8.31.2006

Jeff Minter and his Llamasofties have released some screens of their new game, here.

Jeff really has his own style, and despite the years of new technology, it really hasn't changed unduely.

For me, he's one of the first true digital artists, in that he has always embraced the technology. With his VLM style stuff, he doesn't seem to aim for any specific realization of the world around us. He just asks "what techniques are computers most permissive to?", and runs with it. He's immune to the fetishism of photo realism, or, infact, to any indoctriated style. He's like a sculpter who works with the grain of the wood, while many of those around him move completely against it: how many times have you seen beautiful concept art destroyed by being approximiated by low-fi faceted edges?

That said, it can become a style until itself, as soon as the concept art is ignored, and the actual canvas is engaged - Mario is a low-fi representation of a cartoon plumber, but his 8 bit incarnation is nothing short of iconic - a kind of digital Pointillisse. Pixel art is certainly a style unto itself, and so is low-poly art.

Anyway, back to Minter. Like I say, he's working with the grain of the wood - possibly to extremes. That means he's sculpting trees. If you think about it, a tree is this natural artifact - one expression of how the universe's systems collaborate, and give rise to this emergent object. In Minter's case, the focus is on the microcosmic universe inside the computer. The fascinating blurrs he produces are artifacts of those collaborating systems: digital life.

By bouncing his experiments off the canvas of a computer, he allows us to see the very nature of simple, deterministic machines, at their most elaborate.

That's more than enough art-faggery for now. I only mention it because in doing our graphics (most of which, like Minter's, are generative), I'm finding that it's less and less about what I want, and more and more about what the system wants. When I let it guide me and let it find its own form naturally I get far better results than forcing the system to bend to my will.

2 comments:

reconn said...

Quake monsters ftw. Concept art or no, those things fit their poly-limits perfectly, exercising the medium to it's max.

Bez said...

W3rd. It's just so important to work with what you've got, rather than overreaching.