BY Alan Warburton


SUPPORTED BY University of Melbourne, as part of the NGV Triennial – exploring the emerging intersections of art, design, science and society.

The Primitives series explores the use of virtual crowd simulation to create sublime and spectacular computer-generated scenes of conflict, disaster and death for film and television. Expensive crowds of extras no longer need to be hired, fed and paid – now an army of digital bodies can be created at the click of a button and manipulated with a tailored suite of settings, presets and parameters. This project uses the proto-human digital crowd to question those parameters, and in doing so attempts to understand how ideas of freedom and agency are defined through software. Warburton worked with dancer Anya Kravchenko at humainTrophumain in Montpellier to capture a series of movements using Microsoft Kinect. This motion data was fed into a program called Golaem Crowd to generate a series of videos that explore the possibilities and limits of the technology.

Accompanying the series is a video essay by Warburton, entitled Spectacle, Speculation, Spam, which explores digital and experimental animation, and its relationship to visual art, history, institutions, and critical theory.
View Spectacle, Speculation, Spam

Alan Warburton is an award-winning queer British artist working with software, hardware and computer-generated images. His works have been commissioned, screened, exhibited and broadcast internationally at Ars Electronica, Austrian Film Museum, Laboral, HeK Basel, Photographers Gallery, London Underground, Southbank Centre, Channel 4, IKON Birmingham, Cornerhouse Manchester, QUAD Derby, Mark Moore L.A, Denver Digerati and Adult Swim. He is a five-time recipient of Vimeo Staff Pick for one million online views. Born in Stirling, Scotland in 1980, Warburton studied Critical Fine Art Practice at Brighton University followed by Digital Effects at Escape Studios in 2007 before working in London’s animation and post-production industry until 2012. He is currently part of the CSNI research group at London South Bank University. His work can be found at