TÊTE à TÊTE WITH CHRIS SHIER
We're going to let you in on a little secret...
If you haven't found it yet, there is a secret place in www.kenzo.com with some special content and if you were clever and curious enough we are sure you found it already.
If not, here's a link to the KENZO Secret Room but we leave it to you to find the path to get there. Remember, it's not just the destination, but the journey that counts!
We inaugurate the Secret Room with some special content created by Chris Shier.
KENZINE: Can you tell us a few words about your background?
CHRIS SHIER: I live in Vancouver. I started making animated gifs as part of the dump.fm community and then moved on to canvas animations when I couldn't make the gifs excruciatingly slow enough.
K: Three words that define your visual environment?
C. S.: Text, pixels, screen.
K: Do you consider technical limits as a challenging element of your work?
C. S.: My lack of understanding of technical limits would be the most challenging element of my work. My methods mostly mirror falling into a trap in the jungle, painfully extricating myself, then trying to re-build the trap.
K: How would you define the piece you designed for our secret room?
C. S.: I would call it a slice-painting melted feedback toy.
K: In terms of concept, can you let us know how you started from the print and built this interactive piece?
C. S.: The source Orchid pattern shared a chopped-up look with some of the slitscan style methods with which I've been playing. I wanted to mess it up and make the source as malleable as possible while still retaining some visual coherence
K: How do you take in consideration the interactive part of your job?
C. S.: I'd like to try and emulate computer games in the interactions by turning simple input (clicking, moving the mouse) into exciting output.
The difficult part for me is to not hide my favourite effects too deep within the gestures, and to keep things accessible for someone who hasn't been staring at the internal structure for days and days and days.
K: What elements are key to you in order to capture the attention of your audience?
C. S.: A feeling of exploration is what captures me. Systems interacting in unexpected ways. Being able to control and observe that.
K: What does a digital work needs to be "viral"?
C. S.: Judging from the gifmelter (http://csh.bz/gifmelter) tool, which Tim Baker and I worked on, its viral success was found by combining a known quantity, animated gifs, with something unexpected, the bleeding paint feedback effect. Also, being able to use any image in the tool lets the user apply their own personality to it.