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Julian Brangold is a multidisciplinary artist whose artistic research looks into the ways in which technology rewrites the definition of what it means to be human. With a background in film and video art, his work explores a wide spectrum of media including video game engines, online databases, digital imagery and artificial intelligence to create critical spaces in which technology and aesthetic production can merge to open up new pathways in thought and experience.
I studied film direction in 2004 in Buenos Aires, and the subject I was into the most was Video Art. After a trip to Europe and some exposure to visual arts, I decided I wanted to be a painter. Fortunately, I was fairly successful quite young and was picked up by a small gallery. I was exclusively a painter for a few years but became frustrated with the gallery system and the art world in Buenos Aires. I moved to Berlin where I started tattooing for a living and researching new mediums and materials to reinvent my art practice. I came back to Buenos Aires and reformulated my whole art career, going into new media, technology, 3D art, and the cryptoart space.
I see my art practice as a research and inquiry tool. I stopped understanding art practice as expression and realized that art is a way to ask philosophical and social questions and to elaborate ideas around certain impacts in society and the individual. My process begins by investigating image or from some sort of premise or question that I’m trying to elaborate on. I’m constantly thinking about the ways in which technology redefines what it means to be human, and art is the tool that I use to understand that phenomenon. Ideally, my images create experiences that make people question their environment and their relationship to technology.
I began my research in 2D because in that series of works the hand-drawn factor was very important and part of the investigation had to do with a mixture of human handmade things and digital resources and possibilities. Recently I’ve been thinking about the different degrees in which the digital is part of reality. How real is the virtual world? How real is a 3D rendering? I mean, of course, it’s real, but how much? What’s the measure of these “levels” of realness? So I decided to go into the 3D space to explore this aspect of the digital as an object that exists in the broader philosophical sense. I also like the poetic speculation that arises from inserting these historical pieces (3D scans of archeological and cultural discoveries) into these pristine or destroyed but evidently digital spaces.
Coming from a traditional gallery system, it’s been a journey (it still is) to adapt to this whole dynamic. As I consider myself a researcher on the topic of technology, I love this whole experience. Even the hardships that arise at times. I think the crypto world has a real potential to make a huge difference in the AFK art world. My personal experience so far has been surreal, especially community-wise. I’ve made a crazy amount of friends in the past months and was lucky to be invited to the Cryptoarg community, an incredible collective of artists from Argentina. Right now I’m very invested in the whole crypto space and look for a long-term engagement as these platforms develop and grow. I was very lucky to begin my career as a cryptoartist in SuperRare, where the support from the platform and the collectors have been very present from day one.
I’d like to share a little bit of the process of the most recent series of images I’m working on. As I mentioned before, I’m thinking about the objectuality of the digital, the measure with which we can decide how real the digital is. In this series of works, I’m placing 3D scans of classical sculptures in what I like to call an “unstable environment.” These environments show their “ins” through error. They’re full of elements like blown-up fragments that show their structure, intertwining with the main figure, or decimated sky textures, modified to almost look like abstract backgrounds. The main figure itself is also broken using a pattern that deliberately emulates machine error. I want to explore an aesthetic of uncanny realism, taking advantage of the contrast between the cultural heritage of these classical sculptures and the digital milieu they’re thrown into. These works are a part of the series “Skies” and will be available on SuperRare.