Art & Design

Introducing 5 Artists Who Are Reshaping Reality With GIFs, Garbage, & Grilled Cheese

Art & Design

Introducing 5 Artists Who Are Reshaping Reality With GIFs, Garbage, & Grilled Cheese

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TRAVESS SMALLEY
Painter, Age: 26
Hometown: Hurricane, West Virginia
Currently resides: New York, New York

Describe the influence of the film Videodrome on contemporary art.
David Cronenberg is an auteur. I think Videodrome and eXistenZ are required viewing for anyone thinking about psychedelia and the virtual world. They explore mental pathways and the unlimited alternate realities that television and the Internet can create.

You’ve said that you hope your pieces can alter people’s perceptions of reality. Have you ever temporarily altered yours before sitting down to make a piece?
I’ve experienced my share of altered states, but when I’m making things, I don’t like to be on any substance because it dulls my senses, intuition, and ability to think about what I’m making. I had a crazy midnight mushroom trip a while back that took me months to fully come back from. Since then I’ve had very few impulses to experiment with drugs.

What’s the biggest misconception about artists who work within the digital realm?
I can only speak for myself, but I resist the label “digital artist.” “Net artist” isincreasingly vague. “New media” bugs me, too, though I’ve noticed that the term is slowly ebbing and becoming historically dated to the late ’90s. I consider myself, and many of my friends working in similar arenas, to be a part of the wider expanse of art history. We are progressing forward and using what tools we have at hand. These days it’s computers, computer software, the Internet, and scanners. The only reason those tools attract attention the way they do right now is because they’re so new to human and art history.

Art_Portfolio_Travess-Smalley