Photographs to Pixels: Exploring “a Sunday in the Park” with Loackme

This collection is a part of our Spring collections 2024. We had a chance to catch up with Loackme to learn more about his project, “a Sunday in the Park,” and the inspiration behind it.

“a Sunday in the Park” is an ultra-curated edition of 20 unique artworks. Minting will be via Dutch auction with rebate, set to start 12pm ET / 5pm CET on Friday, March 22. The auction will begin at 0.5 ETH on Base and decrease every minute over the span of an hour until it reaches 0.05 ETH.

Collection can be found here.

Hi Loackme! Could you tell us a bit about your background and how your journey into generative art began?

I studied mathematics at university. Later, I pursued a PhD in statistics, which I completed between 2013 and 2016. This academic journey marked my introduction to generative art. As a statistician, a significant aspect of my work involved representing data visually. Over time, I realized that the visualizations held intrinsic interest, prompting me to detach them from the raw data. I began generating data not for its inherent meaning but solely for visualization.

My initial foray into generative art occurred while working with a statistical software and programming language called R. Interestingly, I wasn’t yet familiar with the term “generative art.” It was only after I started sharing my experiments on Instagram that I discovered a community engaged in similar creative pursuits. They referred to it as “generative art.”

Another pivotal moment in my artistic journey occurred when I downloaded Processing in 2017. This powerful tool opened up a whole new world of possibilities, shaping the evolution of my creative endeavors ever since.

Could you tell us a bit more about this project and what inspired it?

This project began as a desire to incorporate a photographic element into my practice. In my youth, I dabbled in photography and really enjoyed it. Recently, I felt compelled to revisit this passion. During this period, I had been developing a custom dithering algorithm that allowed me to create animations using migrating pixels based on photographs. These pixels, in their dynamic movement, always struck me as remarkably alive. It made perfect sense to use this algorithm for a Spring-themed project.

“a Sunday in the Park” was a way to take my practice beyond the computer screen. All the pictures were taken during an actual walk through the park near my home on March 3rd. My intention was to capture that specific moment in time, encapsulating its essence. Additionally, this project provided me with a framework within which to channel my creative process. Once back home, armed with a series of pictures, I constrained myself to using only this base material. Creating such a framework is an integral part of my artistic process.

While I’ve previously experimented with incorporating pictures into my work, this is the first extensive collection where they play a central role. Unlike past practices, these images were not used retrospectively; they were captured with the project’s goal in mind. Consequently, this endeavor stands as one of my most figurative projects to date. And, of course, the colors of spring—beyond my usual black and white palette—give this collection a pretty unique spot in my work.

This collection is pretty small. How did you decide on that and how did you decide on the curated pieces?

The size of the collection stems directly from its foundation in photographs. Each piece necessitated touching up the base picture before delving into the generative aspect, making a large collection impractical.

Curation primarily occurred during the photograph selection process, including decisions about which specific parts of an image to utilize. You could also argue that the colors were curated, as I sampled them from each base picture. I find the boundary between curation and creation somewhat blurred in this project, and that’s precisely what I appreciate.

Where did the title come from?

The title of this collection is highly descriptive, as all animations directly stem from and represent a Sunday stroll in the park. It made sense to acknowledge the ‘time capsule’ aspect of the project this way. Additionally, it aims to evoke the emotions associated with such walks. During my childhood, these Sunday walks held a special place as a family ritual, and the title was a nod to these memories.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Viewing perspective plays a critical role in this series, much like it does in most dithered or pixel art. When the pieces are viewed at full zoom, they take on an almost abstract quality. At this level, one primarily observes the pixels in motion. However, when you zoom out, the figurative and photographic aspects of each piece emerge, allowing you to discern the subject. I encourage viewers to experiment with these varying perspectives.

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