David Firth’s www.fat-pie.com, digital aura

Posted: 09/08/2010 in ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures, Uncategorized
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In 2007, I bumped into the art of David Firth, a British visual artists who, from his basement in London, has created an intricate universe as eerie as any David Lynch movie. It is all done in Flash, which gives it a contemporary flare but also is reminiscent of childlike, simple traces, primitive also. My favorite character, Salad Fingers, is a human-like figure imbedded with equal doses of strangeness and familiarity: it is, no doubt, influenced by various pop and underground culture references. The plots are dreamlike, which calls for a fragmented reality in which the spectator has to fill in the blanks.

When I first saw Firth’s artwork, I knew I had encountered something different not only in terms of aesthetics, but also in the rules of its production and distribution. Reflecting upon Walter Benjamin’s dealings with with concept of “aura”, I asked myself what the “aura”, that set of characteristics, of an almost metaphysical nature, that places an artifact in an historical and spatial context, is in digital creations. In the case of Salad Fingers’ short films, it is precisely in the rudimentary nature of the drawing, in the saturated colors of a medium –Flash–that was taken out of its primary context, that is the creation of commercial web applications and advertising. Salad Fingers was created for the sake of art. Its digital mode of distribution is also part of its aura, of the mythology and cultural connotations that accompany it: the graphic artist in a basement who, contrary to other striving creators in the past, can actually distribute and reproduce his work right from his desk.

If you don’t know this site, I recommend visiting it: www.fat-pie.com

In YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Doki66

For ARIN6903, Exploring Digital Cultures, The University of Sydney (Master in Digital Communication and Culture).

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Comments
  1. J says:

    The tools are there for all to use, be it legally or threading the gray seas of piracy. You could say that style can be developed, and sometimes evolves beyond the tools’ scope. But with Firth’s work, you can never be too sure. Sometimes great artist are recognized by their mastery of layering, coloring or achieving tones through infinite patience, and others through the weaving of their story. The hypnotic flow, the blobs of sound and color, give way to unnerving realizations, toying with repulsion and bitter aftertaste of rust and iron, the smell of blood running just below the surface, bringing life to characters that could fit just as well in any of Burton’s realizations, but for a more mature audience. It’ll make you twitch before surrendering to the next clip in the chain, making you wonder if you’re still on the other side of the screen.

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