Artist Statement

Oct. 14, 2008

How? How does it work? If I cannot figure it out, it will surely drive me mad. Whether asked for, observed, implied or challenged, this task is before me. Perhaps this need originates from a childlike need to discover. If I change this, will it do what I want? Perhaps this is a challenge. Surely it can't be done! Watch me. They can do it, so can I. Perhaps it's an idea or a dream. It's not supposed to exist in reality, but I need to try.

As a child growing up with a group of close friends, we filled our days discovering and solving. Perhaps a treehouse? None of the trees are strong enough. Perhaps a fort on stilts? That just might work. We vowed to never grow up. Growing up is inevitable, giving up is not. I still need to create. I still need to think.

A friend has a computer. It can do anything you want, the only catch? You have to figure it out. Perfect. Nobody else is here to tell me how to use it. Even better. There are rules: colors, pixels, memory, storage space. I can deal with that. When it cannot do what I want, it's my fault: too many colors, too many pixels, not enough memory, not enough storage space. I'll figure it out.

The world changes. Everything is connected now. I can build something and share it with an audience across the globe. Something new to figure out. There are rules, but they're very clear: keep your message simple, keep your design clean, keep your code tight. I'm getting closer to a real understanding. It changes again. Something new to learn, something new to try. I revel in the challenge.

. . .

I believe in a process: research, experiment, test, implement. Research is entirely for me. I have a need to understand things before I can work with or for them. Experimenting is the most direct way to wrap my head around an idea. Research sets the direction for an experiment. Testing results from experiments that appear successful. If the test is repeatable with the same outcome, I am ready to begin implementing.

I am methodical. I enjoy reverse-engineering a solution. Starting with a design as a whole entity, I break it into discrete components, devise a hierarchy, identify the relationship between the component parts, and attempt to assemble them, eventually recreating it as a whole. Finding a way to engineer a design in an electronic format, online as a web site, as a digital environment, or as an application interface, is a thrilling challenge adding another dimension. The code that makes a website or application function should reflect the design: clean, obvious, approachable, and intuitive. Just as the minutia of a design define it, so does attention to detail in programming.

The excitement of discovery that I experienced as a child disassembling a portable radio flashes back with every new project and fresh design. I am eager to learn something new each time. Beginning with 8-bit paint software in 1991, I felt that the emotionless computer sitting before me was the perfect tool. It challenges me without resisting my ideas. I have evolved my approach alongside advancements in technology. I feel a bond with computers and electronic art. The process that the machine requires to produce coherent output resonates with me.

I exist to create meaningful experiences for my audience. I seek to convey ideas with clarity. I hope to stimulate thought with my designs. Above all I must continue to figure things out.