Dave Greber is Scandy’s second Artist in Residence, a technician and professor of digital art with Tulane University. He is a New Orleans resident who is originally from Philadelphia. We sat down with Dave to chat about his time with us, his style and influences, and what is next for him.
What is your artistic style?
Something like intuitive tech folk-art. My inspiration comes from collective social phenomena run through an instinctual internal filter and manifested with new processes in fabrication, both digital and analog.
Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
My first residency on Lee Circle at Louisiana Art Works, which is now a culinary school. I was a freelance videographer and filmmaker, at the time. While there, I was exposed to a lot of amazing contemporary artists, and it got me thinking about creating work in that context. I then proceeded to have a 10-year career as a video installation artist.
Which artist of the past would you like to meet?
Not a specific person, per se, but I would like to visit some idealized fantasy of pre-antiquity, and experience the origins of human consciousness, eat some mammoth meat, maybe we could talk about forces which governed their realities. Apparently I have a high percentage of Neanderthal DNA, so I guess I’d like to see what they were up to.
What is your view on the relationship/future of art and technology?
I am intrigued by the relationship between artists and AI tools. I used to think that artists couldn’t be supplanted by artificial intelligence, but now human artists are emulating computer intelligence. Like we strive to think less human and more like AI, rather than the other way around, I think. Programming might be the last relevant human art form before we are rendered completely passive in the creativity hierarchy on this planet.
Do you believe AI art is better than human created art?
Yes, in some ways. But it's created by an intelligence which is not inherently advocating for the success of human thought. So I think AI will clearly be responsible for the greatest artworks that the world has ever seen, but it might also come at our expense. It feels like all creative professions will soon be automated and flattened into like a general admin or maintenance of complicated communication networks. It’s not very romantic.
Do you think that media and culture have a significant impact on art?
Social media and digital culture obliterates complex ideas. It devalues convoluted thoughts and elevates symbolic gestures. Art has to communicate extremely quickly or it has no potency. I guess I am amused at how our highly complex communications are becoming so guttural and iconic, like thinking in subconscious emojis.
As a teacher of digital art, do your students ever surprise you?
Yes. If you give young people the freedom to be weird and and encourage them to think deeply about stuff, they will surprise you with really cool and imaginative pieces.
How would you compare the art scene in Philly to the art scene to NOLA?
I wasn’t really apart of the art scene in Philadelphia. I was really created as an artist within the NOLA art scene and in the community here. They are kinda different in that Philadelphia is close to New York so it has that relationship. But New Orleans is 8 hours away from the next big city, so it’s kind of a beautiful culture-island, for better or worse.
What are the next steps for you?
I’d like to sell these objects I made during my residency to fund my next installation.
We will be celebrating Dave’s work with an exhibition at Scale Workspace in New Orleans on Thursday March 5th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. If you are in town, please join us!
For more of Dave’s work, check out his social media channels and his website.
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