To step into the looping world of Kidmograph is to dip your fingers into the melting mirror from The Matrix: you're stuck, captivated and captured by its uncanny allure. Hailing from Argentina, the artist, also known as Gustavo Torres, works as a video artist, illustrator, and art director. He's created music videos for artists on Skrillex's OWSLA and A-Trak's Fool's Gold Records, stretching the universes of Getter and Low Pros, respectively, across 3D grids of possibility.
If the Simpsons episode where Homer enters the third dimension met the propulsion of Knight Rider, Kavinsky, and Nicholas Winding Refn, with a little bit of Dela Deso's grime thrown in, you'd have something that looks a little like the work of Kidmograph. Fascinated by his process and products, The Creators Project reached out to Kidmograph for an interview.
The Creators Project: It seems like your works exist somewhere between the real world and the virtual world. Where do your GIFs take place? When was the last time you visited that place?
Kidmograph: Yes. They coeexist in the middle of real/virtual world. Since they are generated by computer but has the the human side that makes them (me). I tried unconsciously to have these feelings/sensations at the moment the spectator looks at them.
There's a certain meditative quality to your loops. Do you prefer GIFs or music videos? Why?
Mhm that's a difficult question. I think both has its own enchantment and I can set times for each of them for different purposes. GIFs are (in my case) pretty much spontaneous, although some are very complex. But they are small pieces suspended in time, forever. You can express one concrete concept, and that feeling is pretty unique. Music videos are awesome to enter in bigger concept and develop it with all its variables and possibilities. It's like a long journey that you might not know how it will end... You can push the boundaries, experiment and form all that new ideas and a sort of minded pipeline happens. Making music videos requires lots of time and organisation. Both mental and physical.
What were the films/books/tv shows that inspired you growing up?
Well I was kid in the 80s and it was the most awesome age, no doubts about that. Grow up with all the big animated cartoons like Robotech, Mazinger Z, Thundercats, Transformers, He-Man. TV shows with sci-fi topics like Knight Rider, V, Cosmos, Max Headroom, comedies like Alf, Mork & Mindy. Movies like Brazil, Blade Runner, TRON, E.T., Mad Max. Also I was (and still am) big fan of comics. The comic entered me into the illustration work and painting. That was definitely an explosion in my mind and tried to recreate superheroes even create my own.
Do you see any connections between Argentina and the sci-fi aesthetic of many of your works?
There are some approaches, yes. We have a very strong history in the art world. But one classic for many Argentineans like me was and even world wide is El Eternauta, a very conflictive sci-fi story with a strong political background. We all link our work with our context background, but one feeling that I always had is to achieve universal pieces that don't matter where you were born, you will feel somehow represented by bigger concepts that exceed our geographical limits.
How did you learn to make digital art?
I'm coming from the traditional art world. I am formerly a painter/illustrator. By the time I was finishing my studies the personal computer was much more accesible for people like me than the mid 80's. I'm coming form a mid/low middle class so we couldn't afford the costs. By the time (end of 90's, earlier 2000) I started to learn some applications like Macromedia Flash, Painter, Illustrator. I really need to thank Internet that gave me the chance to learn thing that I couldn't in another way. So, I'm a 90% self-taught artist. I learned form my mistakes and and never stopped practicing over the years.
What's the most inspiring thing you've seen lately?
This might sound odd, but I'm trying to keep from seeing too much stuff. It's like a method to stay clean as much as possible and not being visual contaminated. But one thing it really liked that I saw was Beeple's short Zero Day. He's world-wide known by his daily 3D illustrations, but what I really like about this short (despite his incredible technique) is that he could merge all this blast of images, feelings and technique in one solid piece. Very recommended.
Any plans for moving your visuals into virtual reality?
I had a couple of opportunities a few years ago but I couldn't close any mostly because a matter of time. This is a growing tech so it's always enhancing it's possibilities and I feel this is just the start. But yeah I like and want to make some virtual reality stuff in the future. I have some cool project that needs some construction and support to make them so I can't say too much.
Click here to check out Kidmograph on Tumblr.