Micro Arts was founded, run and programmed in 1984 by Geoff Davis, along with an diverse group of young artists and programmers. In the mid-1980s it released computer generated art, conceptual pieces and story generators on data cassettes and Prestel TV teletext, and provided a forum for computer artists and musicians. Micro computers were newly available at low cost and led to a radical change in the use and consumption of computer graphics and computer controlled systems.

The Computer Arts Archive is working with Geoff to help document, contextualise and publicise his pioneering art project and to expand the collection to include other 1980s micro-computer artworks. We aim to have the first physical exhibition of the collection in mid-2021.

Geoff Davis writes:

"In the early 1980s computers and computer (or ‘video’) graphics of all types were making it into public awareness. The new micro computers such as the Sinclair Spectrum, Amiga, BBC Micro and many others were mostly used for games, although 3D journeys of exploration were arriving in cloaks of pixilated mystery. Pong, Space Invaders, Manic Miner and The Dark Crystal arrived around this period.

Micro Arts was one of the first producers of computer art and ‘creativity apps’ in 1984, presenting a wide range of generative computer art for the microcomputer, including evolving computer art, animations and generated text stories. These were distributed in compilations, to entertain and educate. The Micro Arts generated abstract art could be used to make ambient visuals, with menus to control colours, speed etc. Micro Arts also produced text story generators, animations and more."

Introduction - Cassettes - Magazine - Prestel