Thursday, May 15, 2008

Joshua Davis at OFFF - Lisbon

Davis likes Jackson Pollock, not so much for his paintings, more for his approach to gesture. Pollock regarded the process of its creation as art and not so much the final product. Like Pollack, Davis' art is based on gestures, but he relies on technology to create. He designs programs which follow randomly what he draws. He sets the rules and the program takes from there, surprising the artist each time.

According to Davis, computational design is divided in two clans: the purists and the hybrids. The purists are Ben Fry, Casey Reas, John Maeda, Golan Levin, etc. They only use code. The hybrid, like himself, Niko Stumpo, Geoff Lillemon and others blend the code with art works. The artwork is thrown into the swarm system and emerges as a series of art/design works which are all different from the other. The artists defines some parameters such as speed, rotation, indecision and the system maps the drawing according to these lines.

Despite his reliance on programs and codes, Davis still sees his work as being one of an artist: he creates the programs, sets the rules, chooses the colours to use, feeds the program with his own handmade drawings and ideas and at the end of the process he takes the role of the critics by selecting which of the pieces made by the program will be kept or deleted. Davis tips: Look for what you don't see in your immediate environment, you don't have to fly to the other end of the globe to find some source of inspiration, make work for love, not for awards or acceptance, complacency is your enemy, find your own voice, if you are using someone else's you run out of conversation pretty quickly. And work like hell.

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