Tamás Waliczky: Identity Collage (Art, Computer and I)
(The text is compiled from various publications of Tamás Waliczky.)
One day, Tomiczky met himself in a crowded square among people rushing by. They stared at each other, waved, then turned their backs and walked off in opposite directions.
I would like to call attention to the fact that there is no such thing as a “natural” or an “unnatural” work of art. A Greek vase, a Renaissance fresco, a Shakespeare sonnet, or a work of art made on a computer are all equally undecipherable for, let’s say, a cat. Mona Lisa’s smile can only be found interesting by a human-sized, human-shaped, and human-minded being.
Why should we think that better equipment will result in better works of art? Good equipment is by all means justified, but it is only secondary to the force and clarity of concept.
If one does film, video, or computer work, the machines one works with become extremely important in one’s life.
The limitations of the machine have always been more important to me than its potentials. When you have a personal relationship with your machine, you are able to do things with it that its designer never even dreamed of.
The computer is just a means. We are wrong if we want to use it to conceal a lack of vigor in our message under a more fascinating guise.
People say the computer will transform the world. By this they mean what people meant when they made similar proclamations about radio and television; that the communication of ever larger masses of information can only be a positive development.
For me, the most important aspect of the institutions ... is community. I am talking about a group of intelligent, enthusiastic professionals who have welcomed me among them and with whom the shared work, discussions and disputes help me realize my ideas in accordance with the highest possible standards. In my experience, such a team is a very rare thing, and I consider myself lucky to have been a member of such a community on more than one occasion.
In reality, though, the computer can be one of the most effective means of increasing the danger of war and the stress on mankind. It is also a means of further manipulation in the mass media.
I have noticed that whenever I attempt to express ideas of general concern, my notions reveal more about myself than anything else. The sentences beginning with "People ..." or "Most people..." could in fact begin with "I ..."
I’m prepared to agree with anyone who curses the direction of developments at the moment and states that humanity is rushing towards its own doom, if that person is ready to acknowledge that this rush has been going on ever since we became human, and every horrible new invention and discovery is based on one in the past.
In addition to the qualities of each machine, its form, the sound and smell, it is this that influences me in what I do.
...my artistic work is surely not useful, or at least not in such a rational way, and while producing the work of art, I cannot see my purpose clearly. What I find is often surprising even for me. My job is connected much more to the abstract, to intuition instead of knowledge, to the mysterious instead of light. And in this sometimes slow, fumbling process, in the course of my work, which is sometimes a sudden discovery that is surprising even for me, sometimes despairingly insecure, the materials and tools I am using may be of immense help, due to their nature, resistance and sobriety.
The computer was not invented for us artists. The computer was made for military purposes. It has served scientific purposes, and when a flicker of hope for artistic use appeared for the first time, the computer immediately fell prey to propaganda and commercial film-making.
I am on very good terms with technology, in the case of commissioned work, I am able to solve questions easily, rapidly and in accordance with high standards. The problem I always have is what I want to say through my work. Or, to be more exact, I must wait for the idea to overwhelm me completely before it becomes clear to me what it should be about. Sometimes this takes a very long time. And since it is not really up to me, I cannot rush it. I always try to, of course, because I would like to create in abundance and with ease, but I have the impression that all my sophisticated tricks are in vain; I have to wait for it to ripen to maturity.
Tomiczky suddenly loses knowledge of everything he has ever known. He is in a vacuum. He doesn’t know how to use his limbs. He tries them out, but doesn’t know how to move his body parts, and he ends up bruising himself in his attempt. He writes in the middle of nowhere, because he has also forgotten how to see, and he bumps into solid objects that he cannot sense. He tries his voice because he has forgotten how to speak. He squeals, bellows, and howls.
I have a very strong feeling that my work is entering a new period, but to find the words to describe what it will be like is a more difficult matter.
We can make another go at the eternal subject, perhaps shooting the film from a slightly different angle.
...any kind of technology only inspires me if it reaches a certain level of visual complexity. Obviously, in my work I am directed not by conceptual but by sensory considerations.
To this day, I don’t consider myself a computer professional. I approach software from an artist’s way of thinking.
How strange that I never had any real personal relationships with video machines. I actually don’t care too much for video techniques and use them only out of necessity.
In order to create art with a computer, we will have to cast off all clichés of present commercial forms.
It is questionable whether I will be able to produce a real work of art about real problems using the virtual tools of a virtual reality, enjoying the virtual success gained from the virtual responses of the audience...
...it turned out to be a life-altering experience. When I looked into the Rolleiflex viewfinder, I saw an upside down, miniature, enchanted world which to me appeared more beautiful than reality. There was this magic mirror inside that machine...
Tomiczky pulls the shutters up in the morning. First there is only a small gap, so that only one or two colors appear. Tomiczky now collects himself and pulls the shutters up with one or two forceful pulls. The light floods into the room with incredible strength and covers every surface in color within seconds. A beautiful day begins, full of color.
Taking a picture of an object with this new medium might bring to light some details never seen before, and the familiar ones might be put into a new perspective.
If we approach the computer with our old way of thinking, grounded on old means and devices, we will be knocking our heads against brick walls and miss a magnificent opportunity to create a new world.
One of the most important components of the arts for me is the freedom they possess, that they can emerge at the most unexpected places and can resist categorization.
There is a kind of circulation: artists attempt to show what is lively, unclassifiable, unique, and thereby are excluded from the received norm. In a while, the norm itself is altered and embraces the works of art that just yesterday were not digestible.
The computer is a typical example of an instrument that man has created and now does not know how to use.
When I purchase a machine today I am not really buying an object but rather an obligation. From that day forth I agree to buy new parts for it at regular intervals, to freshen up its software biannually and to uphold the continually changing ideals of PC ownership...
We may lose the unique unrepeatable stroke of the artist, but we will gain a new way of thinking. Perhaps we will realize that the artist's stroke might not even be of such great value, and that works of art have always shone through with their content.
My job, as an artist, is not that clear or obvious. It cannot be, due to the nature of art.
Tomiczky and his friend talk. ... They converse like the deaf and dumb, with fervent movements, touching each other with wild and exaggerated gestures. The buzzing of an alarm clock breaks their silent dialogue.
Hong Kong, March 22, 2015