Zazie
'Wild Butterflies' by Nainita Desai & Soundology


~

Born in 1956 in Homburg-Saar, Germany. Diploma in architecture and product design 1981 at the Fachhochschule Kaiserslautern.

In 1982 I started as a professional photographer for different Austrian newspapers and magazines. During the 15 years to come I had the chance to portray numerous authors, artists and poets. Besides I focused on creating my own landscapes and objects, my darkroom became my preferred tool to experiment with shadow and light.

In 1997 I started playing around with Photoshop and 3D programs and soon became aware of the possibilities to create effects that could not be achieved by means of photography and darkroom technology.

Since that time I was captured by the passion for computers and the means they are offering if you combine various programs to find new results and new styles. Working with the computer is a never ending creative process for me, that offers the greatest possible freedom imaginable in expressing dreams, nightmares and visions.

DIGITAL ROMANTICISM
~


Doomed


Looking For The Oisters

FLASH ANIMATIONS (& another)
Run your Mouse over 'em
~


Congratulations


Rote Kuge ln Kommen Zurueck

DIGITAL PAINTING
~


Blue Flower

EROTIC
~


Algues


A Rose Is A Rose


Dentelles 2


InNeMeManqueRien2


Rouge


Tenu Chaud 4

BLACK & WHITE
~


Creative Time


CrepusculeDesDieuxSW


Douceur


Heralds

HOMAGE TO MATTA
~

HORIZONS
~


Misty 19


Misty 20

CONCERNING DUCHAMP
~


Duchamp 1


LeCul

CITIES
~


Entretien


Epaves

TRAPPED
~


Trapped 1


Trapped 2

LANDSCAPES
~


Desiderata_2


Cats Planet


Christmas Terror


Cadre 4


Slugs


The Thief

METAMORPHOSES
~


Collision


Pupation

OBJECTS MIRRORS
~


Corps1


Creatures

OUT OF IMAGINATION
~


Against Flatness 2


Imagination 2

PAYSAGES
~


Construction


Couple 25


Femmes


Time For Dinner

MIMIKRI
~


Red Grey


The End

SUBMARINE
~


Submarine 4


Submarine 6

MOVEMENT
~


Urknall6


Waves

2002 International Art Contest
Interview from the Art Dept web site
~

As the winner of your category in the 2002 International Art Contest, being selected by such a diverse group of artists from all around the world, how do you feel?

I did not think any longer of having submitted an image here. So when I got your email and saw that I had won the first place I was completely surprised. And I am still surprised...

Please describe your current works and any plans for forthcoming exhibits.

At the moment I am working on an image series called "Experimental spidering" made in 3D programs and in Photoshop. It is a research to invent new landscapes ­ I rather call them mindscapes - to create compositions never seen before. It is my own translation of the sentence by Lautréament "The meeting of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a dissection table."

Concerning exhibitions I am don´t make any efforts, I only exhibit my work when I am asked to do so. To be frank, I am too much fascinated by working to think of spending time on writing letters and asking to be exhibited.

If any, in what ways have you seen changes in attitudes towards "art"?

I got aware that Art was put into another light In the public with the upcoming of the computer. This means that concerning digital art people have some difficulties to accept it as Art because they are missing the ORIGINAL. I am often confronted with the question "But where is the original of your work?" My answer is always the same : "The copy IS the original".

Also, all my work is free of any copyrights, a fact which is hard to swallow for most of people.

Do you think that the fine artist will survive as technology replaces our skills?

Not more and not less than others.

Beside this I don´t agree that technology replaces our skills. Who is creating technology ? Human beings isn´t it ? There will always remain artists who need the smell of oil paint as well as they believe that Art cannot be Art without a certain amount of sweat. And sweat does not go well with computers, does it ? (Now would you believe that I am in a sweat as well sometimes when I am working on an image?

Technology is not an enemy to me but a useful tool to push my imagination further and the best invention in the computer era for me is the "do and undo" tool. It allows me to push my visual automatism at a very high level.

What advice could you give to those embarking upon a career as an artist?

None. I am just doing what I feel I have to do, but I am not forcing any carreer.

What is important to me is the creative process and that´s it.

Why did you enter the Art Dept contest and what decided your selection for entry?

I fell upon this site by chance and I submitted this image without thinking further. The image I chose because it was new at the time ­ it is one of a whole series....

It is not the first contest in which I participate, but I never submit with the thought of winning. For me it is a possibility to make my work available for people to whom I wouldn´t have any points of contact otherwise. It creates some audience and I cannot see why I should not take advantage of the Internet as regards making my art available for others.

Is there anything about being an artist that you do not like?

As for myself, I am fine as I am.

I am free - the most important fact to me - and I am not being involved into any sort of Art machinery. I can take my own decisions ­ I am my own manager.

