Brandon Dalmer

Brandon Dalmer
Concordia University (Montréal, QC)

Using machine processes and techniques associated with rapid prototyping, I generate images to highlight the ongoing relationship humans have with expanding technology, and to a larger extent ​—​ how images are created. By interacting with the image code itself, for example: by modifying the node handles within a vector image, generating entirely new images by collaging together or replicating and repeating elements from a growing database of source imagery, we can observe how these codecs work. The database includes the non-figurative elements from popular cartoons, or early comic styles from the 1920’s and 30’s known as Ligne Claire1, elements which are in a way already vectors2. Each layer is achieved using vinyl stenciling which is applied over the entire surface for paint to then be applied though, using heavy brush strokes and movement, or in some cases completely flat in order to shock the material plane. The resulting images are vibrant in both color and application of paint, and inhumanly complex —​ conveying a synthetic or artificial digital aesthetic. 

We interact with the digital world often more than the real one. By converting the analog information to digital, we’re able to interact with this information at a faster rate; however this translation has its limitations. What is lost through this process? Generation loss for example can occur when duplicating the already digital, leading to data artifacting and eventual corruption. Yet even when these systems function as intended, we’re interacting with a synthetic world. What effect do these artificial aesthetics have on our perception over time? Is it boring or hollow? This sacrifice comes with incentive: digital information can be endlessly copied, transferred and manipulated with little to no material cost. These paintings are in a sense converting a digital medium to a physical one. Through this action, can a kind of reclamation of information be achieved? By committing a digital file to paint remove this inherent hollowness? 

Not everything can be expressed through paint alone. I support my practice by releasing the code and processes through a personal gitHub registry with the intent of making it as open-source as I can. I do this in the hopes of providing others with a knowledge base to not only understand these paintings more, but to ask their own questions in order to glean new insights into our increasing digital landscape.