I believe that finite moments of contact—even a single, well-considered gesture—can generate an infinite number of visually compelling forms. Hence, you’ll see that, no matter what medium in which I am working, there is usually a very simple gesture or design structure at its core. Sometimes I multiply that gesture until I feel it reaches a sense of critical mass, a ‘tipping point’ (as in my computer-aided paintings like the 10-Second Experiments and Moving Forms animations). Sometimes I isolate the gesture and present it in aggregate (as in my Exercises and other videos); sometimes I freeze the gesture and present it in series (my photographic documents of Light Forms); and sometimes, behind the scenes, I fuse my limited-time contact with materials and surface into a poetic whole (as in my minimalist paintings in acrylic on plywood). No matter the approach or medium, my process or materials, however, you’ll notice that what I’m after is a gentle irreducibility; a place where a work of art is no more than what it seems to be—and yet, is more than the sum of its parts.
I think that the best elements of pure, Graphic Design can co-exist with a work of Fine Art. I try not to sacrifice the social accessibility—the “porous” ability that Design has for penetrating life on a daily, mundane level—to the transcendent nature of pure form.
Or, put another way:
Good Design should be at the basis for every good work of Fine Art.
I like to work with what I have at hand—”at hand” often implying materials readily available in a hardware store: flash lights and other hand-held fixtures; acrylic house paint and plywood; a computer illustration tool distributed for free over the Internet; and, of course, the simple equation of myself, and my camera, and my tripod alone in a room. I generally limit my initial contact with my chosen materials to a finite period of time—sometimes as short as a few seconds—and let either chance or a later editing process take over. Let me add that “Play” and the embrace of the random is also such a key element in my work that I feel compelled to list it as a material.
Literature; Richard Bach; his book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. His themes of the solitary pursuit of mastery of self and craft have inspired so much of what I believe in. Writers from my native Lithuania like Ieva Simonaityté and Jonas Biliûnas are largely unknown in the West; they write surreal tales of poets working in menial day jobs; they write about peasants, farmers, and people who live off the land and their values; they also write in symbolic terms about and interior worlds leeching into exterior, shared experience—all of which speaks to me. Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, in which the reader is encouraged to trust in self, be fed by solitude; an artistic philosophy in which one draws on child-like innocence and the primacy of experience of the world in ways that will mean the most to his craft. In the realm of Design, Lidwell, Holden, and Butler’s guidebook The Universal Principles of Design showed me equations that fuse beauty and efficiency like the “80/20 Rule”; John Maeda’s The Laws of Simplicity encouraged me to take a heart-centered approach to working with what is. In Fine Art I admire Minimalist painters and sculptors like Ellsworth Kelley and Donald Judd; photographers like Bernd and Hilla Becher. And in Music: Latin performer/songwriters Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and other artists of the pan-cultural Tropicália movement, to whom I inevitably listen while I work.