William Latham is the pioneering creator of Organic Art, 3D-rendered digital forms generated by algorithms inspired in natural processes and organic systems. He developed the Mutator software in collaboration with Stephen Todd, which has received wide recognition and influenced the work of a generation of artists.
Blewbury (United Kingdom), 1961
William Latham obtained his BA in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in 1982. The same year, he became a Henry Moore Scholar and studied print-making at the Royal College of Art until 1985. In 1986, he presented an original paper at the BCS Computer Graphics and Displays Group and Computer Arts Society’s 20th Anniversary Conference, and the following started working for IBM in their Advanced Computer Graphics and Visualisation Division at IBM Hursley (Winchester). During his time at the IBM research center, he created a series of digital drawings inspired by natural systems and the work of Benoit Mandelbrot and Richard Dawkins, among others. By then he had developed his Form Synth process, a rule based drawing process in the form of flow diagram, that prefigured his move to programming.
In 1987, he developed in collaboration with Stephen Todd the Mutator 1 software, an interface that assists in the exploration of multi-dimensional gene spaces. With this software, he produced a series of 3D-rendered forms, inspired by natural organisms. The following year, he exhibited his creations at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol. The show toured the UK during the next four years. In 1992, Latham and Todd co-authored the book Evolutionary Art and Computers, which was based on their work at the IBM center in Winchester using genetic algorithm based techniques to create mutated forms as artistic compositions. Between 1994 and 2003, Lathan was CEO of computer games developer Computer Artworks Ltd, which produced several highly popular games for PC and PlayStation and Xbox consoles. In 2004, he founded Games Audit Ltd, a project management and audit operation for the games industry, and continued developing his career as researcher and lecturer. From 2005 to 2006, Latham was Professor of Creative Technology at Leeds Metropolitan University and a Research Fellow of Goldsmiths College (University of London). In 2007 he became full Professor of Computing at Goldsmiths.
He has continued developing the Mutator project, with a recent Mutator VR Art Experience on HTC Vive developed with Stephen Todd, Lance Putnam, and Peter Todd between 2016 and 2018. This work has been exhibited at Ars Electronica in Linz, Cyberfest in St. Petersburgh, and East Gallery in Norwich. In 2014 he co-founded SoftV Ltd which is developing serious games for tablet with UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the NHS for stroke patients. He is a co-Director of London Geometry Ltd.