Interdisciplinary crosstalk in the creative process

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Set In Stone, from the new Bewilderness series.

Set In Stone, from the new Bewilderness series.

As I write my artist statement for my submission to the Arizona Biennial show at the Tucson Museum of Art later this year, I find myself again contemplating how frequently ideas that impact my work in all media have their conceptual genesis in an entirely different artform.

Everything we do as artists filters into our art. Our loves and losses, human triumphs and tragedies, our friendships, associations and experiences, but also our work on all fronts.

More and more I think of myself as a digital artist – a composer, writer, photographer, performance artist and filmmaker who uses digital technology in all I do.

I typically work multiple projects in several disciplines simultaneously, and let discoveries in each open new paths for the rest. This has become particularly plain in a new offshoot of one of my photographic series.

In 2014 I started a photographic series called Bewilderness. The original concept was a series of collaborative projects with models in which peculiar goings-on would be photographed to create curious panoramic images in various incongruous landscapes. Recently a new branch sprouted to the series involving standard-frame size images merging landscapes, textures and human forms into something akin to visual poetry.

Sedimentary, from the new Bewilderness series.

Sedimentary, from the new Bewilderness series.

This latest branch of composite image making takes all of its cues from processes first explored as a composer of electronic music. Filtering, blending and mixing constructs are the foundations of my musical pursuits. These in time became the genesis of experimental techniques explored in a film I have been working on for the past two years in collaboration with performance artist Laura Milkins. Titled “Poem From Memory,” it employs several simultaneous layers of time-lapse and slowed down video, as well as slow moving animation, to create the illusion of movement through impossible, surreal landscapes. That exploration of image layering in turn gave rise to a new branch of the Bewilderness series. And again, this is leading to refinements of the musical score for the film, based on discoveries made in both the film and still images.

I have always found that simultaneously working multiple projects leads to both inspirational and technical breakthroughs for all. Techniques developed in commercial projects I am involved in find their way into my artistic endeavors, and vice versa. Curiously the simultaneous work lessens the stress associated with each rather than compounding it. Being able to step away from a film project, for example, to compose just for the hell of it, or to step out into the desert to reimagine my world, allows me to return to the main project with fresh eyes and ears.


~ by Daniel Buckley on February 27, 2015.

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