If words were what I feel most comfortable with expressing myself I would have become a writer. I am a visual artist however, or more precisely: an audio/visual artist. When writing an artist statement I feel like a fish out of the water. But here we go.
Animation spans many industries and creative practices. The field of computer graphics is wider still. Even the more limited area where the two meet, computer animation, includes applications in visual effects, gaming, scientific visualization, forensic animation, and, of course, computer animated shorts and feature films. I have experience in the animation and visual effects industry and operate where these industries and the digital arts meet.
The computer has become the main tool in video editing, animation and image manipulation. The boundaries between film, video and animation have eroded, these media are blending into a single art form. I am searching for odd and intriguing ways of combining computer generated images with real world input by means of editing, image processing, texture mapping and compositing. This real world input can be photography, video, 3D scanning, motion capture, or any other data set, even stock market data. I use scripting and some programming in my work. However, I am not a computer scientist who will come up with new algorithms. I am a digital artist exploring the use of computer graphics technology for creative expression, specifically as it applies to time based art. Working in a field where technology is rapidly evolving, I regularly explore new tools to incorporate into my practice. I have recently been branching out into Virtual Reality (VR), which is more than just a new tool but can be seen as its own medium.
Most of my work starts with an image in my head that I put to paper in a quick sketch or more elaborate drawing. Attempting to decipher its significance using a process of association and reflection, the idea for a work takes shape. Juxtaposing the images gathered during this process, I construct an inner logic to connect the pieces. Even though I create work using extremely logical tools, its nature is associative. Part of my process is tinkering with software and code. Using pseudo-random and noise functions over multiple iterations can generate surprisingly complex and sometimes unexpected imagery. Some of my best visuals originate from programming errors that I turned around and made into controllable image generating code. Such a "lucky accident" can become one of the starting points for a new work.
My original training as a traditional filmmaker has fortified my belief that dramatic tension is important for any time-based art, even if it appears to be absent. While I have been drifting away from cinematic storytelling, communication is an essential part of my work, even if the narrative present in my work is at times merely a vehicle to convey ideas or paint an atmosphere. From seemingly narrative (music) video my work has evolved to a collage style of inter-cutting and merging different elements (real and virtual) into an integrated whole. Sound Design plays an important role in my work. Speaking more directly to the mind than visual stimuli (less interference from language or other symbolic systems) sound is extremely powerful in setting the mood, and can divert the onlooker towards an alternate state of consciousness that strongly influences the interpretation of the accompanying visuals.
Ever since I created my first computer animated sequence as a freshman in film school I have been fascinated by the computer as tool for creative expression. My work will continue to evolve along several paths, including character and procedural animation, video and image manipulation, 3D printing and VR. Where these paths cross I hope to find new ways of expression, I will continue to explore different creative avenues with the aim to get to a place where this creative research comes together to form new and exciting work, which could be referred to as expanded animation.
Wobbe F. Koning