Planet Drawing, Dimitri Thouzery
Dimitri is a new media artist and designer of immersive and interactive installations based in Toulouse. He develops his creations thanks to different types of sensors and Touchdesigner software, which allows him to interconnect different interfaces and generate his works. He has already exhibited all over the world: from Canada (SATFest21) to Mexico (Visual for Light Of Hope mapping) to the Netherlands (Dutch Design Week) and many other countries.
How would you describe digital art?
“This question is extremely broad. Digital art is so diverse that it encompasses an infinite number of sectors. So I think it would be better to stick to a very broad definition of digital art, which is simply art whose primary medium is digital.
Visual 267 – Acheron, Dimitri Thouzery
From a more personal point of view, I also consider that one of the particularities of digital art is the way it allows us to reappropriate this technology too often used for commercial or productivist purposes and to make something beautiful out of it. Since I come from a scientific and computer background, and did not go to art school at all, digital art has also been a way to join the two sectors that are art and new technologies, until I finally invested myself fully in art.”
Why did you decide to do digital art? What do you like about the exploration of new media?
“Initially, I was much more attached to contemporary art than to digital art. I was working in the public space and was trying to rethink the transposition of art in the public space (graffiti, urban practices…) towards the gallery model. But I found that this transposition made the works lose meaning. It was at this point that I became interested in digital art and installations, as I considered them more capable of giving meaning to this transposition. For example, the first work I worked on with computers was to recreate various indoor weather conditions.
At first, digital art was simply a technical medium for the contemporary artist that I was. But in the end, I became passionate about this very mathematical art. I have always been in this search for creation in different forms, but digital art particularly appealed to me because it concentrated science, technology and creativity. Everything I liked.
What I really like about new media art is also the extreme freedom it allows in creation. The new technologies indeed allow to explore an unlimited creative spectrum, even more if we consider the point at which the medium evolves quickly and always offers new possibilities. It’s an art that takes us out of the logic of efficiency, of objective and of very strict specifications, and into that of experimentation. I like to explore new ways of interacting by using various sensors and databases to create new user experiences. I see this new art form as a way to connect to something universal and to question reality.“
Visual 186 – World is moving fast, Dimitri Thouzery
Is the speed of evolution of new technologies as a medium of creation something that stimulates you or scares you?
“Digital media are constantly evolving and offering new possibilities. This is something that I find particularly exhilarating and dizzying at the same time. On the one hand, this permanent evolution is indeed extremely stimulating insofar as each new support, each new technique of creation implies the learning and the development of new skills. But there is also a particularly intimidating and time-consuming dimension in the permanent research of the apprehension of his tools as an artist.
On the other hand, the relationship to technology as an artist is sometimes frightening because a real dependence is created between the artist and his mediums. For example, the production of semiconductors has been largely cut back because of the health crisis. This has blocked the manufacture of various tools, and in particular graphic cards which are very used in digital art. This raises the question of the instability of a medium and the future of the artists who use it in case it disappears. I find it quite worrying, although I remain convinced that there will always be new solutions or new mediums through which art can blossom.“
What are your tools as a digital artist? What is your technique?
“I usually have a vague image, or an idea around a concept or interactivity, so I first define the technical basis for my work. Then, as far as the aesthetic aspect is concerned, I often start with a vague idea and it’s really the experimentation that will bring me to a certain point, and then I will work on the details. For example, I can come up with an interesting result but I don’t like the light, so I will modify it until I get a result that suits me. I also sometimes do photogrammetry (3D scan), but 90% of my workflow is done on computer.”
Visual 201 – Multiple spaces timeline, Dimitri Thouzery
What is your background? Did you follow a specific training?
“I started by studying in a science faculty in mathematics. Then, I chose to do a BTS in computer science, and then I finally reoriented myself towards graphic design, web development and pictorial art. Finally, for about five years, I have been fully involved in the creation using new technologies.
I trained myself as a self-taught artist in the different mediums of digital arts. There is no classical course in France to my knowledge that trains me in the different softwares I use for the moment. Today I am a full time artist. A part of my work is done as a freelancer and another part is part of collective projects. I will work for example for musical projects, concerts, exhibitions, branding or video clips for example, and this often in collaboration with other new media artists, visual artists…“
What are your sources of inspiration?
“My sources of inspiration are quite varied. I like to be inspired by other new media artists of course, but also by music, science, space… More precisely, I am passionate about experimental techno and dystopian science fiction. I try to be as interested as possible in all these themes and then let my imagination run wild.
What also inspires me is the contact with others. If the health crisis has pushed us to rethink exhibition models, we must not forget that I originally exhibited in physical places as part of interactive exhibitions and during VJing performances. These kind of exhibitions allow me to be in direct contact with the public, and I miss very much to be able to share my works other than through screens, to see the reactions on the faces, to talk to the spectators, to see them getting out of their shyness to go and dance in front of a work, to get out of their classical schema of action…“
Describe a particular work/series.
“The first work I would like to talk about is called A Fiber Move. In this work which is totally generative, that is to say created only from mathematical equations, I tried to build a bridge between the digital and the organic. My goal was to reproduce natural wave movements on filaments that can remind of synthetic fibers. What I like in this type of work is the blur they can create. They allow to have at the same time an image which is digital and yet animated by organic movements. The digital takes life, and the border with the real in our perception is reduced.
A Fiber Move, Dimitri Thouzery
Another work I would like to present is An attempt to. Here I used the technique of photogrammetry to “capture” a village square in point clouds, and I use this as a basis for modeling to try to bring the viewer to something larger, to connect our gaze to both the infinitely large and the infinitely small.”
An Attempt To, Dimitri Thouzery