Hand and digital media

Hand and digital media is a mix of traditional and computer-based techniques. Hand made or anaolgue processes include drawing with a pencil or painting with a brush. Digital media examples might involve image editing software or drawing apps. Digital processes are also known as new media.

Alex Russell really likes mixing the analogue and the digital. On one hand, all his work is the output of a computer. Generally, he writes programmes that run on his PC to make images. If he doesn’t make the artworks with code, then he will use digital image editing. On the other hand, Alex often hand makes the content of the artworks. Typically, he will create a library of images. He then points the code at the library to form the outputs. This distinction is important. The hand made is generally the content and the digital is normally the form.

The reasons for using both hand and digital media are two-fold. Firstly, he’s done it for a long time. (That is probably not a reason.) Secondly, Alex likes playing with the boundaries of where the analogue and the digital are. For example, some of his work looks hand made but is actually very digital. Conversely, most of his code starts its life as pencil notes in a sketchbook.

In the past, Alex made extensive use of printing and collage in his work. Both methods involved layering up images or adding one colour at a time. These approaches translate well to digital workflows. He merges hand and digital media, playing with the similarities and differences they offer.

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