Ideas so far

Idea development has moved on a fair bit in my head but I haven’t really recorded any of it and I thought I’d best get some of it down in case I forget it.

One idea is to build something out of voxels and then get it printed in 3d and then make a mould from the 3d print which can then be used to cast the form in other more workable materials such as glass, porcelain, bronze or paper. Within that there are more options. Initially I was considering the play off between organic and computer generated or digital image inspired forms. Maybe a series of sculptures starting with a very organic looking form and gradually being broken down to just a cube at the other end. I guess the equivalent of taking a photo and then lowering the resolution in paint, but in a 3d form. Then there’s vertices or polygon based breaking down of objects. In video games generally the same object is created more than once in varying degrees of complexity, so things in the distance are much simpler versions of when you see them up close with much blurrier textures. A mountain, for example, may be just a few polygons from far away but when you are walking on it it’s a much more detailed version. This is primarily so people’s computers don’t combust and so that you can play games at more than 1FPH (1 frame per hour).

To an extent it’s an idea inspired by the development of Piet Mondrian’s work as much as video games techniques. I really love the progression of his work from the early 1900s to the de stijl style he’s most famous for in the 1920s and onwards, which I have displayed at the bottom of this post.

So the breaking down would either be a recreation of the object built from increasingly larger and fewer cubes, or it would be a recreation of an object multiple times using increasingly larger and fewer polygons.

Other than that I thought maybe the contrast between natural and CG could be contained within the same object. So, for example, a tree that’s part hand built and then part lo fi (polygons or voxels)… Or maybe a sculpture that is lo fi but has soft organic surface textures or is being overgrown by something, or has been ruptured by nature. I found this work by Elisa Confortini very inspiring but also quite creepy:

Work by Elisa Confortini

Work by Elisa Confortini


As well as the lo fi sculptures I also considered going down a slightly more literal idea. Obviously video games have always been a big part of my life. As I’ve mentioned before I think it’s the most interesting area of the arts with the most new and unique ideas coming out of it, despite also being the most sneered at and overlooked area in the arts. It would be impossible to really translate anything other than the sound, narrative or the aesthetic into another media, being that video games strengths come from interacting. You can’t really have a credible opinion of a video game without ever actually having played it because it’s a completely interactive experience.

I am considering making stylized video game inspired sculptures, but ones that try and capture the essence of the atmosphere of particular games or styles of games rather than faithfully recreating scenes or characters. I always avoid being too literal because literal translations of everything are being done all the time, primarily by illustrators and fans of things in general. Someone who really likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer will have made a photorealistic sculpture of Buffy, and built various cars from the show, and made comics of the show. It’s not anything that really has any legs conceptually, or that lends itself to the artist coming through in the work which, for me, is very important.

So yeah. As usual a very rambley post but i thought it was worth getting these thoughts recorded and blogged. Below is the development of Mondrian’s tree paintings.

Expect sketches later today.


Piet Mondrian - Avond (Evening): The Red Tree (1910)

Piet Mondrian – Avond (Evening): The Red Tree (1910)

Piet Mondrian - The Grey Tree (1912)

Piet Mondrian – The Grey Tree (1912)

Piet Mondrian - Trees in Blossom

Piet Mondrian – Trees in Blossom (1912)

Piet Mondrian 'Composition Trees II', 1912

Piet Mondrian ‘Composition Trees II’, 1912

Piet Mondrian - Composition No. 6

Piet Mondrian – Composition No. 6, 1914

Piet Mondrian – Composition with Gray and Light Brown (1918)

Piet Mondrian - Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray and Blue, 1921

Piet Mondrian – Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray and Blue, 1921

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