Travess Smalley

Travess Smalley

Work from his oeuvre.

“…In terms of how evolving software or technology affects my work, I’m constantly trying to learn programs (currently Blender, Google Sketchup, Brushes, Maya, PHP) but at the same time, learning new programs comes from a strong desire to extend and diversify my daily computer practice. I spend time in After Effects now than in Photoshop. There are definitely projects on my mind that I haven’t yet figured out how to bring into a material reality. Those projects become a kind of other practice that’s different from the drawings I make in a day or the Photoshop files I create at night.

Thinking about how to make these ideas exist, and the problems I run into, doesn’t necessarily result in them ever actually coming to completion or even a start; but thinking about it, and problemsolving, influences other projects and ideas that I do make. Monumental projects act as milemarkers or destinations, but usually on the way there I end up working on new projects and experiments that lead me in other directions.

Your work runs the gamut between serene abstractions and disorienting digital landscape collages. Do these different styles serve distinct purposes for you as far as self-expression and the impression you’re trying to convey or do you see it as all part of one continuous creative process?

The short answer is that I see it all as one clear and continuous process. In my practice there have been very few pieces of finished artwork, but instead are documents and moments along a path of structural tests, program explorations, art history lessons, and formal questions.

Is there ever such a thing as too much or not enough in your images? Is there a line where thing become too overwhelming or minimalist?

That’s something I always consider. I perpetually overkill. The computer helps that, though. I just keep saving states of things. I overkill drawings much more often than digital files. With the digital, I can undo and go back to earlier versions.

My friend and fellow artist Harm van den Dorpel has offered me one solution for this problem. He created a program called symbolicbehavior that allows me to take screen captures in the midst of working and they are directly uploaded to a private online portfolio to look through. So even if I “overkill” there is a chance that a state of the work is out there that I do like.” – from an interview with Dan Rosplock for Future Shipwreck.

Comments are closed.