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ARTocracy: Art in the Digital World

todaySeptember 26, 2013 18

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    ARTocracy: Art in the Digital World

This week’s installment of ARTocracy covers two Texas State students. Dieter Geisler, alumni with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, and communication design junior, Deanna Ruff. We will be discussing the differences  between their two chosen mediums and how they compare to one another in the digital world we live in.

Dieter Geisler’s most recent installment can now be viewed in the University’s Gallery, housed in the Joann Cole Mitte Building. Geisler’s attention to detail really sets his installation apart from the rest of the work surrounding it. His saturated, abstract drawings hung under draped lighting will spark more than an interest to the eye. Next, Geisler explores a different medium, meticulously crafted sculptures that physically lead the interpreter under, in between, and over the structure. Geisler feels good about his installation and said he felt his gallery experience was very free and open; leaving him with a lot of room to express his artistic means.

abstract art
Photo Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

“Those drawing series were an evolution of what I did there for undergrad, a lot of that was graphite, pen on paper,” says Geilser. “I have been experimenting with the use of color and also mixed media, stuff that is saturated and really has a wide range of value, such as colored pencils.”

Drawing is not the only medium Geisler’s touch brings to life. Along with two of his colorful abstractions are two once recognizable devices, parts of a telescope, a magnifying glass, and some thread that ties it all up. Methodically stripped of meaning, and mechanically rendered as new sculptures, the pieces  featured are “DownRut” and “IntoVane” in a three-dimensional form.

 “I think a lot of my art is abstractly figurative. I am definitely interested in architectural forms and organic systems and how they merge.”
– Dieter Geisler

Executing the old with the new, these sculptures now serve as art. Try to think artistically here, what is the difference between the engineered artist with a mechanical pencil and a three-dimensional sculpture, and why does it matter?  For Geisler it all starts with pen and paper.

“Technology and man-made things interact with organic natural stuff,” Geisler says.

Say what?! Technology, man-made and organic; where will we begin with this creative process?

“I’ve done a lot of drawing on the computer with the tablet pads and I’ve come more accustomed to that than doing it on paper because it is easier to maintain on a digital platform, but I think drawing is important because it in itself it can be a finished product or a step and process of creating a sculpture,” Geisler says.

Geisler’s work is a cohesive mixture of intellectual art forms that could start or end utilizing some digital processes, but never the less, he does not disregard the organic matter of an idea with the basic pencil and paper.  Art is a process through which one achieves the final product by experimenting with different mediums various ways.

“Make bad art make good art. I look back at some of the stuff I did in college [and] you have that, ‘what was I thinking?’ thought, but that’s what you have to do to get better work. Just experiment with different mediums and challenge yourself.”
– Dieter Geisler

Communication design junior Deanna Ruff breaks down her art process a little differently than Geisler.

“I run a series of different images and ideas through my head first,” Ruff says. “I weigh the concepts of design to make sure the piece communicates.”

Ruff experiments a lot with the digital world. Instead of Geisler’s essentials, Ruff brainstorms before making a dent on her digital tablet.  Ruff begins with a clear head and hands. That is something you don’t see from a design major every day, or is it more common than we think?

“I do what every design major has to: multiple thumbnails, roughs, more detailed roughs, and then lay it out as beautiful as my eye and mind can create.”
– Deanna Ruff

Being a design major in this day and age makes for a much cleaner workspace, but the intricacy and detail never cease to exist. Even when Ruff is drafting with her pencil, her head is always in the “design cloud.” In other words, the mental aspect of her artwork generates within the intergalactic galaxy most refer to as the digital world. You can’t touch it like you would a mold of clay but you can feel it everywhere. That is not to say that digital art cannot be manipulated, a texture is still a texture if rendered as such.

“Organic and digital art have their differences of course,” Ruff says. “But if you are strong at organic art and have the fundamentals of design, the digital world will come much easier.”

No matter the differences, the two very different mediums come together at some point or another before the finished product. Even in Ruff’s design world, she still utilizes her pencil and paper before or during the execution of her final work of art.

“It doesn’t change my outlook on drawing. Do your best, include the details and remember your fundamentals as an artist.”
– Deanna Ruff

Whether it starts on the computer or on paper, Ruff is detailed, precise, and methodical about every piece she crafts. But what she sees is filtered through the eyes of a different yet extrapolating medium.

“The fact that the design game is booming and fine hand skills and erase marks are now replaced with keys and mouse strokes, the competition has increased most definitely.” Ruff says.

No matter how you view, touch, or believe it, art can be molded in many ways. In the end, the constructed outcome took a lot of various methods to achieve along the way. Ruff is a skilled and decisive artist; she knows what she is capable of, after all:

“A computer only does what the artist tells it to.”
– Deanna Ruff

Story by: Elise Laird with ARTocracy.

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