Interview with

Marpi

Interactive 3D Artist

1.  Hi Marpi, How are you today?

Hello!! I’m pretty good, thank you. I’m still a bit tired after yesterday’s Maker Faire. There are certain perks of living in Bay Area, and seeing a full size robot punching a car is definitely one of them.

2.  What is that a creative artist like you does? What exactly does a Technical Director/Digital Artist do?

I work a lot with interactive art installations, generative lifeforms, procedural environments. Through different digital mediums I let people interact and create things that are, in a way, alive. Trying to imagine how architecture, events, art galleries, public space can interact back.

3. What is your workflow when working in digital production?

I don’t have a unified workflow myself, I think it’s almost the opposite of having one. Everything I make starts as a form of an accident, a surprising outcome of me just playing with it. John Cleese has a great talk dissecting the idea of creativity, almost simplifying it to the state where we’re free, playful and have as much time and space as we need – that’s where most of good things happen. Of course after this follows days, weeks or months of finishing it into an actual finished thing, whatever it is. And even then, everything constantly shifts and changes, but it’s ok. Natural growth takes unexpected turns, and there’s nothing better than being surprised by something you created ?

4. What kind of technology and media do you use for your work?

I tend to mix media, software, hardware, but I try to preserve a consistent world across all of it. Different people access the digital world in different ways – you’re probably reading it on your phone, maybe your computer? iPad? VR? Something completely different that doesn’t exist at the time I’m writing this?

Maybe it’s good for the artwork to behave the same way. When you see it in the gallery, you can touch it, if you can’t be there, you can experience it online. Maybe you see people there and they see you too? I think there’s something real in building interactive, connected art, something that ignores borders and is not bound by art gallery walls.

5. How important is 3D in what you do?

I think 3D is important to all of us. If you want to interact with people in a way they can understand, it’s good to do it in the same dimension ?

6.  Can people experience Virtual Reality and interact with your art?

Hah. Yes, and it is the most interesting medium now – with prints, video, projections, you do perceive them as objects, stories, windows into something. With VR, your brain does accept it as reality. And while it is convinced that everything that happened there, happened, it also stores those memories in the real memories slot. You do develop real memories of unreal places.

7.  How important is teamwork when working on a big project?

One of the most important things where it comes to public facing art is the scale. The context of the idea defines it, if you want to make something big, it generally has to be, well, big. And you can try making big things by yourself, but I wouldn’t recommend it ?

Working in a team changes the structure of a project, it involves more people, more ideas, different points of view. And especially with bigger projects, you grow together with the team, everyone becomes an integral, irreplaceable part of it, and that’s what you remember mostly after it’s done. Not the thing, but the people.

8.   What or who inspires you?

People around me. I still believe that in a way you’re defined by your environment. That’s who you interact with everyday, work together, or even if it’s just the things around you – that’s where you’ll get your inspiration from. And you can choose any place to be and to belong. We are really lucky.

9.   What’s your signature piece of art and why?

I hope it is and it will keep always being my latest project. As long as that happens, I know I’m doing something that’s worth something. I’m trying to embrace the creator’s curse.

10.   How do you see art in the future?

On a really broad level, I think it has always been a way to show others your dreams, what’s in your head. It’s been really hard with traditional art, it’s getting easier with digital – you can actually place people inside them, let them interact, create their ownThe same way you assume any screen is a touchscreen now, you will assume everything around you responds to you, really soon.