Ariel, alias Mark Evans, was an inventor, an Australian video art pioneer, an early Micro computer designer and engineer, a member of Bush Video in Sydney in the 1970's, a video and computer science teacher, and creator of one of Australia's early micro computers, the Shadow Micro Computer System (Z80 based), in 1982.
This is a memorial and historical site. It includes some of Ariel's technology, video, and computer-based projects and activities in and around 1970s and 1980s Australia.
His company, Metaform Software, operated in Sydney for over 30 years developing software applications and systems for Metaform and a wide range of clients. Over those years, he also provided gratis technical support, advice, and mentorship to many artists and technical developers for their own technology-related projects.
Most people are unaware of the Australian maverick experimental group of artists and (what these days we'd call) hackers who, in the 1970's, built computers, digital cameras, video and computer graphic software and systems, bio feedback video computer systems, and interactive art and performance systems.
The group, lacking any limits at the dawn of video, computing and software, refused to recognise any. They were blind to barriers and so fermented a kind of breakthrough "folk" technology that came from the deepest recesses of the creative spirit and went further than anyone thought possible at the time, combining art and technology in new forms, and in new forms of interaction between wo/man and machine.
Unfortunately, 1970's Australia had no Silicon Valley or similar system to support these explorations; notwithstanding the brief (3 yrs) but admirable and catalytic efforts of the progressive Whitlam Government's support for the arts, in its widest sense. This wider sense, very much ahead of its time, included significant financial support (through competitive grants) for creative and avant garde uses of new technologies and systems.
Much of this pioneering Australian art and technological work has faded from history; a loss to the knowledge base and inspiration of practitioners in the rapidly expanding digital video, animation, software and special effects, and creative industries and arts.
Perhaps, in time, this may be corrected.
Only a small part of this diverse landscape can be covered here, but other historians and researchers are also trying to capture, restore, protect and represent this key contribution to Australia's history of art and technology, a contribution that in some important instances at the time was equal to contemporary work overseas.