I’ve been a conceptual artist since the age of 2, although my mom swears I actually came that way. The first clues of this that I can remember are my first interactions with Legos and making wild sculptures by dripping candle wax in ice water (try it: you’ll see…). 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 my Amiga computer in 1988, I pretty much immediately settled into blending my conceptual instincts with my grammatical fluency of film through the creative use of digital tools. I’ve been playing in that sand box ever since.
At its core, digital art is about shaping unintelligible raw data into something that we can meaningfully experience. It’s about building abstract structures in an immaterial space, organizing them in specific ways, and designing filters through which we observe them. What makes me an artist is not “the piece of art that I made” as much as the drive to engage in a process of creative exploration culminating in something that ultimately reflects back on its own creation. It’s an action, not a thing; the action is “the flow” while the thing is merely there as a memento of the process that brought it to life. It ultimately speaks more about itself than it does about anything else and the more the payload tries to obfuscate the container, the less meaningful the experience.
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.