Joel Suganth J
I'm a new media artist, photographer, musician, and visual arts educator from Chennai, India, currently based in Taipei.
Some of my long-term projects include Kasi, a series of photographs taken over ten years in Varanasi. The Himalayan road, featuring several road trips across the Indian Himalayas, and Padhimalai, a photo series about a village in Tamilnadu. I recently completed a 365-day project where I created one artwork a day for 365 days.
My work is about perception, memory, and recollection. I use images, videos, and sound to create experiences meant to explore the traces of lived experience and bring to light the quiet corners of the human mind and consciousness.
Notes on making one artwork a day for 365 days.
- After a year of uncertainty and immobility because of the pandemic, making one artwork a day brought both certainty and creative movement to everyday life.
- As an artist, making something every single day is an effective remedy for being nostalgic about old work and different times in your life.
- Questions like, “Do people like my work?” are irrelevant because if people like my work — excellent! If people are apathetic — disappointing. But it’s ok because I’m making something the next day regardless of the reaction.
- Coming up with an idea and executing it is challenging initially. Sometimes, I’m sitting in my studio at 11pm thinking about what should I create, and I have only 60 minutes to do it. Usually, I pick a tool and start engaging with it. Usually, something will happen, one thing will lead to another, and I will make an artwork for that day.
- Movement — There is a feeling of constant motion when making something every day. Movement leads to focus.
- The attention is on getting things done. Finishing something and not obsessing over everything. Making every day helps get over perfection. It’s good practice for making decisions under uncertainty and doubt.
- I’ve remastered old work a few times — photographs in a new sequence and new edits. I initially thought these would be less time-consuming, but they are more cognitively demanding than making something from scratch.
- Tools: I pledge no allegiance to any particular medium, tools, or techniques. However, there is something to be said about fluency with a creative tool. One new tool that worked for me is Touchdesigner. My interest is in sensory perceptions, primarily through photography, video, and sound. Touchdesigner is a perfect tool to combine these mediums in interesting and interactive ways.
Like driving, the learning curve is nice from the initial stages to a reasonably good level, but then it plateaus. People who drive every day for years don’t get significantly better unless they are deliberate in their efforts.
I want to get better. Skill +Imagination = Art. I want to be more deliberate about improving both skill and imagination.
I want to have a daily practice for artmaking, but I’m only going to work on sketches on paper and not post them. It will be something I do for myself. I may or may not show it in the future.
Lessons learned: Clarity. Artists with clear styles and voices stand out and are successful. I was not a fan of artists having one style before. I did not want to do similar things over and over again.
However, from the perspective of an audience, I realized it could be confusing to see different mediums on the same feed. So, I’m going to make a separate account for my photography and new media art. I will continue to use my existing account as a hub for creative processes across different media.
Originally published on Medium