DigitalFruit- GAIA

DigitalFruit is an interview series from Adafruit showcasing some of our favorite digital fine artists from around the world. As we begin this new decade with its rapidly changing landscape, we must envision our path through a different lens.  Over the next few weeks we’ll feature many innovative perspectives and techniques that will inspire our maker community to construct a bold creative frontier.  The only way is forward.

1. Where are you based?

I am based in Lebanon.

2. Tell us about your background?

I’ve always been fascinated with details and patterns and got into the world of photography during my first years in architecture school. I was experimenting a lot, trying to see what results I could get with a camera in my hand, shooting interesting details I found here and there.

Photography (especially macro photography) formed a thicker base for my understanding of details and eventually ignited my curiosity to explore organic patterns in nature.  As for architecture, it helped me develop a stronger sense for details and a better understanding of the importance of each element and its position in a given space. 

My shift to generative art holds a lot of influence from everything I acquired through architecture and photography. What I enjoy the most about generative art is the complexity of the results you can get from a set of simple rules and the element of uncertainty. There’s a lot to experiment.

3.  What inspires your work?

A lot of inspiration comes from observing details in art, architecture and photography.

But nature, and particularly the world of cells and their structures have been the biggest part of my inspiration process. For many years I’ve been searching for interesting structures and details to explore through photography, and that familiarized me with the world of fractals, growth patterns and the infinite intelligence found in nature.

The idea of things folding and unfolding infinitely, in order to reveal new forms and functions at every pleat, fascinates me: a single fold in the simplest of forms creates porosities which in return lead to the formation of shadows and contrasts within the object itself, thus forming nooks and cavities that hold the possibility of forming a new space.

4.  What are you currently working on?

Doing a lot of research! It is important for me to expand my knowledge in certain fields to keep moving forward and “unfold” more ideas in the future!

5.  Describe your process and what tools you like to use.

I have experimented with multiple tools since I started creating the digital content.

Starting with simple applications that I downloaded on my phone for fun. I wanted to experiment with something new, and using them sparked my interest in generative art, eventually that’s how my shift from photography to generative art set off. Nowadays I like to use this fractal generating software called Mandelbulb 3D. For my latest work, the initial models were generated on it and from there on, either I get more creative by blending them in a “context” or just leave them raw.

I tend to finalize the result by choosing either cold monochrome colors or leaving them in black and white; a lot of colors, in some cases, can be distracting and I try to minimize that. The interplay of shadows and the right light hitting the object are enough to draw the viewer’s attention to the details that form the object.

6.  What does your workplace or studio look like? Do you work in silence or listen to music while you work?

Basically, I work on my laptop. So, there is no specific environment in which I prefer doing what I do, but silence and calm are important during those work phases.

7.  How has technology shaped your creative vision?

The use of technology and its availability has enabled me to create works that were impossible to apply with photography. It’s really interesting because it enables you to experiment a lot, and many boundaries you might encounter while using other tools dissipate when using a generative software.

8.  Any tips for someone interested in getting started in the digital art form?

Before jumping immediately into the digital world try founding interests in other forms of more “tangible” art. The digital world is endless and boundless, so it’s important to have a solid ground on which you can base your digital explorations. Observing and comparing between the real and the digital enables one to master better the latter.

And finally, approach everything with an experimental perspective because we learn by trying.

9.  Where do you see generative and digital art heading in the future?

In our time, generative and digital art are still at an experimental phase and a lot of the results that are presented out there are still pure aesthetics and intuitive, but it would be interesting to see how this new form of art morphs into something more functional and beneficial in the future. 

Gaia Azzi



DigitalFruit is curated by Adafruit lead photographer- Andrew Tingle


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