Lewis to get the School of Communication Arts off the ground; a radical work-focussed college of creativity in London and now the UK’s most successful new advertising school. He has taught at & designed curriculum for every phase of education from 7 to 70 years of age and been an external examiner at three universities.
Also an exhibiting artist (computer art exploring trauma; Instagram richardfadams) and a published author he’s spoken at many conferences around the world; a member of the Society of Authors, FRSA & BAFTA member. He co-presents the TECHnique podcasts (on itunes), which are conversations about technology and practice with working computer artists, and arts people.
Utterly committed to lifelong learning, he is also currently the Chair of Trustees at Professors Without Borders www.prowibo.com
Also a published author, he’s spoken at many conferences around the world, is a member of the Society of Authors, FRSA & BAFTA member.
AntiSelfies – paintings by any other name
More recently, he has started exhibiting his work again and it explores four things.
- How to channel my own PTSD through art. Sitting in a hospital bed facing death and being unexpectedly isolated by people I thought were close to me, I picked up my laptop and phone and began to explore making images of how I felt. Using code and digital tools I began to create expressionist screams and howls of existential terror in the form of expressionist works, computer enabled simulacra of works that never existed .
- Isolated as I was, not being visited by people or called, I began to deeply resent social media as I watched curated perfect lives being played out, from the professional humble-braggers to the plain vain, I wanted to eviscerate and comment on the dark underbelly of selfie culture. Each piece is a selfie that aims to show bad bits of me that we all curate out of our selfies. Selfies are the biggest cultural art form of the last decade and they have resulted in a quite remarkable culture emerging where people curate their lives for personal gain, from the Kardashians at the top, who have talents for precisely nothing, to people who actively exploit their abusive relationships to gain status and viewers, it’s a culture the like of which we have never seen before.
- I became fascinated by the emerging notions of push button art and how digital and computer art was enabling Baudrillard’s concept of simulacra. Using expressionist approaches to create this work, i began to explore the Northern European tradition of expressionism, an existing line of expressive language, sitting firmly in the line from Rembrandt through Courbet, Munch, Kokoshka to Bacon and beyond.
- Technique wise, this is largely a mix of digital paintings done with a stylus layered upon previously computationally remixed pixel manipulation, stemming from either skteches or photographs. They are then rendered onto canvas and framed with ersatz rococo vintage frames complete with fake woodworm holes.
Simulacra, copies of works that never existed.
He has recently shown this new anti selfie work for the first time, where the exhibition was the final step in the creation of the simulacra. The false images of self, the creation of artefacts that weren’t real and the exhibition of the simulacra was the whole project.
His photography looks at fleeting moments that we see out of the corner of our eyes. Fragmentary moments of Modern Beauty where the natural intersects with the man made often in unexpected and funny ways.
Emerging Technology and Enterprise Transformation
He has applied his art and creativity to solving tech problems for large business and has been a pioneer in interactive TV, made games, worked as a programmer, creative director, head of digital and highly successful independent enterprise consultant at many companies including Microsoft XBox, BBC, BSkyB, Aviva and The Royal Shakespeare Company.He was part of a team pioneering interactive TV in the 90’s, and then became senior management in digital agencies (entertainment, games & marketing); he produced many interactive TV progs. & games over many years.
For the last decade he has been a consultant enterprise digital architect and transformation manager in digital transformation at companies such the BBC, BSkyB, Aviva Plc, Proximus (Brussels), Microsoft Studios and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He is a qualified schoolteacher, he founded a digital arts department at the London College of Music (TVU), co-founded and was Principal at the School of Communication Arts. He has taught creativity, art and technology at UWL(TVU), Birkbeck College, London College of Fashion, School of Communication Arts, and he held a visiting Professorship at Salford University. He is currently Visiting Senior Fellow at the University of Lincoln.
In education he was a school head of dept, founded a uni. digital arts dept, creating 2 under & 2 post graduate degrees in computer arts including the word’s first MMus Composing for New Media and Games at the London College of Music. He has also taught at the London College of Fashion & Birkbeck College and has been an external examiner at a number of universities. He held a Visiting Professorship at the Uni. of Salford & is currently a Senior Fellow at the Uni. of Lincoln. He worked with Marc Lewis to get the School of Communication Arts off the ground, a radical work-focussed college of creativity in London and now the UK’s most successful new advertising school. He has taught at & designed curriculum for every phase of education from 7 to 70 years of age.
Utterly committed to lifelong learning, he currently is Chair of Trustees at Professors Without Borders www.prowibo.com and charity that believes in development through education.
He is a BAFTA member, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and member of the Society of Authors and a school governor.
He has spoken at dozens of conferences, has written and published books/contributed chapters in digital advertising and media, and has written in many magazines. he is a cited author.
He writes and records electronic chamber music and has completed a number of albums.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but too often the beholder needs glasses. That’s the role of the artist.