"Technology is not going to take a holiday. It's going to happen more and more faster and you'll be stuck inside the thing," Douglas Coupland, co-author of Age of Earthquakes, told Dazed earlier this year. It's definitely a harrowing thought, but this notion of being stuck doesn't sit well with this week's top 10. The artists below manage to be both immersed and independent of the worlds they create, using graphic design, video game software, 3D scans and 3D modelling to probe at IRL/URL binaries – tracing over points where the digital overlaps, interacts and fuses with the wire-free. Their tools, seemingly cold and stiff, actually reveal emotional and cultural dimension. Whether you call them digital artists, net-artists or computer freaks, these lot aren't taking tech at face value.
Kim Laughton doesn't like to make art that takes longer than 24 hours to complete. In fact, some of his favourite projects are the ones that took the shortest to make. But that's not to underestimate the thought and creativity that goes into his work. Based in Shanghai, Loughton uses applications such as 3DSMAX to create his 3D realities, formulating scenes and objects that sit between hyper-reality and the uncanny. "A 3D model is in itself a tiny – and hugely simple – world that can be examined in multiple ways, and has its own crude laws of physics, although they are biased towards human senses," Laughton told Dazed earlier this year. Check out his recent video work, "Siliconscious" – "a residual emotion based restore cream" that extracts the emotional build up in devices (caused by emoticons no less) and turns it into a topical cream for the emotionless. If only this actually existed.
This Austria-born Beijing-based artist is preoccupied with the collective co-signing of online aesthetics and the value hierarchies that result. Creating work under the moniker Aoto Oouchi, Oliver Haidutschek took to painting at 15-years-old under the guidance of his granddad, furthering his study at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna. However 2011 saw him swap brushes and pallets for Photoshop and Indesign midway through his studies, fuelled by a desire to generate fast art with mostly free, everyday material.
Meddling with visual trends such as marble, plants, pastel colours and tattoo motifs, the self proclaimed net-artist takes ironic position on popular imagery circulation and the fast adoption of styles across visual media.
A carefree diapered baby riding on the back of a cat. A bald female avatar with an elongated alien head. David Bowie's eyeball that's actually a fish. Such is the world of Claudia Maté, a CGI wonderland populated with the surreal, the impossible and the eerily familiar. "It’s impossible to get bored with digital art," says Maté, speaking on her fascination with screen-based work earlier this year, "there is always an interesting new tool to learn". Her knowledge of computers started pretty early too, once fashioning a working desktop from scratch with her dad. Now the London-based artist keeps to visual creation and curation, managing cloaque.org, an ongoing collaborative thread where artists improvise off one another. Keep on top of her equally fascinating 'work diary' on Instagram.
Ludy once said that she is most productive and creative when working next to a fish tank. Whilst they're no fishy elements in her work, the Cali-born artist incorporates a sense of fluidity in her projects, where interiors, decor and texture meld and intersect.
Ludy started playing with tech in 1994, creating music and video before learning Photoshop at high school. Coupled with an interest in video games and virtual reality, the new media practitioner works her magic on GIFs, digital manipulated photographs and animation. Check her 2015 video piece Dream House, "a travellers perfect destination for exploring authentic dreams embedded in time, space and structure".
Waver is all about closeness and the critical space within intimacy, where the body, feelings and relationships are explored through digital media. Whether she's selling her used sheets and pyjama's on Etsy or creating ASMR vids (soothing recordings that trigger a pleasurable sensation – watch Waver pop bubble wrap and open pill jars here), the recent graduate proves that tech isn't devoid of warmth and emotional dimension as often assumed. Check out her recent collaboration – Cybertwee – a movement initiated by Waver, Gabriella Hileman and Violet Forest that counter's cyberpunk aesthetics, favouring the co-existence of softness and tenderness with technology.
Holder cross-pollinates the seemingly disparate worlds of nature and biology with tech and computing. This meddling of 'opposites', often sited on screen savers, videos and prints, actually hints at the lack of opposition between slimy growths and perfect pixels. The Goldsmith's graduate and former Emerging Artist Award 2013 nominee most recently explored how accelerated digital developments are being used to derive data from DNA, fabricating a medical scene where an exchange takes place between ‘both 'organic' and 'inorganic' matter'. Peep this new piece, 'OPTIMIZE YOUR TRANSFORMATION', on sun-screen.uk – downloadable until 22 November.
Photo editor @ a porn site
Soon to be Fine Art Graduate (via Parsons, The New School)
A short list of the various pursuits this NYC-based artist is necessary to conceive her general awesomeness. The female body has proven, and continues to be, central to Schrager’s practice – exploring the spaces, perceptions and politics it navigates through. BodyAnxiety.com is one of her most recent projects, an online exhibition co-curated with Jennifer Chan, featuring 21 new media artists based in the U.S, all of which are names you need to get aquatinted with pronto.
"Could I be a barista if I tried harder to visualise the perfect mocha?" questions a siri-esque voiceover in Jones-Soler's video work "Step 1". The soothing 2014 work is a hyper-real wander through interior spaces peppered with coffee cups, a Dyson hand dryer and Crocs – a random assemblage of aspiration and cosmopolitanism. Based in London, the Camberwell graduate wields a critical yet light-hearted eye on consumption, occupation and class politics.
Murphy's work initially consisted of digital collages and the odd sculpture installation made with found materials like dirt...or eggs. However, working on these separate planes sparked a desire for a bridging of these two worlds. 3D modelling proved to be the most effective and flexible medium to achieve the artist's mystical labyrinths. Plexiglass, wood, video, Photoshop and video game software are her materials of choice, wielded to create her intricate 'ecosystems' (her 2013 work, "Liquid Loom", with Aztec-like patterns and luminescent streams looks like the most future-looking history scene). Scroll through her Tumblr (http://brennamurphy.tumblr.com)to see the real variety and historical breadth of her influences.
Based in London, this Ukrainian artist has slick graphic design down to a tee. Having collaborated with Christophe Jeudy and Nataliya Stuyk on the video visuals for 36, Redlight's 2014 release (watch it below), Batsea has worked on a number of graphics, videos and animations that are florescent, geometric and trippy. Check her Instagram for odd cultural quirks and picturesque randomness.