What you see is always less than what you get: Software interfaces, websites, even apparently neutral computer functions always hide and deliver invisible structures and codes which are either socially or culturally predefined or create a new framework for the perception of the world themselves. The work of Graham Harwood, cofounder of the London based artist group Mongrel, always blurs the border of the obvious and the subconscious, between the surface and the subtexts. Harwood questions common classifications, irritates limited views and usages of technology and ignores any boundaries between what is art-on-the-first-view and whatever it could be. "Mongrel is a mixed bunch of people, machines and intelligences working to celebrate the methods of London street culture. We make socially engaged culture, which sometimes means making art, sometimes software, sometimes setting up workshops, or helping other mongrels to set things up."
Harwood started out as an artist during the 1980s. He was involved with publishing initiatives such as the Working Press, underground newspaper, and books such as "Unnatural - techno theory for a contaminated culture." During this time, he produced the first computer-generated graphic novel If Comics Mental. After Harwood trained 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 (international video art festival in Liverpool). 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 develop Rehearsal of Memory with Artec and ex-trainees to produce the CD-ROM version of the installation. 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 to international acclaim.