Harwood started out as an artist during the 1980s. He was involved with publishing initiatives such as the Working Press (books by and about working class culture); Underground newspaper (a London-based free newspaper aimed at promoting and exploiting the uses of new media in culture and society); and books such as Unnatural - techno theory for a contaminated culture (theoretical positionings on new media). During this time, he produced the first computer-generated graphic novel, If Comics Mental, and was widely published in graphic journals in the USA, Canada, Italy and France.
After Harwood had training in new media and learned programming at the end of the 1980s, he was invited to make a piece of work for Video Positive '95 (an international video art festival in Liverpool). He worked at Ashworth maximum security hospital in Liverpool where he produced the installation Rehearsal of Memory. As an educator, he worked on various new media courses at Guildhall University, and advised on numerous other academic new media initiatives. Disappointed with the state of academic education, Harwood was invited to work at Artec (London Arts Technology Centre) where he provided innovative training for the long-term unemployed. It was here that he received his Arts Council funding to produce, re-author and publish, with Artec and ex-trainees, the CD-ROM version of the Rehearsal of Memory installation. Since then, Harwood has exhibited and spoken at numerous events, nationally and internationally, in England, France, Austria, Australia, Germany, Canada, Portugal, Finland, Holland and Norway.
In 1997, Harwood left Artec to form Mongrel, with Matsuko Yokokoji and Richard Pierre-Davis. Mongrel has created collaborative, socially engaged cultural products, including National Heritage and the Natural Selection search engine, which received international acclaim. In 1999, Harwood/Mongrel received two national awards, The Clarks Digital Bursary and the Imaginaria Award from which emerged the software Linker, exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art and Watershed Bristol. In April 2001, Harwood took up the first of two artist residences in the Netherlands -- in Amsterdam Zuidoost, Artotec were he built TextFm -- and then moved to a new residence at the Waag Society in September 2001. Here he spent the next 18 months building Nine(9) (launched 03-03-03) at ImagineIC Bijlmer. He and Matsuko have since returned to the UK.
Lectures Interactive Media Practical Methods at the Center for Cultural Studies at the Goldsmiths, University of London.
Member of YOHA.
- Authored books
- Graham Harwood, Aluminium. Beauty, Incorruptibility, Lightness and Abundance, The Metal of the Future, 2008.
- YoHa (Graham Harwood and Matsuko Yokokoji), Coal Fired Computers (300,000,000 Computers – 318,000 Black Lungs), 2010.
- Harwood, Wright, Yokokoji, The Social Telephony Files, Southend-on-Sea: YoHa Limited, 2010.
- "Graham Harwood interviewed by Gordon Muir", Variant 6, 1989, p 34.
- Matthew Fuller, "Interview: Graham Harwood", 2000.
- Dave Mandl, "Harwood interview: TextFM", May 2002.
- Armin Medosch, "From Copy Art to Media Shed and Free Media. Interview with Harwood / Mongrel", June 2006.
- Anthony Iles, "In the Mud and Blood of Networks: An Interview with Graham Harwood", Mute, October 2010.