Editor’s Note: The <Art / Code> event will bring together 15 digital artists to show off their cutting-edge work at the Aria Stone Gallery on July 27. The event is curated by David Rodriguez (aka Dr. Gorilla) and hosted by Digital Dallas. This profile of artist Alex Garcia Topete is one in our series of artist profiles.
Alex Garcia Topete believes all disciplines — whether its engineering and technology or business and fine arts — are intertwined.
From neuroscience and quantum physics to the study of language beyond its mere verbalization, Topete is most interested in how science, math, and language help us understand the world.
“Specialization makes creativity and innovation wilt.”
Alex Garcia Topete
“Specialization makes creativity and innovation wilt,” Topete said.
Which is probably why he can’t pick one title to define himself, opting for a more general explanation of being “creative across disciplines.”
“I’m a writer, filmmaker, mobile app and video game designer, entrepreneur, nonprofit advocate, and artist and storyteller at large — whatever involves creation and/or telling a story, I’m interested in doing it or learning about it.”
The Mexico native concentrates mostly on film, television, and other narrative media. However, during his recent graduate studies in arts and technology at The University of Texas at Dallas, he’s returned more to his roots in music, visual art, and especially computer coding, he said.
For his latest work,“Cosmic Symphony #1,” Topete used a computer to translate data from NASA satellites into a musical arrangement, to create what he describes as the “harmony of the cosmos.”
It’s a manifestation of his belief that art, science, and technology elevate each other.
“Art can inspire scientists to do more creative/crazy things, and it can also make people understand science better… and get more interested in it,” he said. “Science, on the other hand, can enhance art by providing new and better tools and allowing artists to understand how the world works to improve their representations and works of art.”
BEING A ‘NOSTALGIC FUTURIST’
Growing up, Topete can recall family vacations filled with visits to museums and galleries. By age 10, he had delved full force into the creative world with writing, painting, photography, music, and video game coding.
He traces his artistic inspiration to the Renaissance, but that doesn’t mean he’s caught up in the past or has a fantasy of living in it.
“I consider myself a nostalgic futurist. I look back at history with fascination in order to learn how to propel forward.”
Alex Garcia Topete
“I consider myself a nostalgic futurist. I look back at history with fascination in order to learn how to propel forward,” Topete said.
Topete also credits the writings of science fiction genre pioneer, Jules Verne, in shaping his own works.
“He was the first author I binge-read when I was a kid, and today I realized it was because his sci-fi works were materializations of that belief of mine that art and science/technology go hand in hand,” Topete said. “That’s how we invent the future: first by imagining it, then by creating it.”
For aspiring digital professionals, Topete cautions to not be confined into a particular discipline.
“It’s OK to focus on an expertise, but ‘specialization’ will stifle you,” he said. “Learn about and try your hand in every discipline, and that will enhance your expertise.”
Digital Dallas <Art / Code> Event
On July 27, the worlds of art and code will collide from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Aria Stone Gallery, where Dallas’ top digital artists will show us how they’re taking digital design to new electronic heights. Drinks, food, and music from Digital Dallas’ roster of DJs will be provided. The gallery is 1617 Hi Line Drive, Suite 310, in Dallas. Check it out here.
READ MORE ABOUT THE <ART / CODE > ARTISTS
Dallas Artist Eric Trich Realizes Vision in 3-D Projection Mapping
Trich is a local artist who is taking digital art in Dallas to new heights via 3D projection mapping installations.
Artist Makes 1st Mind-controlled Digital Video Art Installation
Jeremy McKane is an underwater fashion photographer who has traveled around the world to capture the movement and grace of fabric-draped forms under water.
Artist Darcy Neal Illuminates with #Hashtag Map
Electronic artist Darcy Neal of LadyBrain Studios and software engineer Alex Meswarb of Ideacombine have joined forces to construct an interactive Twitter #hashtag map that will display the “geographic location of the use of predefined hashtags onto an LED matrix.”
Ryan McCutcheon Creates “Ghost” in his Art
Ryan McCutcheon is a sculptor who will be exhibiting a three-dimensional sculpture called “Bitter Sweet” that he created with unique two-dimensional shapes.
Don Relyea’s Art Intersects Tech, Biology
Don Relyea will showcase “Sharon Tate,” a series of generative portraits he built using a custom particle painting engine created with code.
Barton Damer: His Art Resonates Pop Culture
His work is influenced by skateboarding, basketball, and hip-hop culture, and he says his “inspiration” can be seen in his work with clients such as Nike, Dew Tour, and Vans shoes.
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