Alternating + Current –
One characteristic of 240 volt electricity is its Alternating Current. This current flows through electrical appliances and communication systems. Energy and electronic glow emanates from these fiery images. These digital images are sandwiched between sheets of perspex with colourful backlighting to enhance the fiery glow, and mounted on blocks of charred wood.
Alchemy is a defined as “A medieval philosophy and early form of chemistry whose aims were the transmutation of base metals into gold, the discovery of a cure for all diseases, and the preparation of a potion that gives eternal youth. The imagined substance capable of turning other metals into gold was called the philosophers’ stone.” thefreedictionary.com
Fire is the elemental aspect of alchemy. Alchemy is about substance and matter being acted on by elements to produce the prima materia, or pure substance. Psychologically, fire is about purification. The signs and symbols of alchemy are transmuted with our contemporary signs in the cauldron of this fiery mix of meaning and language.
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The computer artist is an alchemist, a transformer of information. Computers are
“….. tools for changing, moving and transforming not for fixing, digital information. These processes are carried out by the computer under rules potentially controlled by the artist”1.
Working with the computer to make art is a different conceptual way of working to traditional art forms.
“Post modern algorithms for picture making are more evanescent than their Renaissance counterparts because computers process information conceptually instead of storing it physically. The computer is neither a passive medium nor a pliant tool but an active creative partner”2
I find that it is easier to explore possibilities for paintings using the capacities for creating multiple layers on the computer first. This building up of layers also allows the artist to create more complex layers of meaning in a work.
1. Roger F. Malina, ‘Digital Image- Digital Cinema: The Work of Art in the Age of Post Mechanical Reproduction’, Leonardo, Digital Image- Digital Cinema Supplemental Issue, pp. 33-38
2. Timothy Blinkley, ‘The Wizard of Ethereal Pictures and Virtual Places’, Leonardo, Computer Art in Context Supplemental Issue, pp. 13-20, 1989