visions of the future

Maxim Zhestkov - Volumes
Maxim Zhestkov - Supernova
Maxim Zhestkov - Layers

Sound & Technology bringing particles to life

visions of the future

digital artist Maxim Zhestkov which has enabled me to create new ideas surrounding my ideas of movement and partciles. His artwork, Volumes, Layers and Supernova provoke a vivid colourful response of interlocking systems and flows. Being able to see this digital artwork in these landscapes has led me to pursue inspiration from his ideas, his work pushes the boundaries of the traditional white cube gallery environment. As an experimental digital artist myself this concept is important to me as I question how art will be viewed and experienced with the increasing influence of digital media. With my current experimentation in interactive installation pieces and recent

Liquid Cymatics - Valentino
Computations - Valentino
Smoke Particles - Valentino
Audio Visuaalisation - Valentino
Polystrene Cymatics - Valentino
Polystrene & Low Frequencies Test - Valentino

physical particle work through polystyrene balls, Zhestkov's media work has helped lay the foundations for me to develop my experimental digital work, given the similarities between our concepts and environments for future digital art. With sound, the use of new technology and inspiration from Zhestkov I have began envisioning these ideas into Unreal Engine 4, creating envrionments that will enable viewers to control where they want to look and move. With the recent events of Covid 19 and the subsequent closure of exhibitions and galleries there has been increasing experimentation with online interactive galleries. However, these mostly contain images, which I find ultimately boring. Without the sense and experience offered by: sounds music and movement there is a limit to a users experience, little excitement when seeing things dwindled reduced and condensed down to a single image. I’ve been finding new ways to escape this as we live in an era where there is a growing need for visual stimulation and satisfaction. Our generation is now glued to our smartphones. We scroll through new content day after day on a multitude of seemingly different yet similar apps all refreshed/redesigned to compensate for our rising needs. This leads me back to Paik who was at the forefront of video art developing the growing digital world into a vast seamless display of colour and movement interconnected by the vision of a future in which data can be streamed directly from one location to another without delay. According to Jackson Pollock, “Each age finds its own technique” to produce relevant and meaningful art. Pollock lived and worked in the “mechanical age, the time of the airplane, the atom bomb, and the radio.  Like other abstract artists of his time, he experimented with a new approach, 

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Formations, particles, and pixels throughout my project have had considerable impact on my journey and decisions. My ideas are constantly developing with the discovery of new artists and methods that progressively enable me to create more complex meaningful artwork. After discovering and responding to Nam June Paik, I have been continually researching new areas of digital media that will enable me to create my desired effects, kinetic movement, generative formations and colourful particles/structures, that bear some resemblence to his TV installations. My research has led me to

one which conveyed the intensity, energy and motion associated with that world. Today and how that could make their own connection with the work and enjoy their own experience of it based purely on their visual response. 

Op Art; video Art; Pop Art all draw on modern themes, draw on both old and new techniques and may employ new technology. This art is a “living thing” a vehicle for abstract thought and feelings. It can be published effortlessly to the masses across multiple social media platforms and be enjoyed by many from the comfort of their home

This time shifting to a new digital era. Today, action and reaction is almost simultaneous, and everything is connected. Consumerism in the 21st century has also made humanity the single biggest force and threat to our world driving new issues and agendas. 

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Experimental CRT TV Research - Valentino
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Picture Element - Valentino
Electronic Superhighway - Paik
Glitch Test - Valentino

Unsurprisingly it was Paik’s tv installations that prompted my sudden interest in exploring this concept. Although it may seem like sound is not strictly essential to his tv installations the images and videos played in each tv are created by sound. More precisely audio generators these create audio signals that are sent to



an amplifier producing the patterns we see, adjusting for red green and blue levels. 

The installation Electronic superhighways seen here is my main source of inspiration for my current experimentation in unreal engine 4. The combination of bright colours and kinetic movement spanning across 100s of TVs is an unforgettable enjoyable experience. I wanted to capture a similar effect this time embedding the visualisation of sound whilst maintaining vibrant exciting colours and movement. At the turn of the new millennium, the world changed again, 

TV Installations - Electronic Superhighways

Utilising old unused TVs and linking them together with the movement of information into a digital world, resulting in a wide variety of digital yet physical compositions; conveying a flow of information and colour across all platforms.
Nam Jun Paik a major inspiration of mine and a forerunner of digital art who has created huge ordered compositions which involve old CRT TVs displaying either a large image spanned across multiple TV’s or the same colourful abstract image repeated onto multiple displays at once. The use of a cathode ray tube T.V is significant the technology is older and less efficient however it renders colours very well and is able to scale various resolutions easily. Their size and shape meant that considerable consideration had to be made when mounting them into place. The outcome results into a giant collage of ordered constructed TVs. This repetitiveness is then continued into the images themselves which are cleverly ordered to repeat an image or to continue an expanding pattern, which results in a giant deconstructed array of pixels and images creating a form usually of an abstract head or face. His work is very well planned and executed creating a physical pattern with the use of the CRT TVs, their size means there is large visible black gaps all around each TV, which is what disjoints the digital pattern from afar. The interlaying repetition within the TVs is created by an older technology which Nam Jun Paik mastered in order to display what he created elsewhere. A television set is used to display multiple moving images within a second – frames per second – fed to it by a broadcast. This is not what is happening here, Paik used audio generators to create audio signals which is fed into an amplifier to the cathode ray which codes and produces the patterns we see, adjusting red, green and blue levels which is then projected onto white phosphor. This is significant as it allowed Paik to display multiple images which would span seamlessly from TV to TV creating the repetitive, colourful, patterns we often see in his large-scale compositions. Paik is a developer; creating new technology to best suit his artwork, and it is evident the patterns and compositions he created. His experimentation and creations into the digital path have laid the groundwork for digital artists to this day, and his use of repetitiveness and overlaying patterns are unlike any other artist of his time and to this day.

