We talk to the leading digital artist about exhibiting in St Petersburg, the power of meditation and what the future holds
Chris Levine is a name that's fast becoming synonymous with cutting-edge, holographic digital artworks that take in their sway everything from a giant flickering hologram of Grace Jones to eerie portraits of The Queen. Little wonder then that he was one of a crop of leading British digital artists who were invited out to St Petersburg this month to take part in the biggest digital art exhibition Europe has ever seen – a show which also included masters of light UVA and a specially commissioned soundwork by Brian Eno. With The Yota Space exhibition drawing to a close this weekend, we took some time out with Levine to talk about the meditative piece he created for the show, and why paying close attention to those things the eye all-too-often misses might just help to elevate our consciousness.
Dazed Digital: In Yota Space you are presenting a specially commissioned work entitled ALL RIGHT NOW. Can you tell us exactly what it signifies and what inspired the project?
Chris Levine: ALL RIGHT NOW is a lightwork utilising the 'visual echo' or 'blipvert' technique that I've been fascinated with for a while. It projects imagery into the viewers peripheral vision and represents a new way of viewing imagery. I like it that the impact of the work brings people into present moment awareness. In meditation, if you try and hold onto the sense of lightness, you lose the state – with this work you cannot hold on to the image but have to let go to get it. The work is about the infinite dimension of the present moment, and in fact the present moment is all there is and ever was. Meditation is the way to really connect with that infinite dimension. If I have one purpose in my art, it's to share that experience with as many people as possible, and to lead more people towards the power and relief of meditation.
DD: Are you excited about exhibiting your work to Russia? Do you think Russia is undergoing a revolution in terms of contemporary art?
Chris Levine: It's a thrill for sure. It's inevitable that there must be a release of creative energy expressed in Russia soon, and I've been interested in the interactions between my work and the audience.
DD: What do you feel is important about creating an immersive experience for the viewer?
Chris Levine: In all my work, it's important to me that the viewer interacts on a sensory and perceptive level, and that they connect with and become part of the work. In that way, one does become immersed in the work, and if it's a lightwork then you become literally immersed in the energy field created by the work. I wouldn't let my imagination limit the idea of anything that could happen in terms of immersive work in the future. I think that if fully immersive virtual environments encouraged people to question the nature of reality and the reality of nature, then they can only be a good thing. In my work, I want to lead people into a sense of awe via momentary meditative states in which they have an expanded sense of connectedness with the world and each other. If art can expand awareness then it has the ability to raise consciousness.
DD: Do you think that digital art suffers from the deluge of the information age? How do you think it will evolve?
Chris Levine: I think that one has to dig deeper and search further for work that is truly original, and that the scale of the digital art proliferation is bound to generate a lot of background noise. There is no question that the digital domain allows for lots of cross fertilisation of creativity, expression and information across the globe, and that is unifying and resonant. The limits will expand as we as individuals evolve as beings, and as processing power increases...
Yota Space is open until December 19, more info HERE