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Tristan Onek

Computational Artist

https://aiaesthete.com

onektr@etsu.edu



How has your past and your influences directed your creative path?

My past, especially as it pertains to the arts, was largely influenced by my academic and scientific background. The last year has given me an opportunity to approach art for its own sake rather than under any kind of educational or technical guidance.


How has the pandemic, social dynamics, election (2020) affected your local community and your creative practice?

This year has affected my community in the sense that I did not have a traditionally 'local' community as I found opportunities around the country wherever I could due to changes in my career. This was ultimately for the best, because I learned that there are good people who can facilitate creative energies in places where I had never been before. I am grateful for the change in scenery and the new lessons that I learned from the people that I met. All of the negative factors in 2020 ultimately caused me to develop a better sense of gratitude in whichever community I find myself.



Why did you decide to join CRISIS residency?

I decided to take part in this opportunity as a way to hold myself accountable to work on my personal projects.


What are you currently working on now? Is that a change from your prior work?

I am still working on computational art projects, but I have recently begun shifting towards learning more traditional mediums such as character design and 3D modeling. I have also developed an affinity recently for 'found poetry'. My perspective is that there are 'only' so many ways that one can computationally generate art with programs before one is bored - there are 'only' an infinite number of ways to do so depending on the programmer's creativity, but I think 2021 may be a good time to become more interdisciplinary.


What is your next step in your practice?

I would like to continue to divide my time between the computational art projects and my new drawing ventures. Learning to draw in more traditional mediums rather than writing programs to do so for me will hopefully afford me a new skillset and a better ability to create across different formats.


What is your dream project?

Since all of my work has been digital and therefore somewhat intangible, I've always wanted to try to expand my work with some physical sensation that could bring additional layers of entertainment and amusement. Work that people can taste or touch or personally manipulate in some way would be very interesting, and I would like to think about such a project after the pandemic ends since physical interaction would not be ideal now.


What, if anything, would you like to say to other creatives during this time?

Creativity is a beneficial outlet for energy like other activities that bring a sense of personal satisfaction, and I would only encourage others to make those activities a necessary factor in one's own daily routine.



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