Jildert Viet (1993) is an audiovisual artist from the Netherlands, currently based in Utrecht. Generative systems and abstract geometric structures are fundamental to his work. He uses code to both create limits for himself, as to gain maximum control over machines. His work manifests itself in video, live performances and installations.
How would you describe digital art?
“Digital art is art that uses digital media as a SUBJECT, not just as a MEDIUM because a lot of artworks would be digital if so.
Digital artworks are created with computers. That said, we can have a digital source and an analog output. This is the case with robotics for instance.”
25 prepared dc-motors, wire isolated 1.0mm, ZIMOUN, 2009
Why did you decide to explore digital art?
“At first, it was out of curiosity for computers. Technology is everywhere and when you use technology as a consumer, a lot of decisions are made for you that you don’t even realize. When you use technology in a creative process, you start a deconstruction process. You start from a blank canvas and you choose the rules. Coding is powerful, and even fascinating because you can put down ideas, define them in an algorithm and then let the code execute the work.”
What do you like the most in the exploration of new media?
“I love learning about the power of computers. I’m fascinated about high speed, high accuracy, and high level of details.
I also love to explore the relations between digital and music. During my studies, I learnt the mathematical relation to ‘harmony’ (in music), which in music is, I guess, a good sounding polyphony. Timbre in sound consists of these so called harmonics (which makes a piano playing a 440Hz ‘A’ sound different then a guitar playing a 440Hz ‘A’). I learnt that these harmonics are multiples of the base frequency, so in a 440Hz base-tone, there may also be a 880Hz or a 554 Hz (or many more).
These overtones help multiple voices sound harmonic, when playing in the same chord or key. The fact that harmonic sounding intervals are actually mathematical ratios was fascinating to me.“
What are your tools as a digital artist? What is your technique?
“As a digital artist I build my own visual software using OpenFrameworks and SuperCollider. I use an approach that I would call “Bottom-up” because I start with the sound design and when the sound is interesting, I structure it in time, I arrange patterns like rhythms, etc. Then I do the visual part. Another technique I use is PCB-design (printed circuit board), for creating accurate hardware in installations.”
What is your background? Did you follow a specific training?
“I grew up with music and I early developed a passion for jazz piano. After highschool, I decided to study music, so I moved to Utrecht to study at the conservatory. There I found out that I preferred a computer to a piano. So after one year I switched to Music Technology, where I was introduced to programming.
At day one I had to program some simple stuff, which seemed quite strange, because I just wanted to learn music composition. But at that day I saw the power of programming, and the relevance to music, since music is also based on logic and math. From that day, I started writing music with code.”
What are your sources of inspiration?
“Live music is what inspires me the most. I often go to festivals, or venues like Bimhuis in Amsterdam. Another great inspiration is the web, youtube, and whatever people are doing here! Nature is also quite fascinating and of course, other artists like Ryoji Ikeda, Tarik Barri, Radiohead and Daito Manabe.”
“PSE_0 is a result of an ongoing research into particle systems and is inspired by fluid simulation. It consists of 4 million particles, placed in two individual systems. Each particle has its own speed, mass, location and direction and each system has its own color characteristic and its own dynamics.
The system reacts to what seems to be an unseen force-entity, and what is in reality a vector field, which is a grid that tells the force at specific points. This drives completely unexpected results.“