Exploring the generative coding practice of Dimitri Thouzery
Dimitri Thouzery is a French artist who has found a deep and salient creative voice through his blend of generative and interactive installation and immersive digital art. His work is highly mathematical and often completely monochromatic. The pieces generally play with shapes and pixels; bringing them together and separating them. On his website, he presents himself first and foremost as a new media artist, before adding that he is also a seasoned designer. He has worked in art and design for over a decade, but has been pursuing new media practices since 2017. Thouzery enjoys exploring new ways to create a sense of interactivity and two-way engagement, primarily through the use of sensors. tables and databases that enable an unprecedented level of sophistication in a digital practice. As its website states, “I like to think of these new systems as a way for the user to connect with something universal and challenge reality. I have done a wide variety of projects, music videos, VJing, interactive and immersive installations, building mapping, branding, live data visualizations and Touchdesigner workshops.
It is interesting to note that despite the finesse of the tools he uses, he has no specific training in the field of new media. This says a lot both about the unprecedented accessibility that digital tools can now boast, but also about the curiosity with which practitioners like Thouzery approach them. He tells STIR: “My journey to get into this practice involved a mix of studies in science and computer science, as well as urban and contemporary art, as well as training in web and print design. Until 2017, I had a “contemporary” artistic practice through which I tried to bring the sense of subversion inherent in the street-art movement into the gallery space, and to do this I slowly started to use sensor technology. From there, I started to develop an interest in digital and generative art. Then I discovered Touchdesigner, and all the creative possibilities it offers, and I think that’s what really got me into the world of digital art.
Thouzery mentions having been blown away by the diversity of creative projects in which one can embark, armed only with the Touchdesigner. One work in particular that made a deep impression on him is Box, produced by BOT and DOLLY, which is an impressive piece of projection mapping for sure, and yet nowhere near as complex as Thouzery’s own work. However, this is by no means unimpressive; the work is certainly quite breathtaking for 2013. Yet it was 2013, and Thouzery’s time has come: take Dream Tunnel for example: here, the artist’s work transports the viewer into what almost seems like another dimension.
“My creative research has a strong focus on generative processes, which means that a lot of my work is generated by code without the need for drawings, photos or videos to make it. It’s a wonderful situation for me , not only because I don’t have great drawing skills, but also because I really appreciate the generative process of creation and all that it entails. start with a basic idea and then as I develop the piece it can go a number of ways, at this stage what I sometimes enjoy the most is completely forgetting the original idea and leaving my creation find its own way. Sometimes it will take me 20 minutes to get something I like, and sometimes several hours; it’s hard to predict,” the artist tells STIR.
Thouzery admits that he too is not without dead ends. He has a library of failed attempts and creative projects that ended in a creative dead end, but he feels such setbacks are only to be expected when toeing an artistic line. He explains by saying “there is a lot of randomness, both in the way I produce my visuals, and also in my creative workflow. I wonder why I like it so much: maybe I like it because it balances out the predictability of working with computers. Of course, it’s not just about having fun tweaking settings and testing my creative possibilities without any direction: I often have to build precise tools myself in order to be able to experiment more freely. Most of the time my designs are either used for live shows or to create music videos. When my work is live, I like to include my audience in the work using various sensors. »
Most of the artist’s works are in black and white. He finds it creates a sense of universality in his practice, making it detached from any affective feelings, and more connected to a transcendental state of mind. His most recent exhibition was in collaboration with the collective Alphawave and Boa Lisboa, where they created a kinetic installation that allowed viewers to alter the projection through movement, and more surprisingly, through their own brainwaves, using fairly advanced technology. EEG sensors. The results were extraordinary: the generative and interactive art that was returned to the audience shifted and stirred as it engaged in a sort of two-way dance with them. He spent the month of April in Paris to beyond pixels, curated and produced by 36 degrees. Here too, Thouzery’s art shines: it carries a retro sensibility within it; far from what one imagines when thinking of art at the cutting edge of science. Thouzery featured two NFTs on the site, implying that he explored this new and emerging space. In the past, he has also created live visuals for artists such as Drake. Discussing the possibilities of the future, he tells STIR: “I would really like to work on more immersive installations based on precise research, but it takes a long time to develop such projects. As of now, I’m really happy with how my journey has gone and how it has evolved over the years. Thouzery currently lives in Toulouse, France.