In conversation with Steve Lawler, Multimedia Artist & Designer

Posted on August 25, 2017

Moving Spiral Dots Illusion (c) Justin Hanes - www.justinhanes.net

Steve Lawler, the man behind Mojoko, reacts to the bombardment of bizarre images of today’s culture by creating various mutations and different view of the glossy yet undeniably trash pop world. Born in Iran, raised in Hong Kong and educated in Europe. He attended the prestigious FABRICA school in Italy. His artwork is multi-faceted and innovative – curation, installation, interactive design but also fine skills, such as painting, collage and drawing.

What are your dreams of how emerging technologies can change the way we make and enjoy art?
I hope it will trickle down from being a “play thing” for the wealthy to a democratic art form that can be appreciated by the many. I think if artwork can be interactive and playful it will engage people for longer period of times than static art. There is a mesmerising effect of screen and motion, which is why people can watch television for longer than staring at a painting. I read somewhere the human eye cannot be still for more than 1/8th of a second and keeps jumping around the page. Motion in screen-based work means the human eye can watch a screen comfortably whilst being pulled in and mesmerised. For example, you can stare at a moving GIF of an image for longer than a static version.

How do you think digital art has the power to change the world?
I’m not sure its going to change the world – it is very much a luxury at the moment with not much hope of democratisation. I feel it has the potential to grow, like gaming, to enrich and give pleasure to people who can appreciate it. If retail and public spaces were to adopt digital art in their environments it could be interesting. However, there will always be those who cannot appreciate the benefit of public art because they need to find function and to measure its worth. So, essentially the power for art to change the world is limited by our ability to prove its “value” in a modern dollars/cents society.

Who is on your Art x Technology inspiration radar right now?
I have always been a fan of some of the Japanese pioneers of interactive design, people like Yugo Nakamura and Taku Satoh. And, teamLab have been making their presence felt here in Singapore. I am huge fan of video artists like Bill ViolaUniversal Everything; Esteban Diacono; and Vince Fraser. In terms of installations I am always excited to see the work of UVA and Massive Attack. A good place to find inspiration is The Creators Network.