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11 Apr 2019

Interview: In Conversation with Solimán López

@solimanlopez is a New Media artist, a director for Esat Valencia, and founder of the Harddisk Museum . We spoke to him about how digital technology has affected his work, as well as the general direction of the industry he works in:

Tell us a bit about your work and what you create:

For the past 10 years, I have been inspired by the meaning of the words “digital” and “technology”. Both have changed the way that we look at the world, introducing a new aesthetic and a new layer of meaning between what we see and what is reality.
Creating that link and finding the gaps in between, I can use different concepts related to our society, psychology and human nature and through the right technology, talk about them.
The result of this research is visualized into different kind of art formats that go from installations to performances, as opposed to classic formats such as sculpture, video or two-dimensional pieces.

What aspects of social media do you enjoy as a platform for your artwork? What are some aspects that you find to be limiting?

The main thing about this platform is the concept of immediacy. The goal of social media is to work in real time, which is profitable for artists and creators in general. I also enjoy the huge amount of information that I can get from other artist, projects, and users. Social media is the database of our time and the stories of Instagram are seen all over the world by millions of different people. The smartphone is now the messenger of our reality, and the result is a mixed reality that is so inspiring for creating art.
The limitations of social media are imposed by the rules of the networks in question. Each environment has its own logic and limitations. The biggest limitation I can find maybe is related to the concept of truth. There is a lack of truth in a large percent of the content that we can find because by framing the world with a camera, we only see certain parts of the world outside.

How has your work evolved over the past 5 years?

Once I passed the “wow effect” of technology and began to have a deep understanding of different software and different kinds of techniques, the concepts became stronger.
We are doing contemporary art and the tools are of course very important, but in an age where everyone can learn the same techniques and workflows, I think the most important thing is to be recognized by your ideas, not your tools or the final result.
The evolution of my own work is based on the research and deep understanding of digital nature and the communication of that found treasure, like art pieces. The future is unclear because technology is evolving faster than we are, so we have to be honest with ourselves and the way we understand the word “art”.

What are some exciting changes you’ve noticed in your particular field of work?

There are some different technologies that are changing the meaning of art and the way we make it. The most important one for me is artificial intelligence because that means that there will be new techniques for making art like painting, sculpting, or acting.
Other technologies, such as the emergence of the 3D and its variations (like virtual reality, augmented reality or three-dimensional printings), are also very important. They introduce a strong change in the behaviors of the creative people, the collectors, the market (and of course the relationship between art, nature, science, religion, ethics, and technology).

Where do you see your work going?

Each work has some kind of organic path. A natural, guided line that finally positions it in the right place.
If it is done from the pure truth, that path corresponds exactly with your own and you can do whatever you want. I can not imagine being in that position yet. I’m doing my best in terms of compromise and innovation, and I would like to imagine that my point of view in art is consistent but continues to evolve. That ́s all I want at the moment.
If things continue this way, I could achieve more ambitious projects, with more resources and with more social impact. The idea is to get a better understanding of our own reality because of art.

Is there a particular artist who inspires you, or whose work you’re excited about?

There are a lot of good artists related to digital fields. If I have to mention some of them, I love the way Refik Anadol is introducing machine learning in his artworks, connecting it very properly with architecture and public spaces (with a very impressive aesthetic).
Rafael Lozano Hemmer also has to be mentioned. His input to the current contemporary art history is remarkable, thanks to the way he introduces a social responsibility and interaction to engage people into his ideas.
Zimoun uses the space in a very impressive way, using the repetition and the patterns as a trademark. In the same vein, Ryoji Ikeda uses synchronicity between the sound, the data, and the vector as characters elements.
I would like to mention Frederik Heyman, and how he takes the reality with photogrammetry and introduces it in the digital world with some dystopian point of view that works perfectly in conjugation with the meaning of a three-dimensional world and the unlimited possibilities of the digital world.