Sometimes he maps physical objects with light layers. Once, he even invited Twitter posts to control colouring of photon flux. He blends abstract and generated shapes up with tangible and sensual matter. He teaches creative coding, where playing with shape makes a significant part of curriculum. His works resonate with a concept called Radical Atoms, which is popularised by MIT, and which can also be observe in most works of panGenerator group whose member he has been for 11 years. He is a Media Art graduate from Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and… a Multimedia and AI graduate from Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology.
Thanks to the encounter of different personalities and their artistic exchange, panGenerator group transforms digital art categories in Poland. During brainstorms, they combine imagination with concrete thinking; volatility with functionality and a message that will stimulate (not only) your grey matter. They add new functions to electronic components that other designers commonly hide under the matter shell, and make them more aesthetic. This becomes visible in panGenerator works and defines their unique style. Without them, the scene of Polish digital art would seem quite grey, but thanks to them it opens up to creative coding, speculative design and visual experimenting. The world has long ago welcomed their works with open arms. Krzysztof Goliński tells us about his artistic practice and among other things, how he comprehends the creative exchange with a digital art observer.
In the English version we present selected and most interesting quotes from the interview.
Unlike what is happening on the new media scene, that is growing interest in VR or NFT, what I am or our panGenerator group is doing is physical and extremely tangible. Art that exists only on the computer or on the screen feels ‘incomplete’ to us. We want to ‘put something out’ of the virtual space. Oscillation between virtual and physical is what defines us.
I feel like physical objects are more interesting and more real. I only have one NFT… Some bot bought a part of what I uploaded. I think that the same as for me, for a standard consumer the physical artefact that You can hang on the wall is more valuable. It needs no electricity and you can admire it without turning on your computer. Though I have some works that need electricity but you can hang them on the wall and they don’t require some complicated electronic system to operate. Works we create on current operating systems with current programming languages could require emulators or some difficult and specific processes to be shown in 5 or 10 years, even if we can look at them on any computer now. And this is another problem that new media art has not resolved yet. There are various technical solutions that start appearing and might work in the future but only few people are concerned about that. I can invoke Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s article on Github on new art media conservation. This is not a simple topic and this text highlights several problematic aspects of the issue.
Speculative design makes up a large part of what we are doing. We imagine possible future scenarios but we never stop there. We try to externalize them. In MIT’s Tangible Media Group, we are searching for interfaces or users that interest us. The prospect of development that can take place. Here I mean Professor Hiroshi Ishii’s theory of Tangible Bits & Radical Atoms. In the past and nowadays, we have so called GUI, or Graphical User Interface. What they are making, or sometimes I think we make as well, is a Tangible User Interface – possibility of creating interfaces that blur the boundaries between physical and virtual. inFORM installation made by MIT is like this. It shows us the ways of future thinking, Human Computer Interaction – self-organized matter, nanorobots… This kind of things are still impossible to accomplish, but we can try to make projects, which will draw the vision closer.
I suppose we have already become a post-technological society. We keep a great distance from what is happening with technology. We have a critical approach to technology; we are trying not to become its unmindful consumers. Hash2Ash is an example of work that tells us how momentary are our digital memories saved in a cloud. We post a photo on some website and we think that it will stay there forever. It is important to stop for a minute and think about the computers somewhere in the United States or data centres in an undefined place, which can burn or sink as well. In 10 years companies that store data may no longer exist. We think a lot about what is going on in the world, and I think we try to do something with it – to highlight these negative trends or make people stop and reflect on it.
Creative coding is our means of expression and a tool that we use in our every activity. There is no panGenerator installation where programming is not involved. We are programming even at the stage of sketching the external form, because we use tools for parametric design that is some kind of programming as well. When it comes to teaching creative coding, we try to encourage our students to dismantle electronic toys and to solder them, changing their functions. Defining generation of 20-year-old people, as ‘digital natives’ as those who have noses in their phones when they are not sleeping seems wrong to me. They are just technology consumers; they cannot feel technology or do something with it. Most of the electronic equipment surrounding us is made so that you cannot repair them yourself. Therefore, we have more toys without knowing what they consist of. We are teaching electronics, programming, logical inference and decision making based on the values our sensors give, so we can create an animated object. This is what we think means to be a ‘digital native’. This is exactly what we teach our students.
Broaden your perception. Hear about how technologies are changing art, culture, society, politics and marketing. The first series of interviews presents artists of the new media. You will find on Spotify part of the interview unpublished on the website.