Meet: John Park
John Park | Animator/Programmer/Digital-Artist
There is always something to do, an idea to bring to life, someone who wants to learn. I am an animator and academic on paper, for the purposes of communicating my occupation, but animator does little to describe my perspective or my craft. I consider myself to be an investigator of motion, space, time, elegance, and their points of intersection with technology. I can see and think inside these terms. Education, art, and the making of things are the products of my investigation, the natural consequence of asking questions and looking for answers.
When I work in time-based art I like to think about the transitions between space and time. While fixed animation allows me to hold and maintain control over the piece by crafting a complete experience, interactivity forces me to create a tone, or environment that allows the user to craft a unique experience of their own. Interactivity forces us to question our boundaries in terms of our own work. How much do you let go? Do you make the decision here, or do you let the audience have control? Do you trust your audience to make good decisions? If so, how can you enable them in an experience? If not, how do you keep them out of trouble?
Collaboration surely intersects with this idea. In an environment of academia where interdisciplinary work is lauded yet rarely seen, a University can be an isolating location of specificity. There is room to promote collaboration in the classroom, but it is a trickier to find in interpersonal practice. I’d like to see time spent talking and sharing the small truths we find in everyday life.
My small truths revolve around issues of the power of technology, lifestyle, and the ignition of creativity. This is the time in history to promote creative solutions to the problem of the excess material around us. How can we use and reuse things, take them apart, recombine, completely abandon their original uses in favor of new or improved ones? What role does the creation of virtual things play in this? Three lines of code can perform a thousand mundane tasks in a few seconds. And while there is value in the programming and processing of the mundane, I am intrigued by the possibility of the programming and processing of a thousand exquisite tasks. A performance unbound by resources, art beyond consumption. Can this go from a hobby, to a mental exercise, to a full blown lifestyle? Increasingly the answer appears to be YES.
-John Park, 2010