Ada Lovelace [after Chalon et al] Painting by Eric Drass

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Ada Lovelace [after Chalon et al]

Eric Drass

United Kingdom

Painting

Size: 20.1 W x 16.1 H x 1.2 D in

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About The Artwork

In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day I offer up a new painting of the world’s first computer programmer. Ada is a fascinating character, beyond the notoriety of her birth and her scientific contributions. Ada was the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the romantic poet, and Anne Isabella Milbanke, a highly intelligent member of the British aristocracy. The painting features Ada surrounded by the ghosts of the male dominated society in which she was raised. From left to right the paintings on the walls show Byron’s Grandfather, ‘Foulweather Jack’, an officer in the Navy, Byron’s Father ‘Mad Jack’ Byron, an army officer and Byron himself, on the wall facing Ada. Reclining in the background we find Ada’s mother, her face turned away from her daughter. Ada’s mother was known as ‘the princess of parallelograms’, due to her love of mathematics, a trait she passed on to her daughter. But by all accounts her mother was absent for much of Ada’s life – she was raised by her doting grandmother. What fascinates me is how Ada’s insight and keen analytical mind were clearly the combination of her mother’s mathematical skills and her father’s creative impulses, despite them both being effectively absent from her childhood. The ace of spades she holds in her hand references both Ada’s love of gambling, and the fact that she held the winning card in terms of realising the power of computational devices (despite the controversy over the extent of her contributions). The composition itself is comprised of references to five other paintings, and was initially composed inside Sketchup, a software based 3d modelling application, before being painted – the fact that a painting can be composed inside software is a direct result of Ada Lovelace’s groundbreaking mathematical works.

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Acrylic on 0

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:20.1 W x 16.1 H x 1.2 D in

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Eric Drass is an artist and curator who makes work in a range of media, from painting, to digital installation, to generative experiments which live on the net. Some of his favourite themes are identity, consciousness, the philosophical ramifications of artificial intelligence, big data and the relationship between humans and machines. Sometimes this work is political, frequently it is playful, often it is provocative or transgressive in some way. His works are frequently reported and cited online (BoingBoing, b3ta, Imperica, Computer Arts and Wikipedia etc.) Eric holds a degree in Philosophy and Psychology (Oxford) and an unfinished PhD in Cognitive Psycholinguistics (also Oxford). He is co-author on a number of patents dealing with PRISM-type surveillance technologies (long before PRISM became public), and a number of academic papers relating to neural network models of language acquisition and heritability. He also used to be a singer in an experimental hardcore band, an unsuccessful male model, and once took at dotcom 1.0 company from a bedroom project to 14 countries and back, spending $50m on the way. Twenty years ago he was a TV star in America, but he doesn’t like to talk about it.

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