Tech Obsessed

New technology or art that is significantly dependent upon technology for realization is always in danger of losing its purpose.  Like any movie that sacrifices story to cgi, a piece of art that relies solely upon the newness or its technology is short-lived.

I find that, although there are very, very few lenticular artists, perhaps in part due to the prohibitive cost of printing, the majority of the work is tantamount to a Windows Screensaver.  It seems to rely upon the surprise of seeing movement in a photograph, a fish swims, a tree moves, a figure rotates in 3d, and the viewer is captivated for a few short seconds.  It seems to me that the image needs to stand on its own.  I seek to produce an image that would be compelling whether it moved or not, and then use movement to enhance the narrative.

I have started to drop the word lenticular from my discussions when a viewer first sees my work.  I speak about it instead, as interactive art, which is the primary characteristic that sets apart in a traditional gallery setting.  The minute that I start by describing my work as lenticular art, the discussion turns to the definition of lenticular and the process of interlacing images, refraction angles, parallax shifts, fabrication techiques, etc..  People want to know how it is done instead of what it means and how it makes them feel.

I know it is the technology that is responsible in part for the innovative nature of the medium.  Despite the fact that it is decades old, lenticular was traditionally a photographic medium, rather than a platform for digital art.  It has also been a medium for corporate trinkets rather than fine art.  That has changed as the printing process has evolved to support direct to lens printing at sufficient levels of resolution to ensure that the nexus of print quality and archival work could support art that was worthy of collecting.  It is a perfect digital medium that can be hung on a wall without having to be plugged in.

Not that those topics aren’t equally fascinating for some, I personally love the fact that I can use refraction to enhance the glow and transition between layers and I am happy to discuss the unique characteristics of the medium.  It is just that I would love most people to connect with my art on an emotional level.  Intrigue, curiosity, inspiration, shock, whatever the feeling, it is the feeling that I’d like my art to inspire first and foremost.  Eventually the technology is no longer new, but the feeling, well, if Star Wars were dependent solely upon technology, we would not have armies of Storm Troopers at every cosplay event decades after its inception.

I hope that my work stands alone as figurative abstraction.  That people question the meaning of the work: Love? Beauty? Anxiety? Religion? A Soul? Death?  It is only important that people find meaning.  The innovation in the context of a piece of art captures their attention, the art captures their imagination.

 

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