Generally spoken I don´t want to get involved into the Art ­ money ­ machinery. A good thing about the Internet is that it frees the communication of art works of all the heavy means previously required in Art ­ I do not even need a studio - and also of all the games that used to go with it, which had not much to do with Art, enabling direct communication (and possible collaboration) between the artist and the people who are interested with her work.

I am against copyright and I live it.

Another important point too is that, the copy of any piece of information being so easy, today we are now delivered of the old superstitions about The Original (the smell of terpentine and all that...) and a work of art now really appears for what it is : a work of the mind, a movement of the thought.

Would you sell your most favourite artwork, or keep it?

I would sell it for the price it costs me to print it (paper, ink, frame and time) and then... The wonderful thing about digital art, is that I can print it as often as I want, but I tend to print only a limited edition of one image. This is a reference to the period when the image was born and it keeps me aware of the time line of my working process.

But all the low resolution works on my website are for free and I am always honored if someone takes an image I made and goes on working with it.

How important was education and training to you?

I studied architecture but before I fell upon the computer I was actually an autodidact photographer and I came to become familiar with the machine using the same self learning way. I never visited any computer lessons and I am working by trial and error. This is the most interesting way for me to learn and to make some progress because it makes me free of any assumptions about the original intents of the tool creators and often leads me to new approaches or solutions that were never thought of.

This approach means living my own creativity at its highest extent.

Is there anything in your art career that you would have changed?

I should have bought a faster computer earlier than I did. It would have been a great saving of time to me.

If you were invited overseas to exhibit your works, where would you like that to be?

In the USA and in Australia - I could make a trip to Perth where some good friends of mine are living :-)

Are you looking forward to entering the contest for next year?

Maybe ... Provided I do not forget the deadline...

Do you recommend use of the Internet for an artist's publicity?

Of course!

I cannot see - yet - any other use of the Internet concerning art.

Would you change anything about how the contest is organised?

No.

How can the Internet be made better for working artists?

I think that globaly speaking, the Internet is still far from being interactive enough.

As regards my immediate needs, I am missing some sort of tool that would enable artists to discuss their works in a convenient manner. I would really welcome some tool that would allow me to attach a comment or a textual or graphical annotation to a part of an image or to a significant detail. Artists often need to show rather than to use text and the Internet medium is not currently friendly enough to them as regards this type of needs

2003 International Art Contest
Interview with Zazie
~

As the winner of your category in the 2003 International Art Contest, being selected by such a diverse group of artists from all around the world, how do you feel?

If last year it was a real surprise, this year it was almost a shock ! :-)

Please describe your current works and any plans for forthcoming exhibits.

The last few months I was occupied by learning some new tools (software) as for example Terragen. Terragen for me is a wonderful program to create fictive landscapes, beginning with a white sheet, so to say beginning with nothing. This is a very thrilling procedure and when I have got the result
I am going on to create further fictive scenarios by putting different sculptures into this landscape. The sculptures are photographs I took on cimeteries for example and when they have got there final position within my landscape it is as if they have become alive.

I just made a first series called "Digital Romantism" which can be seen on my website.

Another program I started to work with is ZBrush, a great 3D modelling tool, which isn´t based on pixels anymore but on pixols. This means that each dot one draws on the sheet is transformed in 3 dimensions immediately.

If you draw a line and you rotate it you will see a 3D tube.
The results are not yet published on my site but they will be within the next months, I just want to go further with this program first.

In april 2004 i will participate in a exhibition about "Phantastik - Views into other worlds". The leading topic are the views in different, parallel, alternative, utopian and hybrid worlds.

There will be shown pictures of my series "Cities" as a screen show.

If any, in what ways have you seen changes in attitudes towards "art"?

A good part of the artists I know who used classical artistic media now use computers. To be more precise, artists start to use computers as soon as they learn how to use them no matter how old they are. Some start with graphical software when they are 60 or 70 and what may look strange, is that younger artists seem to be far more reluctant than older ones.

Of course some of the artists I speak about come back later to more classical techniques, or just invent new mixed techniques, but I have never seen the case of an artist who would completely come back to where he was before he started using a computer.

On the side of the Public, the evolution is much slower. Some people who used to look for the "value" on the side of "good craftsmanship" or on the side of a certain quality of artistic sweat tend to get lost, because they no longer see where "the work" now is.

As regards people who still cherish a certain romantic understanding of Art, they tend to unconditionnally reject Digital Art.

Also a number of people who are too deeply accustomed to the "traditional social packaging" of Art - galery and art critics system - and among them, above all the people who are addict with the idea of the Unique Work of Art (Original required !) tend to look towards Digital Art with a solid amount of contempt. For such people, we are virtual... as artists :-)

But I should probably add too that Digital Art on the Internet allows reaching new categories of audience, who never visit galeries and very rarely go to museums. I still remember the enthusiastic reactions to my work, coming from kids that normally spend their time playing games on the network in Internet Cafes and who suddenly jumped towards their keyboards to find out where they could get the software I use.

Do you think that the fine artist will survive as technology replaces our skills?

