When one thinks of data, code and algorithms, fine art and aesthetic beauty rarely come to mind. In fact, we typically think of these types of analytical activities as being the antithesis of art and creativity. Yet as data becomes a more prevalent force in our everyday lives, digital artists like Brendan Dawes are completely transforming our relationship with various forms of numerics; revealing the beauty behind the numbers in ways we never imagined. 

The Artistic Algorithm

Brendan Dawes is a self-taught digital artist and designer based in the United Kingdom. Through a cocktail of code, and various digital and analogue materials, Dawes seeks to explore the interplay between objects, technology, art and humanity, presenting a poetic new way to interact with data and fine art in the process. Through his unique practice, Dawes proves that technical objects like data, code, film frames and more, possess as great a beauty as flowers, fruit and figures. 

“Created in 2004 and acquired for the MoMA permanent collection in 2008, Cinema Redux creates a single visual distillation of an entire movie; each row represents one minute of film time, comprised of 60 frames, each taken at one second intervals. The result is a unique fingerprint of an entire movie, born from taking many moments spread across time and bringing all of them together in one single moment to create something new.” Cinema Redux by Brendon Dawes

Dawes artwork is revered around the world. In 2008, his Cinema Redux, a creation which condenses entire films into a single image, was acquired for the New York MoMa’s permanent collection. This artwork was also part of three MoMA exhibitions as well as thirteen exhibitions across the world as part of Big Bang Data exhibition

Film students, academics and obsessives with time on their hands may use Dawes’s grids to postulate new theories about the language of film.
 — John Walters, The Guardian

“Black Mamba’s Revenge uses pixel sampling techniques together with AI to visualize the final fight scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. One.” Black Mamba’s Revenge by Brendan Dawes

His crypto art genesis creation, Black Mamba’s Revenge, which uses AI to visualize the final fight scene in Kill Bill Vol. One, was long listed for the prestigious Lumen Prize (his second time making the list). Dawes’ artwork has been a part of numerous exhibitions including Art Futura 2020, ZKM Season of Media Arts 2019, and Impression 3D Paris 2016. Dawes has also received the Information is Beautiful award, D&AD, and Fast Company Innovation by Design. His 3D printed work has been printed on the international space station.

Commissioned by McMillan for Trend Micro, The Art of Cybersecurity is a series of prints, together with a 4K animation born from cybersecurity threat data. The Art of Cybersecurity By Brendan Dawes

I believe passionately in putting new objects into the world that disrupt the status quo and ask questions about accepted practices

When Dawes is not creating, he is giving talks around the world on the unharnessed potential of data and design. He’s authored two books on the subject (Analog In, Digital Out, New Masters of Flash, Flash ActionScript for Designers). Dawes also sits on the advisory board for Manchester School of Art and has been a jury member for several award bodies including the Art Directors Club in New York, D&AD and the iF Design Awards.

Despite his undeniable success in a groundbreaking sector of the arts, Dawes arrival to the design world was somewhat unplanned. Dawes is completely self-taught, receiving no formal education. Rather, various experiences across industries armed Dawes with the multi-faceted perspective he would need to explore this new category of creation. Before finding his niche, Dawes worked as a photographer, record contract in the UK rave scene, and in a factory drilling holes in fiberglass. His introduction to the digital art world came in 1996 when he acquired a web design job and was able to hone in on his craft of digital art and design. “

“A series using population density data to create typographic expressions of cities around the world. The denser each city, the denser the trails and the more they obscure the type.” Typographic Data City: Tokyo by Brendan Dawes

Brendan Dawes’ artwork is rooted in the examination of time, space and memory. It is mostly sculptural and architectural, with nuances, subtleties and understatements playing important exploratory roles for viewers. 

I like layers that you can dive into.

Inspiration is abundant for Dawes, though it rarely comes from other digital art. Dawes lists the work of of Alexander McQueen, the glass artist Sam Herman, the film director Lynne Ramsey, the poetry of E.E. Cummings and the architecture of Zaha Hadid as major sources of inspiration. 

The Swan

Dawes newest series is a continuation of the technique and style he introduced with the Lumen prize awarded Black Mamba’s Revenge, which pairs pixel sampling techniques and AI to reimagine and condense multiple scenes into a united sculptural form — a moment of fleeting visual poetry. 

This time, Natalia Makarova’s 1905 ballet performance of The Dying Swan serves as the inspiration and foundation of this creation in which “time and motion give rise to a flowing sculptural form, creating a physical manifestation of not only the performance itself but of the imperfect yet human and beautiful nature of memories.”

The Swan: Exposition
Static Preview Only

Editions: One
Pricing: Only accepting offers (Auction closes 1/22 at 7pm PST)

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The Swan: Progression
Static Preview Only

Editions: 5
Pricing: 0.5 ETH (~$675)

*Final edition will be auctioned

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The Swan: Overture
Static Preview Only

Editions: 5
Pricing: 0.5 ETH (~$675)

*Final edition will be auctioned

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The Swan: Finale

Editions: 5
Pricing: 0.5 ETH (~$675)

*Final edition will be auctioned

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