A Lay­ered Process: Lyri­cal Im­pro­vi­sa­tion

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • The Big Bang of Electronic Art: Merging Abstraction and Representation in the Age of Digital Imaging

Presentation Title:

  • A Lay­ered Process: Lyri­cal Im­pro­vi­sa­tion

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Panel: The Big Bang of Electronic Art: Merging Abstraction and Representation in the Age of Digital Imaging

    As a young poet turned painter and print­maker, I learned to paint at a time when my teach­ers wor­ried that “paint­ing was dead.” Dig­i­tal media was not yet on my hori­zon, but I was sur­rounded by film-mak­ers who were also grap­pling with the for­mal prop­er­ties of their medium, in­clud­ing pic­to­r­ial, ab­stract and con­cep­tual form. While I never made films my­self, by the time I started to work on the com­puter, I was al­ready look­ing for some­thing. I didn’t know it was time, but there it was, cre­at­ing a space for trans­for­ma­tion and a struc­ture for lay­er­ing all kinds of con­tent. Work­ing in the mid 80’s in the emerg­ing world of cable and broad­cast graph­ics, I was in­tro­duced to new set of tools which lit­er­ally set my work in mo­tion. It was an “aha” mo­ment. I began to make what I called video/ com­puter tone poems. It felt right–, now I could paint, draw and work with pho­to­graphic im­ages as ma­te­r­ial, through many more lay­ers of process. I was still feel­ing like a painter but think­ing like a print­maker. Sud­denly, I could in­cor­po­rate im­ages from my own life or the media, and com­bine it with ab­stract, painterly ges­tures. Sound be­came an es­sen­tial part of my work, and I started a long col­lab­o­ra­tion with the com­poser Gerry Hem­ing­way. This in­ter­play be­tween sound and image, tex­ture and form, is a nat­ural im­pro­vi­sa­tion.

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