Computers make the traditional technical aspects of Art appear for what they are, that is, not really fundamental any longer, since a machine, a well engineered piece of software can deal with them to a large extent. Would someone like Dali turn back to attempts of painting like the "old masters" today? I doubt it. Dali who always showed his concern about new media and techniques, would more probably eagerly focus on intensive experiments based on new possibilities. Some friends told me that Matta had started playing with computers just before he died.

Another point is related to a remark by Duchamp who once said that the most important ability of the artist is to make choices. I can feel the truth of this sentence in almost every second of my work, because it is a kind of dialog in which the computer proposes options in some way, and I have to make the right decision.

Anyway, there are technical aspects related with digital art as well, but they are somewhat different from the traditional ones. However, I do not consider that I am far enough to draw lessons yet on this precise point.

On the whole, I would tend to say that originally, Art was based on technique on one hand and on inspiration (roughly speaking "surrealism") - on the other hand. Since some of the technical details can now be nicely handled by the software, the mental (surrealist) part now appears as the beating heart of the creative process.

What advice could you give to those embarking upon a career as an artist?

None.

Why did you enter the Art Dept contest and what decided your selection for entry?

As I do not enter to win but to make my work available for as many people as possible, after winning the contest in 2002 I said to myself: why not enter again for the new contest? And therefore I entered again in 2003. But I did not ever imagine nor dream of winning the first prize a second time. It seemed to be impossible.

I selected the image "Planet X" because it is a very typical result of digital artwork combining several programs and techniques in one image. In fact it is a collage of 3 or 4 objects created in Bryce 5 and the experimentation with different surfaces whereas the final collage is made in Photoshop.

Is there anything about being an artist that you do not like?

I do not like people hiding the way they work and keeping their artistic recipes secrets.

I do not like all these copyright signs everywhere, supposed to protect intellectual property of works of art that will most probably never make a copper coin anyway and showing so plainly that their authors greed is deeper than their work.

Would you sell your most favourite artwork, or keep it?

Well, since the Original is the Copy as regards Digital Art, I can actually sell and keep my art ! :-)

How important was education and training to you?

<The same answer as last year.>

Is there anything in your art career that you would have changed?

<Again, the same answer as last year.>.... I should have bought my first computer earlier than I did.

If you were invited overseas to exhibit your works, where would you like that to be?

I already had several exhibitions in the USA, but until now I could not afford to go there personally when the opening took place due to lack of time and money.

The reason why this hurts me is that I simply would like to meet my overseas friends personally one day.

And all the nowadays restrictions because of security reasons don´t make it easier to go there either.

In November I participated in a surrealist exhibition in Ohio, some of my american friends joined the opening but I had to send my pictures there by snail mail. Beside this they were shown in form of a screen show which is an exhibition method that I appreciate a lot !

How can the Internet be made better for working artists?

As I could see from experimental collaborative works with friends, there is still a need to enhance the interactive features of the www.

Of course, there are lots of experiments and proposals going on in this direction on the web, but they are usually too complicated (to use) and yet far too simplistic (as regards the results)

Another point where I expect some progress are the web exhibitions themselves. I find really strange that after so many artistic and technical revolutions, we still basically stick to the traditional ways: showing digital art works "painted" on virtual canvas and hanging on virtual walls.

One century ago, people with almost no technical means at all had far more innovative ideas.


Real life exhibitions

Vienna Museums Quarter
, May 2004, Linux weeks.
Phantastik - Ausblicke in andere Welten, Oberösterreichische Landesmuseen, April ­ August 2004
International Surrealist Show - Ohio, Sea Lion Studio - November 2003 - November 1 - 29
Budapest - BENCZÚR GALÉRIA - Group Exhibition - November 12 - 14
Vienna - Golden Tulip Art Hotel Vienna - Group Exhibition - October 25 - November 30
Frankfurt - Airport Conference Center (ACC) - Group Exhibition - October 4 November 14
Espace Franquin - Digital Art 2003 - Group exhibition in Angoulème - France - Opening the 8th of August
Vienna Museums Quarter - Electric avenue - Opening the 13th of september 2002
Facing Faces 2002 - Anti-Violence Art Project, Museo Ex-Aduana, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México, in November 2002
University of Tasmania Academy Gallery May 2, 2002
IDAA Hard Copy - San Francisco USA opened 13 April until May 26
Pixxelpoint - International Computer Art Festival, Nova Gorica, Slovenia, December 2001
Wahrnehmungsweisen - Homburg, Germany, December 2001
Facing Faces 2001 - Anti-Violence Art Project, Ciudad Juaréz, Mexico, September 2001
Caution on orange - Benton Harbour, Michigan, USA, April - May 2001
Éveil paradoxal - Conches-en-Ouche, France, May - June 2000
Revision - Homburg, Germany, June 2000
Sacrilege, the magical against sacred - Pilsen September 1999
Sacrilege, the magical against sacred - Prague, June - August 1999