Artist Statement A/D

From Andy Fedak
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A/D (Analog / Digital)

My interest in art and technology began during a time when I did not have the funds to create the art work I wanted to make. That struggle solidified my belief that money should not limit ones creative output and I resolved to master the digital form as a bridge over that financial lack. It would need to be a pragmatic method: I would utilize all that the non-digital world offers freely, the infinite variables in motion and texture within nature, and extend this with the fine control the digital world allows, manipulating reality when necessary and adding to it when needed. It was there, seeing how this fusion gives agency through the augmentation of the inaccessible “real” world, that I first found philosophical grounding for my art practice.

We do not see reality directly, but a representation formed from an amalgamation of sense data and our brain’s own expectation of what reality should be. This perception is an analog system: a term defined to describe data as continuously variable physical quantities. We can see the smallest detail to the widest expanse, there is no resolution limit to our perception for it is a continuous and infinitely resolving flow of information. Painting, music, dance, anything which can be sensed with our eyes or ears - all life - is therefore analog. We bask in the details of the analog domain everyday. A broad paint stroke, the slight room hum, an arching spine, all contain an unlimited amount of detail from the texture of the surface or sound, to the angular velocity of the performer. But how could I take advantage of this latent wealth in reality and to use it towards my own ends?

Outside of this domain lies another way of looking at the world, the digital domain. Separate from the time and space we move within, it does not utilize a continuous stream, but discrete digits to represent information. A slice of the analog domain - light, sound, or a body moving through space - is broken down into its digital equivalent which then can be manipulated non-linearly, out of time’s constraint. Here the artist is able to make malleable, reconstruct, and finally order the building blocks of reality any way they see fit. These composed “blocks” are projected onto a screen which extends into an infinity that matches the resolving power of the eye. There, rather than in the back of our eyes, these three dimensional events are processed back into two dimensions. For by making this transition back to the analog domain at the screen plane we are no longer confined by the structures which make up reality, and particularly for me, that of economics.

In practice this combination creates greater facility, allowing the artist to speak with a certain force.  In my own creative work I have directed this force towards other imposed hierarchical structures. For as I was able to escape the laws of reality by reordering its presentation to the mind, I hope to extend this augmentation towards other forms of hierarchy. From the research in contemporary neuroscience on mental illness, to the theoretical underpinnings of Charles Peirce’s pragmatism, on into the utopian moments of the Spanish Civil War, I situate my practice in the lineage of those looking to understand how we build the world around us within our own minds. And with this foundation as a guide, I utilize the most advanced technical means available to tear open reality, understand how it is currently being constructed from the inside out, and hopefully expand the world I inhabit bit by bit.