A few people asked how the Dorkbot talk went on Wednesday. I'd say well. For two hours everyone swallowed their politics (incredibly, since we were all still reeling after Kerry's concession) and had a nice talk about art. My bit ran about 30 minutes, and I enjoyed my first presentation using a laptop, projector and the Internet in lieu of the old slide projector. (Unfrozen Caveman Lecturer.) Seeing my portraits, animation, and abstraction blown up that big was exciting. I wasn't happy with my answers to a couple of questions toward the end, so I'll try again here. 1. Why the molecules? A: They're the most rudimentary, ordinarily seductive kind of thing to draw on the computer. Fill in a rectangle, fill in a circle, shade. Before I was making them on the computer I was painting them in the style of a computer. They are a dumb branded art thing like a Newman stripe or a Poons dot (or a Michael Rodriguez molecule--he also paints them), that, as Johns said about flags and targets, "frees me up to operate on other levels." Maybe it's arbitrary or obvious--I don't care, I like 'em. 2. Where are the grids of found animated gifs you sometimes post? Are they art or curation? A: Boiling my art activity down to a 25-minute speech was hard. The narrative I chose was, "how I make art objects with a crappy old program and how my production eventually began to expand to include animations of the same kind of imagery as I began blogging." I had to leave a lot out, including my burgeoning music career (!), and the weird overlap of blogging, curating, and artmaking that has been a fairly constant theme on this page.
Also of note was the guy who kept asking Claire Corey pointed questions about why she makes digital paintings for gallery consumption. Why abstract expressionism, this art of the 50s? What do you get from printing it out that you don't get onscreen? Are you selling a painting or a file? The latter two questions came after Corey had explained the pains she went to to make a unique, color adjusted print on canvas, stretching it like a conventional painting so that it had scale and sensuousness and optical complexity in real space. I'm guessing the questioner was coming from some sort of conceptualist, information wants to be free frame of reference in that he seemed genuinely startled, perhaps a bit put out, that Claire was showing and selling her work in galleries. From what I've observed over the years, she gets it coming and going: the gallery world wants there to be actual paint somewhere on that canvas to legitimize it. For some reason, a digital painting pushes lots more buttons than a digitally made and printed photo. Very fertile area to be working, IMHO.
Many thanks to Douglas Repetto for inviting us to speak and making things run so smoothly. He's an awesome moderator, and it's great to see the Dorkbot empire gradually spread around the world.
"explained the pains she went to to make a unique, color adjusted print on canvas, stretching it like a conventional painting so that it had scale and sensuousness"