Auriea Harvey is an artist based in Rome, who has worked in the mediums of internet-based and gaming art and experiences since its inception in the 90s. Her practice encompasses virtual and tangible sculptures, drawings and simulations that blend digital and handmade production. Here, Peigi Mackillop interviewed Harvey to find out more, from her humble beginnings to her exciting future plans.
What is your background and why did you want to become an artist?
I don’t know why exactly but since I was a child I wanted to be a painter. Somehow, I ended up studying sculpture in college. But at the same time it was computers which captivated me. So, life worked out that I have a practice which encompasses all three of those things! From the mid-90s I was working out ways to use computers to make artwork, everything from computer drawings to programming 3D rendered scenes. Over time I moved on the early web and net art, and later to early independent videogames scene. 3D has always been important to me, even when it wasn’t easily possible I was always trying to make worlds and objects which felt real to people.
What is the purpose/goal of your work?
I’d say that a big goal of mine is to make people consider what digital art is and can be. It’s nothing new to point out that most art today involves the use of digital tools of one sort or another, but it seems eyes are still being opened to art created solely with digital means or meant to be seen exclusively on screens. Especially work which is meant to be interactive and immersive is still not widely understood or appreciated, even though people spend so much of their time interacting digitally.
I want to have the freedom to make my sculptures, virtual or tangible. And to share them with audiences in physical space or online and have them valued as both being real experiences. But basically I want to make beautiful objects with meaningful concepts. That’s it, that’s the tweet.
Which other artists influence your art / do you admire?
The artists whose work I love are legion! I guess firstly artists who work with digital media or 3d printing in a conscious way: Marguerite Humeau, Grace-Lee Lawrence, Sophie Kahn, Ian Cheng, Martine Syms, Oliver Laric. But I’m way more influenced by historic sculptors like Bernini though. And my favourite art objects are like, 3000 year old fragments of idols or fragments that we don’t know what purpose they served.
What are your techniques to get out of a creative rut?
I’m actually never in a creative rut? There is literally always something new I’d like to try out. But, hmmm, burnout is something I’ve suffered once or twice and the only cure for that was to go away from all electronic devices and draw, charcoal on paper style.
Can you share with us any exciting future plans you are currently working on?
I’m currently working on my first institutional solo show in the Spring, which is going to be at The Momentary, the project space of Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas. I’m going to be showing a lot of my AR sculptures at the RomeEuropa festival here in Rome in September, and I’ll have a big online solo show on Feral File in November too. Busy busy days ahead.
All images courtesy of artist. Find out more about her work here