Meet the artist whose nostalgic computer graphics go beyond the clean, corporate look of the internet to explore the poetic and meditative potential of the digital realm
There is a certain tinge of nostalgia to Nicolas Sassoon’s digital animations. As both stylised mementos of the blocky computer graphics we grew up with and a reminder of the futuristic potential that these once held for their users, his work re-imagines the possibilities that the internet and digital tools can still provide for alternative realms of existence.
Using bitmap, moving patterns and a limited, brash colour palette Sassoon resists the pervasive rationalisation of net-based practices. He does so with a clear understanding of digital spaces as sites of poetic and meditative potential. For him, there is more to the internet than corporate aesthetics and branding strategies. Visualising these ideas means generating visions of architectures, landscapes and objects as often-hypnotising GIFs and dark realms of fantasised environments into which the viewer is submerged. In contrast to an age of clean lines and succinct aesthetics, scenes such as 'FIRSTSTUDIOVISIT' spread expansively across the screen, creating the sensation of full immersion.
His work re-imagines the possibilities that the internet and digital tools can still provide for alternative realms of existence.
Materialising his web-based works in sculptures, textiles and a site-specific installation, Sassoon is currently presenting a diverse collection of his work with his Vancouver-based collective WALLPAPERS (including Sara Ludy and Sylvain Sailly) at the Vancouver Art Gallery until September 7th. Here, the ways that perspective can shift between physical and virtual experiences of nature are considered – a theme that is taken further in his Nature Falls exhibition at Plugin ICA, in which the major influence of water on Sassoon's work is realised. These works give a glimpse of the auspicious prospectives that digital tools have for re-imagining the transformations of the physical realm.
POSTmatter: What is your background, training and approach?
Nicolas Sassoon: I have an MFA in Fine Arts & Communication in Ecole Européenne de L’Image in Angoulême, France. I am self-taught in computer motion graphics, and am now based in Vancouver, BC Canada. I employ computer-based processes to generate visions of architecture, landscape and objects.
PM: What are the main themes that you deal with in your work?
NS: The contemplative and projective dimensions of the digital. How can digital space and thinking manifest in the physical realm? Water is also a central element in everything I make.
PM: How do you make use of physical and digital media and materials in your work?
NS: I work with digital animation, printing, 3D printing, sculpture, video projection and installation.
PM: How do you see the place of digital art in the evolving digital landscape?
NS: Digital technology is already becoming increasingly present in our lives. In the future, everything will turn digital, so I'm not sure what will be considered digital art or not in the near future.
PM: What future projects do you have lined up?
NS: Wallpapers with Sara Ludy and Sylvain Sailly at the Vancouver Art Gallery runs until September 2015, curated by Caitlin Jones and Diana Freundl. NATURE FALLS at PlugIn ICA, curated by Jenifer Papararo, will run until the autumn as well, with contributions by Alex Snukal, Alex Quicho, Jinhan Ko, Tiziana La Melia & Andrew Berardini. I'm also working on two large-scale projection-based installations in partnership with New Forms Media Society and Burrard Arts Foundation, which will take place at the Vancouver Art Gallery in August and September.
For more information on Nicolas Sassoon's work, click here.