Brady Walker: Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Dave Pollot: My name is Dave Pollot. I live in the Finger Lakes region of NY, and I’m a former software engineer turned full-time artist.
BW: Tell me about the piece you’re bringing to Miami with MakersPlace & Transient Labs.
DP: I’m bringing a piece from a series that I’ve called Pass Through. Each piece in this series involves some element from contemporary life or pop culture entering into a painting through a hole in the canvas and exiting the piece through the frame. In this particular piece, I’m exploring the relationship between AI, art, and the viewer.
BW: Is there anything special about this piece in the context of your body of work?
The relationship between technology, art, and the observer is a complicated one. Pass Through VIII explores some of the questions that arise as the line between these is blurred through advancements in AI/Blockchain/etc., and how these advancements work together with traditional mediums to enhance or destroy our concept of what it means to refer to something as art.
BW: Can you share any specific rituals or practices that help you maintain your creative momentum?
DP: My wife likes to say that I live in my own head — which is often true. I’m constantly thinking through ideas for new pieces and the best ways to go about executing the idea. Very often, this thought process happens while I’m working out or just before I fall asleep. I have a whiteboard that has a list of things I want to explore, and a much bigger list in the Notes app on my phone.
BW: How much planning or preliminary thought goes into each painting?
DP: I usually know exactly what the finished piece will look like before I ever set brush to canvas. Once I have a good idea of what I’ll be painting, I spend quite a bit of time sketching and mocking up the piece. There are instances where it’s much more stream of consciousness, but the lion’s share of my work is thoroughly planned well in advance.
BW: How would you describe how your work is currently evolving?
DP: In late 2012, I started reworking thrifted paintings — something that started off as a bit of a joke between my (now) wife and I quickly evolved into an attempt to answer the question of whether or not an emotional/nostalgic connection was more powerful than aesthetics. Over the last ten years, I’ve consistently tried to find new ways to keep things interesting as well as find a way to bridge the gap between my art and programming careers. That journey has involved countless painting styles, writing my smart contracts to create dynamic digital pieces that change with external on-chain data, and most recently adding hand-sculpted elements to my work that blur the line between the art and viewer.
BW: What do you hope people feel when they look at your art?
DP: Very often, I’m just trying to ask a question without spoon-feeding an answer to the viewer. It’s much more interesting when the viewer can participate and interact with a piece. I think that as long as the viewer feels SOMETHING, even if that thing is revulsion, then the work has done its job. I also like the idea that art in general can be a mirror — it reflects back to the viewer what they see (or what they’re looking for).
BW: What role does physical art play in the broader web3 art ecosystem?
DP: I’ve always thought that it would be very unlikely that tokenized art would replace physical art (the same way that I don’t believe that artists are in any danger of AI replacing them). I think the really interesting stuff happens where the past meets the future in terms of art and technology, and much of this will still require something physical.
BW: Who or what else excites you in the art world (web3 or trad) right now?
DP: It’s all very exciting. I love how big the world has gotten in terms of our access to content. I’m inspired by so many artists out there (in both web3 and traditional mediums). All that inspiration helps to feed my creativity and helps me to keep pushing myself.