Arts Issue - How technology informs and inspires 3 ATL artists

Art-techstic talk with Meredith Kooi, Nick Madden, P. Seth Thompson

Technology, whether it comes from a cursor on a computer screen or from someone’s trash can, inspires art in many ways. P. Seth Thompson found creative energy via a connection with an e-mail that came from 1969. Meredith Kooi uses radio transmissions and sound as ways to explore resonance and anxiety. On the flip side, Nick Madden utilizes recycled materials to make his textured sculptures, and he consults the Internet only for tutorials on techniques.

Here, all three artists talk to about how modern-day technology influences their artistic visions.

??---?<table width=100%”>? ??
===Meredith Kooi on using radio waves and creating sound-based performances “I was interested in making works that did not produce a discrete object that could be saved other than through their documentation. This might’ve been the beginning of my relationship with technology. “While in Chicago, I was exposed to the community of artists working in dirty new media. This has majorly influenced the ways in which I think about technology as a medium and site for artistic production. Since most of my work deals with encountering the anxiety of our existential situation, I’m very much interested in using material, media, and technology in ways that perhaps they should not be used. “There is something extremely immersive about sound — it enters your body in multiple ways and creates physical vibrations. You can’t necessarily close your ears like you can close your eyes. “My work with radio transmission and movement, which started with the performance piece ‘Radio Movements’ and was present in the installation and performance work, ‘in/discrete in/discreet transmissions’, that I did in the spring for SUMPTUARY at MINT Gallery in collaboration with Mason Brown, looks for moments of feedback in the event of broadcast and reception. These works were very much about the body’s relationship to these entities/radio technologies and what happens when they attempt to ‘communicate’ or ‘relate’ to each other. In terms of my own work that uses radio and other technologies, I have been working on a project that seeks to incorporate and explore other aspects of electromagnetic spectrum: infrared, visible light, and shortwave radio — a band of the radio spectrum that I don’t generally use.” ??---? ?? __P. Seth Thompson on wanting to use hoverboards in his future work and finding inspiration in his inbox “Technology, in the form of mass media, has always been a huge part of my life even before I became an artist. The topics that I explore have a scientific component to them, so it made sense to incorporate technology-based media to expound on these ideas. At the root of all my interests — physics, movies, the internet, alternate realities — is the belief that there is something more to this world than we see, and the seamlessness of the work is something that has naturally occurred because it was there all along. “My creative process includes a computer, Adobe Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro. Once I have an image, I import it to Photoshop and start using its tools until I get to a point where the image’s original context is lost. “While continuing to make new work, I became fascinated with the idea of equating Unix time with a VCR’s time stamp. This innovation of the domestication of film created a new, active experience for the viewers. The VCR and its ability to manipulate time is what drives the concept behind the work in Thompson’s recent solo exhibit This Message Has No Content. During this process, I received an e-mail from an unknown sender dated ‘12/31/1969,’ with the body of the e-mail saying, ‘This message has no content.’ At first I thought it just sounded cool, but then I began to wonder why this message exists and what it means. Within seconds of receiving the message, the e-mail instantly vanished as if it never existed. “Just this morning I woke up and saw that the hoverboard is finally here: anything is possible.” ???---?<table width=100%”>? ?? __Nick Madden on being analog and finding inspiration in other people’s trash “The biggest way technology informs my work is through researching various methods and tricks on the Internet. I’m a 20th-century holdover. Hands are sexy to me, and seeing the evidence of someone’s hands in a piece of art is alluring. The more I think of it, the more I realize that I’m really inspired aesthetically by the ‘Dirty South’; the rust and cracks and crumbling of the infrastructure of various neighborhoods around town. I take that inspiration and just bang things together until they work. “I’m becoming more interested in sculptures that create sounds and that the viewer can interact with, so moving into basic electronics is appealing to me. Stuff like battery-operated sound machines and simple light effects. That’s about where my interest in technology ends right now. You won’t find me buying a 3-D printer anytime soon. But the idea of the Internet, this relatively new technology, is not only connecting people and their ideas, but it’s also making what was old new again. All these old methods are thriving thanks to the Internet. New technologies are creating consumer-ready machines that can light up and fly and are making coding and soldering unnecessary. I’m excited that technology is making the grunt work of coding disappear so that you can just let your ideas come to life. However, as easy as it becomes in the future to create, I’ll still make a point to head outside and look through someone’s trash.” ???
__ ===