Rev Dan Catt - Artist's Bio
As a pen plotter artist, I traverse the boundaries of maths, technology, and design, to create distinct, abstract artworks. My collaboration with computers began in school, when my art teacher told me my art was mathematical, and my maths teacher said my work was artistic. It led me to pursue a Degree in Art and Computing, before working in Silicon Valley for companies like Flickr. But importantly, I learned to create using computer languages – from a time when our imaginations were limited by processing power.
Now, my role as artist, is to create using the language of code to generate lines, patterns, and forms in collaboration with the computer. And then interpret and manipulate the code to selectively ‘breed’ new shapes and designs that are aesthetically beautiful.
My process is organic and experimental. The interactions between plotter, pen, ink and paper can yield unexpected outcomes. Creating a piece of art that neither computer nor artist could have anticipated. And in many ways, this pushes the limits of what it means to be an ‘artist’. Art becomes an industrial process, defined by algorithms, and part of a greater creative evolution – guided by me.
I work in iterations. Producing and manipulating a few aspects of the coded algorithms at a time to replicate the way our genetic code evolves. It’s slow and deliberate, allowing me to delve into the concepts in depth. This purposeful process, and the exploration of spaces, lines, colours, and depth is inspired by artists like Bridget Riley and William Latham.
Bridget showed me there’s beauty in math as there is in art. While William taught me how algorithms can ‘grow’ new forms. This led me to explore the way organic shapes, lines and angles emerge from technology. Like math, nature is evolving, untangling obstacles trying to keep things in balance until a problem unknots – not through algorithms, but through evolution.
My recent work builds on this idea combining a minimalist, pixelated aesthetic with natural elements to explore this emergence and coexistence. Each design is manipulated or erased to preserve its individuality. To uphold each piece’s unique, genetic characteristics. As a hybrid of technology and organic, evolutionary design, my art highlights the inherent beauty of mathematics in nature and the universe. It turns chaos into order, transforming 1’s and 0’s into something mesmerising and reforming how ‘art’ is created.
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