'The CreatorsProject interview
Can you tell us about the process of creating your charcoal drawings? (e.g. using digital modelling to create prototypes…)
No problem, my latest body of work began as a simulation of a non-existent surveillance structure. The structure is loosely based on a variety of observation towers (Panopticon’s, fire lookout’s and tsunami observation towers) that were in a position of possible destruction. I began by visualising this devastated structure using a variety of 3D software’s, usually reserved for special effects for Films or other forms of Interactive entertainment. From here I have rendered the digital images from the screen using my hand, charcoal and paper.
While some artists might start with a pen and paper sketch and then translate this onto the screen, you tend to do things the other way round. Why do you choose this method?
I really like to idea of subversion, and in the case of my art practice I have enjoyed subverting the role of computer graphics to act as an initial sketch, or a place for conjuring, rather than a place reserved for refined final product. Translating these images into charcoal drawing allows me intimate contact and control over the final output and revel in the inadequacies of the human touch. In short it’s a kind of ‘Stone age approach in a meeting with technological innovation’.
How do you use 3D printing and other technologies?
I use the technologies primarily as tool for realising my ideas. I have been using these technologies for nearly twenty years now, so they are ingrained in my creative process.
You’re also a deep sea diver. Does this hobby have any influence on your art practice?
I do think that our experiences ultimately affect who we are and what we make, and as an artist mine have inadvertently affected me without a doubt. I do spend a ridiculous amount of time in the ocean, surfing, diving, and generally farting around. This obsession has taken me to Mexico, Indonesia, Hawaii, Fiji, Philippines, California and a huge amount of the Australian coast. This addiction is a muse, especially its abundant force above and feeling of gravity below.
What about special effects, do they come into play in your work?
The special effect technologies allow me to collapse, smash, break, and rupture at a fraction of the cost. Computer Graphics allows so many wonderful freedoms for me to play, not unlike building a sand castle and stomping it – which we all know is the best part. I am going back to Indonesia in a few months to build the observation tower ‘life size’ on the coastline where the tsunamis have made themselves known.
What interests you about scenes of destruction?
I find the duality in interpreting ‘destruction’ quietly amusing. What I mean by this is; on one hand it could be seen as metaphor for the ending of an old system, and in the other hand, an example of the exciting possibilities of new beginnings.
Is your view on technology ultimately optimistic or pessimistic?
I am leaning toward the pessimistic side, in relation to the long-term consequences of technology on culture, especially in terms of media control, politics and the rampant narcissism in social media. I am optimistic however, that with a controlled and measured investment, technology can continue to be a servant to us, so long as we heed the advice of the many great science fiction writers and avoid the machine rising above us.