Immersive, Digital, Expressive, Art

Prof Doc Thesis

Holder, John Frans Patrick 2011. Immersive, Digital, Expressive, Art. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Architecture and the Visual Arts
AuthorsHolder, John Frans Patrick
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with alternate realities of one form or another: be it creating a graphical fantasy computer game in the mid 1980's; or as an engineer in rooms full of mainframe computers with their invisible layers of data being interrogated and processed, to more recently creating places that people would explore and spend time in Virtually', such as three dimensional
social environments and rich-media websites.

Despite a background in creative design and computing as engineer, designer, and media creative, my artistic mind always seems to be thinking in abstract ways about the reality that we inhabit and how that might be expressed, this remains a constant source of inspiration. Employment typically constrained me to a company's requirements, so it was quite rare for me to find enough time to focus
completely on developing my personal artistic practice.

Embarking on the professional doctorate has changed this over the course of the last 5 years, as I find it a platform from which to explore and evolve my own personal creative practice. I began exhibiting locally in the studio and at University, and through people that viewed my artwork I was invited to exhibit a piece in Athens. This formed part of a group show and my piece received positive
media coverage, which led to a place on a prestigious programme later that year in Athens called 'e- MobilArt'. Its aim was to encourage international collaborative art projects, and this would lead to a major exhibitions over the following years.

Two collaborations ensued, and as well as creating them in London I travelled to Finland and Austria in order to pursue their development. Through the University of Athens, I was invited to exhibit one of these pieces at a major exhibition, The 2nd Biennale of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, this elicited a further invitation to exhibit my other collaborative artwork in Poland at the impressive Rondo Stzuki Art Gallery. After this creative period and exhibitioning I critically reflected upon my pieces and decided I was not satisfied with the installations or their interactive elements, and considered how these elements
might be revisited, as their complexity had grown considerably during the collaborative process. At this
time a tutorial with my supervisor confirmed that I should look at simplifying future work, thus allowing the audience greater freedom in their interpretation of the piece.

After long periods in the studio I realised that my critical thinking had focussed on creative expression that was heavily influenced by several factors and their combination thereof; Interaction, Interface and Immersion. In this document I discuss how the interfaces that allow participants to interact can differ and how that affects the experience; how interaction may be physical or sensory, and what that might mean to the audience or participant, and how the immersion is integral to the participant's experience and may be sensorial and/or narrative based.
Since these revelations in how I think about my work, I have created work that utilised unfamiliar (at least to me) and forms of interaction, whilst stripping away complexity, and now I am putting greater emphasis on the experience through relational concepts. Ultimately the work is evolving
to become far more about my self-expression and far less about audience constriction of thought.

KeywordsAlternate realities; Contemporary Art; Self-expression
Publication dates
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Oct 2013
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