Joshua Davis is a force of nature. He's a designer, technologist, author and new media artist and much more besides. He's the creator or praystation.com for which he won the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica. Davis worked on the visualisation of Watson, IBM's intelligent computer program. His work has been inducted into the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and he has spoken at the TED and 99U conferences about his career in algorithmic image making and open source. We had the privilege of seeing him at Reasons Festival recently and can attest, he is a genuine maverick talent.
Work by Joshua Davis:
Years ago, I made the wonderful decision of not checking sites or publications about the industry that I navigate. Doing so meant, to the best of my ability, I’d try ideate in a vacuum. I’d have hunches and I’d follow those hunches to arrive at failures and successes visually. By not having my industry under a microscope, it ultimately freed me from a lot of pitfalls like “that looks like this" or “somebody else already tried that” etc.. which in the end become obstacles to finding your own voice.
So this meant I had to look for new paths to inspiration, which for me has become music. I had to consume this music practice like mediation - calm, ambient lightning, a comfy chair, headphones, eyes closed etc... allowing the music to be the focus. In this meditation I would try to “hear” form, color and movement. Once “awake” I’d use my knowledge and tools to try to visualize what I just consumed sonically. With that said, my current muse is Ben Lukas Boysen. His work for me is so textural, so visual, so emotional. His newest album Spells currently has me under one. His work makes me feel like I’m floating in space, experiencing the entire universe in just a brief few minutes.
Music by Ben Lukas Boysen:
I know these guys work for quite a while and was always amazed by their creative and and precise approach to their projects. Their very clear and condensed style is something I admire a lot! A few years ago we got know each other better and we occasionally worked together on several projects. They designed the album artwork for both my albums Gravity and Spells with a careful and detailed eye for the the art and materials involved - which made the results incredibly special and we most recently worked together on an installation commissioned by the Barbican Centre in London.
On and off duty, these guys are a source of fun and inspiration and achieving amazing things all around!
Work by Feld:
I first met Stephanie in 2006, during the entry examination day for the University of the Arts Berlin were we applied for the visual communications course. Over the years at the UDK our ways receded, while Stephi was concentrating on illustration, I was focusing more on digital media and art related topics in other classes where i coincidentally met Frederic and Ben. I then later founded FELD together with them. We never really lost track of each other and Stephanie also became close friends with Frederic over the years, so when the studio moved to a larger space we invited her to join us.
Working together with Stephie always feels so natural and easy. I am intrigued by the way she combines her artistic talent with her vision and conceptual thinking. It always leads to something surprising and beautiful.
I am a huge admirer of her latest series of illustrations for the German Zeit Magazin and i hope we all see a lot more of her in the future.
* photo credit - Stefan Höderath
I've known Julia for years and like very much the development her photography has taken. She is fascinated with topics and objects for long stretches of time and and inspects them thoroughly from all angles. Her artistic work is founded in research and her obsessions. Julia inspires me because she has an unusual and poetically quiet outlook on life. She finds angles and details which are mysterious to me and she has a gentle way of dealing with her topics. I find her work very honest and it is true to herself, which I admire.
Work by Júlia Soler:
on Norman Leto
on Norman Leto
I stumbled across Norman Leto's work a few years ago when I discovered his film Sailor. I was immediately hypnotized by it.
I like the way he combines film with 3D animation and prose, the way he manages to blend it all into something very organic. There is a sublime way of mixing technical and scientific approach with more realistic scenes in a very raw form, and the way he delivers a beautiful coexistence between the macroworld and the microworld.
The film includes his piece Lifeshapes which is a computer program designed by himself where he enters a series of biographical data about a specific person and the program turns it into a simulated shape.
Since I have been lately more and more drawn into working with video formats, he is been a big influence and has motivated me to play with the boundaries between reality and fantasy and to explore the limitations of our human visual perception.
Norman is currently finishing his latest feature film Photon which I think will be released beginning of next year. Can't wait!
Norman Leto's work:
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