This week my thoughts are pivoting around value and what if any, has using creative technology got in offering a new sense of, what that value or values might be. I have always engaged in immersive experiences that cannot be ‘switched off’, which are in essence 360 degrees, it is the phenomenological observations I can make while in these situations of, the place, the space, the sounds, materials and textures, that influence decision making later in the studio, I find this can amplify my awareness and expand and transform sensation into ideas, thoughts and artworks. My focus is informed by acts of paying attention, noticing, contemplating and playing. Having said that when you have a bunch of technological kit with you, these smooth, perfectly formed ideals can go out the window!
At times, it seems that technology is just putting something else in the way of where we want to be and although, I am drawn to discrepancies and inaccuracies in technologies, that are inspiring, and interesting, as anyone knows who works with digital making, this way of working with technologies, takes time, they rarely work perfectly and are annoying, they use and need powerful resources to work change, through them. So, I am conflicted, but I take this aspect of seeing, if and when structures, patterns or meanings can emerge as part of the way I do things, I just accept it.
To put a bit more detail on that, part of this process involves observing subtle topographical changes in say the visualization of a scan, an observation, or what (I refer to as) atmospheric fluctuations in meshes and shells, these leading to changes in printing and happy accidents. This noticing, is partly aimed at capturing the fleeting moments and what is not obviously visible through technology so, therefore, highlighting the almost imperceptible changes, flux and transformations that are ceaselessly occurring inside the natural and artefactual world. Is this any different from the way you would work with a drawing or a print or any other process led creative output? In my case this sculptural arresting or pausing, is designed to allow for in-depth scrutiny and reflection to occur. As part of this enquiry and process, I often use sequences and comparative series, that highlight the visible flux and changing behaviour of the materiality that constitutes the object, the landscape, the tree, the plant, the atmosphere etc. and how it is made, what I see is, data being a material, like any other, my conflicted self is suddenly back together.
I totally get that working with creative technology comes with a territory that exists at the interstices between human perceptual experience and its technological mediation. This is especially relevant as the development and implementation of technologies offers new possibilities to produce visualisations/scans from data (the physical world). In so doing, technological mediation tangibly augments relations between how images are produced, experienced, and interpreted. But again, I do get a sense that something is missing, something tangible that’s needs the felt materiality of substance. I don’t mean the ceramic print that looks like a miniature coil pot, or the PLA print that is material but still is lacking in human touch, or the use of Arduino to monitor, but the real sense of time spent or captured.
So, this value or lost value, how can it re-enter the spectral sphere of machine vision data capture? Over the years I have considered and adopted some objective design conventions as part of my own artistic and aesthetic methodologies. I tend to avoid direct personal narratives in my work now, however the impetus behind each piece can often be triggered by specific experiences or memories. The design methods and processes of experimentation seem to afford me, an objectivity that is helpful, structured and clear. I am interested in where and how art/design and science meet’s the poetic. However, I do think the intentions and resolutions are very different indeed. Scientists are trying to prove or discount their theory or hypothesis, designers work to client or brief and are generally rational thinkers (smiley face) Whereas, artists, generally do not want to be bounded by convention and the rational and sometimes this causes contradiction and needs working through in different ways. This has helped in coming to a (working though it) conclusion, that physical data capture needs to come with the impact it is making, with the felt narrative it is revealing, while somehow retaining the fluctuations between the process, the fragmented abstraction and the materiality that is really close to a value experience.