STATEMENT

Waveforms are fundamental at every level of existence, from the quantum to the galactic. There are even coherent theories that question the wave particle duality, they posit that ultimately there are only waves. But there's one type of place in the universe where these forms are conspicuously absent. It's where most of us live – the urban environment. We are organisms whose body, brain and senses have evolved over many millions of years. As organisms we are aliens in a world of straight lines.

Most city dwellers choose to travel great distances to the seaside or natural landscapes where waveforms are prevalent. They do this to restore themselves physically, mentally and spiritually. It is thought of as an "escape".

My work is a practical attempt to bring these forms back into our field of view. Bringing images of nature into the town is a conventional role for art. But in our current context mimesis is more likely to produce nostalgia - to evoke a sense of absence. My aim is to return waveforms to our everyday reality as a restorative presence in the here and now.

My practice follows from the work of Pollock and the Process movement of the 1960's (Eva Hesse, etc.). These artists did not make marks as representations, rather they participated with nature and the properties of their materials. The artwork was not a likeness of something but the actual manifestation of their interactions.

They participated with the substance of nature, I participate with its actions. The computer's powers of iteration allow me to explore the same complex progressions that generate natural forms. We recognise these progressions as patterns in the structure of organisms, the stratification of minerals, the development of currents, cloud systems, nebulae and galaxies.

If my work succeeds it will function as a refuge from our synthetic environment - as devoid of cultural reference as nature itself.

John Clive


The work of John Clive is very much about the surfaces he creates… these are masterful demonstrations of how the cold calculating computer can simulate the supposedly wild abandon and mystery of that mode [abstract expressionism]  of art making… he maps his expressive colors and textures to three dimensional surfaces and achieves the sort of “synthesis” that I hold to be the true power of digital tools to create significant and unique art. …this work takes flight and demonstrates just where we are heading with digital art.


J.D. Jarvis, Museum of Computer Art
on the work of John Clive