Episode interview with A L Crego, find his Twitter and some of his works at MakersPlace
[1:11 – 4:23] For Crego, NFTs were a natural step and it was as far back as 2014 that he started to use the internet as his canvas. Originally he moved to crypto more for protection than sales. By 2019 he was contacted by MakersPlace to be a new artist on the platform (where he now curates). Connecting more with the NFT scene happened once Crego joined Twitter.
Crego clarifies that his work is actually not generative and that he does it by hand, frame by frame. That people are often confused even as to what a GIF is, despite it existing for 34 years now.
[4:23 – 13:56] Regarding underrated artist, Crego feels that most of the artist who started digital art are underrated. His position comes from noting that many people in the crypto scene only look to those who are on Twitter and ignore those artist like Pi-Slices, Kidmograph, Glitch Black, and Etienne Jacob who were doing digital art long before on places like Tumblr. He finds it painful when people call him and above mentioned artist as emergent.
Crego goes on to talk about his dissonance towards social media and the business of NFTs as a whole.
[13:56 – 17:49] Crego has coined the term GIFtilism as a homage to Impressionist pointillism. Crego explains; what the point was to traditional art is now what the square or pixel is in digital art. He goes on to make a correlation between comics and GIFs; while comics were originally not taken seriously they have evolved into a high form of literature and he feels that GIF art now being sold on the blockchain also has the room to evolve into something of more value.
[17:49 – 21:43] Looking to the importance of a pixel, Kizu brings up Murat Pak’s sale of a single pixel for $5 million. For Crego, he respects Pak’s work (and even did a similar piece) but finds it to be a bit repetitive.
Crego first got into GIF art as he saw that it was a space that could still be improved. That many of the artist in the space moved on to produce video art but that he stayed with GIFs because he found them to be a powerful tool. He sees the repetitive loop of a GIF as the visual equivalent of a Tibetan mantra.
[21:43 – 26:48] Kizu asks about Crego to elaborate on his views regarding the psychology and philosophy behind GIFs. Crego says that GIFs are the most human format. That our memories work as GIFs.
Crego felt limited in photography (mentions Cartier Bresson for his ability to capture motion in a still shot). Says poorly made photo animations are like the autotune of GIFs. For Crego, time is what gives art value, not money.
In a digital world where almost everything is free, what has value is what calls your attention… and GIFs and motion call your attention, especially if done in a hypnotic perfect loop where the eye can not detect point A from point B.
[26:48 – 31:51] Sabretooth asks Crego about his artistic processes. For Crego the tools have been almost the same for 10+ years, that is; Photoshop and After Effects. His creative process though is often based on poetry he has written and the imagery that the words later give him. He gives the example of writing the quote, “In a world that run so fast, to stop is to advance” and the work that that produced of shoes hanging/running on a wire.
For him, this translation of word into a work is art, the other way around is branding. Crego shares a bit of his views towards generative art and says that he thinks of Pollock as the first generative artist.
[31:51 – 36:23] In regards to most underrated artists, Crego feels that Hieronymus Bosch is the most noteable because of his power to subtly introduce powerful metaphors and idioms. Crego also mentions Piero Manzoni for his ability to use art as a critique. In a more contemporary frame, Crego mentions Lucas Aguirre for his technique of taking oil paintings and transferring them into VR and also Dave Strick.