I’ve been an artist as far as I can remember and my mom swears I actually came that way. The first clues I’m aware of are my interactions with Legos and making wild sculptures by dripping candle wax in ice water (try it: you’ll see… It’s very cool). I must have been about 8. I grew up in France steeped in movies, art and culture. Skipping a few years to film school in the cinema department at San Francisco State University, I finally found confirmation of what I had always perceived but hadn’t yet been given the words to express.
When I got an Amiga computer in 1988, I immediately started applying my experimental instincts and my visual fluency to the creative investigation of digital tools. I’ve been playing in that sand box ever since.
Because the output of digital work is usually some form of media we can make sense of, like an image, a sound or 3D information, and because it is presented to us through clean opaque interfaces, we tend to forget that the raw matter from which these emerge is an immaterial and formless electronic abstraction based on a cold logic that often serves someone else’s interests. We design sleek surfaces to hide this coldness and they lull us into believing they are a convenient substitute for reality and an ally in the pursuit of increased productivity. I am usually drawn to activities that subvert this, and while there is a political and social commentary inherent to the practice, my main motivation has always been a curiosity without expectation of outcome. I want to know what’s under the hood, how it works, and what happens when it’s reassembled differently.
My professional life is in entertainment; I started out working on big visual effects movies and animated features. I eventually segued to themed entertainment at Walt Disney Imagineering where my high end CG production experience could be integrated with other digital technologies into a physical canvas that supported immersive experiences and interactive story telling. I can’t complain about a job where we invent new ways of telling stories on every project. (www.thomashollier.com)
My personal work is documented in this site. It typically revolves around image making, perspective, looking, the integration of digital and physical spaces, and the development of creative processes. Ultimately, the notion of play has emerged as the guiding principle of my approach. It is through play that we understand the universe around us and how we become active participants in it, both as children and as adults. It is through play that we learn to live.