Unter Endless Prowl vereint der Multimedia-Künstler Daniel Peter Ford eine Vielzahl von experimentellen Praktiken und Medien, darunter digitale Malerei, virtuelle Skulpturen und Game Design, Stickarbeiten und Sounddesign. Dabei erschafft er ein komplexes Narrativ aus philosophischen Betrachtungen und Ästhetik an der Schnittstelle von Kunst und Technologie — so auch in dieser für Chapter kreierten Serie.
Chapter Your project Endless Prowl spans a multitude of techniques and mediums such as digital paintings, 3D models and VR sculptures, embroidery, and sound design. What overarching themes do you pursue in your practice?
Daniel Peter Ford I prefer to create a story in which my philosophical and metaphysical ideas and thoughts inform an expansive narrative. As I keep developing the elements of the narrative, the world I’ve created becomes more vivid in my mind, and in turn, creates a seemingly consistent experience of aesthetics across techniques and art forms. Thus, at the core of the Endless Prowl universe, some of the larger themes that are deeply embedded in my work include isolation, mental illness, collaboration, neglect, and the fluidity of knowledge and information. The aforementioned themes help form an ongoing narrative existing in a possible world named »DR4X«, a planet that is gradually absorbing a colonising species into ist organic makeup. As it progresses, this fictional narrative allows me to contemplate existential and ethical debates of our society within the context of »DR4X« by interlinking the narrative with my own ideas on Panpsychism and metaphysical concepts.
Chapter You have recently sold two NFTs on Foundation. In what way do you think NFTs are impacting the art market and what has been a direct effect on your work?
Daniel Peter Ford With my limited time in the NFT and cryptocurrency market, NFTs appear to diminish the aspect of gatekeeping that has proved a massive barrier for multimedia and digital artists, like myself, who exist outside their respective city’s physical art worlds. Furthermore, the blockchain seems to have inspired many artists to innovate new ways to display digital art online. The difficulty for some to accept the idea of NFTs outlines the disparity in value and respect that people afford physical art versus digital art, but the world is definitely moving in the direction of overcoming this imbalance. In the same vein, creating limited edition embroidery-laden garments forms a link between my community and Endless Prowl that exists outside of the traditional art world, as it creates a direct route to displaying my artwork.
Chapter Talking about alternative ways to display art, with »Self Isolation 20« you essentially created a virtual exhibition space in the form of a first-person shooter (FPS) game. What made you connect these two concepts?
Daniel Peter Ford The initial conception of »Self Isolation 20« came from the need to create a free exhibition space for art that is not tethered or bound by the societal constraints and pressures of the social and capitalist world, one that is endless and evolving, devoid of the attributes of our economic system. Within »Self Isolation 20«, I attempted to focus on an ongoing issue that has been a source of mental health issues both personally and for many, neglect. Neglect can come in all forms, and is so easily perpetuated by the construct of capitalism — neglect of one’s self, environment, community, mental health, and interests. »Self Isolation 20« is a piece devoted to nurturing aspects of my life that I considered afflictions, such as anxiety or technology addiction (gaming in this case), and changing my perspective in a way in which I can use this so-called »vice« as a form of empowerment, inspiration, and progression for not only myself and my artistic practice, but hopefully for others as well. Though gaming and art have always been tethered to one another, this link has generally existed in the context of the gaming world. By creating a virtual gallery in the form of a first-person shooter, I aimed to recontextualize the imagery and game mechanics by placing them into the realm of art, and thus, providing the player with a dichotomy of thought between two different sets of principles, morals and ethics. With advanced blueprints implemented into »Self Isolation 20« like wallrunning and sliding, I formulated an experience of viewing artwork where even long-standing FPS players can immerse themselves in the context of art without feeling limited fluidity in the character’s movement mechanics.
Chapter What underlying themes do you explore in the pieces for this feature?
Daniel Peter Ford In creating this series for Chapter, my focus was to highlight themes of isolation, control, and space within VR sculpted scenes from the EndlessProwl universe. During the course of sculpting a number of the elements in lockdown, each piece became an ode to isolation and the absurdity or triviality of everyday life in stark contrast to an ongoing pandemic. Relinquishing control over the direction of each piece and allowing the sculptures to develop in figurative and emotive ways provided a meditative experience in the void of VR, and offered reprieve from the chaotic chatter of screens. Thus, I afforded myself time with each element, especially when creating the textures and lighting, as my intention centred on recreating the calming effect of the VR space and its engulfing depth [Red.].
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