Legacy of The Cyberpunk
I robotically use 3D cgi tools and processes to build generic urban noir sci-fi environments.
To base a build on one particular book, I would have to choose: which book?
In many ways, to illustrate written scenes would make life more simple, it would give me a defined focus. I worry about copyright too much to dabble in fan-based visual interpretations. The workload, time and energy, also are prohibitors. Big Bad 'They' do not require to embed behavioural modifier chips in my skull, I have no wish to be sued by intellectual property owners of my dead literary heroes for connecting to their vision and taking it in a new direction for the new generations. Ownership is theft of Art, the corporate repression of inspiration.
A book would have to be worthy of doing it.
The question remains, what book?
I hear lines in my mind of Bowies album soundtrack for a TV series which was never made, comprising half of the Diamond Dogs album; the other half being his own take on the concept which itself fed directly into SLA Industries rpg by Nightfall Games, a wonderfully retro time-piece set in a Warhammer 40K inspired future. Beautiful though their product is, Nightfall are renowned for suing their fans and so to make any work of art based on it is sadly futile; a tragedy given that the nature of rpg games as imagination based and SLA particularly, is that the genius of the vision is in the groups own interpretation rather than the doctrine of the rulebook.
This is why I prefer to be a genre artist rather than an illustrator of a specific vision.
My background as a Fine Artist with a lifelong love of paint has led me to attempt breaking the division between raw paint and digital media. My paintings are abstract expressionist, inspired by urban textures. This means both environmental and emotional influences, exploring the psychology of dissolvement between grey boxes which are bland urban mindsets a result of bland urban environments and lifestyles. The dissolvement of rigid doctrines as limiting factors for our infinite creative possibility. For the same purpose as a scientist banged rocks together to make fire, smelted ore to make tools so the mythic realms of dreaming could enter more penetratively into the material, to improve life, to evolve.
I live in Wales where the weather is the the same spectrum as the architecture; bland, gray, rain, cloud, fog, elements which blend with concrete, tarmac, faces, moods, aspirations. It is important to me that my cgi environments retain that painterly quality, their gradients and textures are at once both fluid and wet while gritty and coarse; soft as aether yet solid and hard as a head crunched into the wall. Sci-fantastic and yet real. The disposability of - modern life, culture, lovers, money, emotions, humanity; as a part of the continual renewal which leaves no thing finished and no thing as yet un-begun.
Our lives a flatscreen show-reel of temporal nature, fleeting feelings overpowering our vision to consume us as a worldview which affects everything we do. Yet which is relevant to nobody but the individual, broken and lonely from experience nobody else has shared: and at once from experience we all feel as a constant drudgery and deny it because we use most of our time trying to escape from it; distractions as we find ways around one concrete box and into another which has a mildly different tone. It is not the difference which makes he difference but the change which makes the change.
Many sci-fi noir novels fit the bill of this desperately depressing distopia; I grew up in the latter half of the 20th century era of post-modern industrialism, I grew up through the eighties when cyber was a fiction and then the nineties when the internet became a reality. The next generations are filled with optimism so that the discord of gritty gray cities is not something they wish to connect with, therefore my art becomes for me a healing, a healing I would love to share with others but others retreat from in self-preservation. I do not expect those born into a world where cd's are an outmoded relic rather than a thing we saw on a terrestrial tv called 'Tomorrows World', to understand exactly this feeling which I have no word for yet permeates an entire diverse and constantly reinvented multi-media genre. Perhaps that is why it is so compelling to so many people who identify with it even while avoiding it.
Gray boxes oozing into each other becomes a personal interface between myself and the machine age where concrete emotions means hardness; the only stability. A deadbeat urban environment and social poverty which shaped me into what I am, a maker of visual imagery attempting to express how cold the world of concrete and digital is, cold and yet shocking. I am of that breed, consequence of that generation.
As 3D printers on Mars make Martian concrete from the red worlds rusty dust, calling their high-tech eco-dwells 'Marships' after the Earthships of sustainable, ecological, self-sufficient dwellings retro-pioneered on Earth to get away from the desolate post-industrial city spirit; these steely urban roots from Terra’s grim past will remain, legacy of the cyberpunk.
|3d digital displacement map from photo of painting|
|example from Gray Boxes series, water-based poster paint on cardboard|