Ripples In Screen Pixels - Valentino
Generatative Art Development - Valentino
Grid Lines Moving Structure - Valentino
Miniture Light Installations - Valentino

Light flows data//transfers

Light flows data//transfers

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Light Flows Data Transformations - Valentino

His use of this in his creations have certainly stood the test of time solidifying him as a pioneer from his methods and creations, setting him apart from anything people have seen. 

Of course, Art and technology don’t always go hand-in-hand. Historically, the art world has been decidedly reluctant to adopt technological advances as a means of creating and disseminating art. The invention of the camera in the 1800s, for example, was spurned by artists of the day. More recently, the advent of artificial intelligence machines that mimic master works of art and folk music [RM1] has some wondering whether ‘artist’ is the next class of workers to be displaced by automation. I believe, however, that creating pictoral elements using digitally created images is the perfect medium to communicate new messages and ideas that delight and excite viewers. I believe that when we are touched by a work we are moved by it both logically, emotionally and physically. In that way, it follows that Art has the power to change the world. Looking back through the ages, of course, we see that art through the depiction of religious themes and nature, has been able to unite people across different cultures and beliefs through the connected symbolism of images. What has changed in recent times is where artists now draw their inspiration from.

Seeing sound as a tool manipulate imagery led me to create this dynamic digital structure. Unlike Paik, the images and patterns are spread about in a defined area limited to each tv; here the structure emerges from a single point spreading outwards in a series of motions depending on the music and sound that is fed to it. This is similar to the audio generators in his tv installations. This experience is unrestrained unlike Electronic Superhighways which is confined to a wall. Unreal engine 4 enables me to create a real time map in which viewers are able to immerse themselves by walking in and around the geometric structures, taking video art into another stage of evolution. The growing popularity of virtual realities continue to make these ideas a reality. Nowadays almost anyone from the comfort of their home can enter a digital gallery or computer-generated world as a result of recent extended periods of isolation due to the global pandemic

One artist that stands out to me as being at the vanguard of this revolution is Nam June Paik who has been a key influence on my work.  Paik spent most of his life bridging the gap between art and technology. Paik, both an artist and inventor, predicted the internet [1974] in his “superhighway” installation; he saw the possibility of global media and mass media; envisioned the smart phones of the future and brought us “video as art” [1963] with his dozens of TV robots and TV walls and latest gadgets. Andy Warhol called him the “God of video”. Paik’s “TV garden” is another first, which drew attention to ecology. This took his ideas further; by connecting technology and nature.

 Light Installation Projections - Valentino
Screen Transformations - Valentino 

But what about artists of today? One such artist believes that Art can change the world by turning the spot light on world issues and galvanising people into action. Ólafur Eliasson has spoken of art as something that enables people to come together to share an experience even if they come from different cultures with different experiences. Art is unique in the arts as it is deliberately provocative and as such can be the source of inspiration.  In today’s world where social media is reinforcing individuals’ own belief systems by providing compatible content selected by search engines, society is more polarised than ever.  Art can potentially transcend the polarising populism. Artists therefore can break the rules and challenge the status quo by providing a new view to illuminate a subject.  But despite the ideal of making art accessible to all, the data sadly still show that there is a significant gap between higher and lower socio economic groups with access to the art in the lower socio economic group being statistically poor. The challenge remains therefore to bring art to the masses so that there is a more equal pattern of participation.

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Screen Pixel Arrays - Valentino




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 Light Installation Digital Video - Valentino

After discovering these interesting cracks and lines which relate to my previous work, I gathered together old broken phones which I luckily have displayed in my room. Disassembling them and using my macro lens and LED light I took this series of photographs to show the cracking of the screen and inner workings of the technology we work with today I assembled them in interesting ways to highlight each aspect all whilst creating new artwork from humdrum items which would’ve been thrown away.

Whilst our brains may still function in the old space and time- patterns of the “pre- digital” era, artists continue to try to evolve new ways and means of being relevant and making their statements as they have always done. How can I digitalise an artist already known for being the father of video art? Well within my work I have often found myself returning back to artist Nam June Paik taking new ideas away each time in order to create something new within our digital era. I have been obsessed with creating art through sound, whilst asking myself how I can connect the viewer to both a physical moving image and the sound that is controlling the movement.

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 Light Installation Audio Reactive Effect - Valentino
Light Flows Data Transformations - Valentino
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 Light Installation Audio Reactive Particle - Valentino