Joan Mitchell Center AIR Program

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Thomas Tucker

Blacksburg, VA
1998 MFA Grant Recipient

Artist's Statement (2013)

The heart of my intellectual and spiritual philosophy is embedded in my drawings. During meditation, complex shapes and movements come into my mind’s eye. After seeing these shapes, I develop theories to describe their environments and how they move in relation to each other. Through drawings, I analyze their unique subatomic structures. These atomic structures react to one another according to norms different from those traditionally associated with physics. In my work I visually create rules that depart from traditional interactions of the subatomic level in a weightless environment. During meditation, I make up to 60 preliminary drawings. In the next phase, I construct the final drawings, which include ideas stemming from my invented mathematical formulas. Influenced by meditation, these delicate and elegant forms are then taken into a new stage, which incorporates the use of storyboard process.

I then take the storyboard ideas and model the forms in Maya, a 3D animation program. Then I begin the laborious process of animating the forms to follow the mathematical theory. Sound is later added to the final rendering of the work to solidify the animation. Thus, with the sound, the visual synthesis of the animation brings physical movements to the final drawings.

While not literal abstractions from nature, ultimately my pieces are metaphors for the quintessential rhythms activating the universe. The motions of animation, in conjunction with sound, create new identities in our visual repertoire.
 

Project at Joan Mitchell Center

My research for the past couple of years has focused on fusing 3D animation with concept drawings. I layer sculptural forms, projection mapping and, in collaboration with Tohm Judson, add interactive sound design, creating one cohesive unit.  I am currently projecting multilayered animation cycles onto complex sculptural pieces that hang off the wall using software packages like MadMapper, MAX/Jitter/MSP and Maya. Tohm Judson has been creating interactive sounds to the final rendering of the work to solidify the animation.

With our new installation, we will be hanging 16 units together off the wall to create multisided surfaces to project on.  Each unit will contain a surface transducer speaker allowing each pod to project sound. The produced sound will be a combination of granular and cellular automation (ie Conway’s Game of Life) based on tracking guests’ movements within the installation space.  Thus, from the moment the work is installed, a unique viewing and listening experience is created with each pass of the observer.

 

  • T2 Project, 2012, Maya, After Effects, Final Cut, MadMapper and Max/MSP/Jitter. 

    Tohm Judson and Thomas Tucker have collaborated on experimental drawing/ sculptural/animation/sound artwork. Tohm created electronic sound design using software with Max/MSP/Jitter. The sounds created for this project are derived from the visual forms and structure created in the 3D space, tracking both the real-time video and the permanent piece and using it for sound creation. Thomas used 3D animation with particle systems and MadMapper to project animations onto sculptural forms.

     

  • T2 Show, 2010, Maya, After Effects, Final Cut, and DVD Pro.

    Tohm Judson and Thomas Tucker have collaborated on experimental drawing/ sculptural/animation/sound artwork. Tohm created electronic sound design using software with Max/MSP/Jitter. The sounds created for this project are derived from the visual forms and structure created in the 3D space, tracking both the real-time video and the permanent piece and using it for sound creation. Thomas used 3D animation with particle systems, 3D printouts, layered drawing and laser cutting.

     

  • T2 Show2010, Maya, After Effects, Final Cut, and DVD Pro.

    Tohm Judson and Thomas Tucker have collaborated on experimental drawing/ sculptural/animation/sound artwork. Tohm created electronic sound design using software with Max/MSP/Jitter. The sounds created for this project are derived from the visual forms and structure created in the 3D space, tracking both the real-time video and the permanent piece and using it for sound creation. Thomas used 3D animation with particle systems, 3D printouts, layered drawing and laser cutting.

     

  • T2 Show2010, Maya, After Effects, Final Cut, and DVD Pro.

    Tohm Judson and Thomas Tucker have collaborated on experimental drawing/ sculptural/animation/sound artwork. Tohm created electronic sound design using software with Max/MSP/Jitter. The sounds created for this project are derived from the visual forms and structure created in the 3D space, tracking both the real-time video and the permanent piece and using it for sound creation. Thomas used 3D animation with particle systems, 3D printouts, layered drawing and laser cutting.
     

  • Modular Unit Project,  2006, Maya, After Effects, Final Cut, and DVD Pro.

    The Modular Unit was a commissioned five piece mobile wall units (8ft.x2ft.x1ft.) designed to fit in any gallery environment. The wall included 20-framed drawings, 3D animations presented on two plasma screen played simultaneously. The Modular Unit was endowed by a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant and a Zayed University research grant that supported the supplies needed for its construction.

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.