The eXTra finGer

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Monday, March 07, 2016

Interview with Mark Klink

q)Please introduce yourself and tell us something about yourself andyour background.

a)I’m an artist living in Carmichael California, which is in the central valley of California, near the state capitol,  Sacramento.Before adopting digital methods, I spent many years using conventional media and techniques.. painting, drawing, printmaking. At one time I was a freelance computer programmer.. that was one of the paths that led me towards digital art.

q)Talk about your art...What’s the central theme of your work?

a)Apart from discussing the technical means I employ, almost anything I say about my art, at least about its “meaning” or “theme” is a rationalization after the fact.. I work instinctively, without verbalizing, internally or externally, what it is I am about...I speculate sometimes on what it is in my work that others react to .. I have a sense that the figures and faces I create evoke the “post-human” .. the challenge and threat to our traditional sense of what it is to be human as the world transforms around us... perhaps the distortions and apparent lack of affect that you see in the figures I create suggest the “uncanny” – something unfamiliar that generates unease. At the same time, we find these potential ways of being human to be fascinating and even beautiful... it’s a curious mix of anxiety and allure.

q)Your most beautiful dream...Your worst nightmare...

a)When it comes to my dreams, I think that rather than talking about  “beautiful dreams” or “nightmares”  (I almost never have nightmares..) I should note that I seem to be gifted with dreams that are unusually vivid and strange. I once dreamt that I  went to the airport to catch a flight.. but when I arrived I was told that I would have to go “4th class.”  .. and what that turned out to be was that I was behind the plane on the runway, holding onto a long tether, like a water skier, wearing roller skates, goggles, and with a pair of stubby wings strapped to my back ... the subsequent flight was delightful. I was trailing the plane in the sky, weaving through the clouds with the  wind in my face.. and that is one of my least bizarre and elaborate dreams!

q)Best way to spend a day off?

a)With family, with friends, in nature, walking, exercising.. and, above all, making art!

q)Who, what inspires you ....

a)My daughter, my wife.

q)Books that you love….

a)I used to be a great reader.. but currently most of my reading is limited to technical manuals.. nevertheless, recent enthusiasms  have been the work of David Markson (,  William T. Vollmann (, and Roberto Bolaño (

q)Music…artists….that you love

a)Man.. so many, too many!! I could go on for pages...  so I’ll deliberately restrict myself to just a few.,.When it comes to music, my favourite composer is György Ligeti (  .. I’m an aging child of the 60s from Northern California .. so I’ll also admit to having lots of bootleg recordings of the Grateful Dead ;-). Joanna Newsom is a favourite among current artists.. she comes from Nevada City which is a bit to the east from where I live ( it comes to digital artists.. there are dozens and dozens whom I admire and who have influenced me.. you couldn’t possibly list them all, and I wouldn’t want to leave any of them out.. so I’ll only mention a handful of pre-digital artists whose work I go back to, again and again: The abstract painter Howard Hodgkin (, H.C. Westermann ( Going back a ways – Maya Deren (, and going way back - Durer, and the Van Eycks ...

q)What are you really excited about right now?

a)Video, virtual worlds ( simulations, virtual reality, game engines, webGL).

q)Your current projects….

a)At the moment I’m mainly collecting materials and doing research in preparation for several projects that I will be tackling later this year.. for more on that see my answer to the next question...

q)Your future projects….

a)I’ve made a lot of still images..  I haven’t come close to exhausting all the possibilities .. but I’m looking forward to making much longer, more elaborate, and more structured artworks: videos with a narrative or “narrative-like” form. Game-like simulations using webGL and several game engines. I won’t say anything more about these.. you’ll have to wait and see!I will mention that the wonderful artist, Philip Ob Rey (, and I are planning a collaboration over the next year.

q)Where can people see more of your work on the internet?


q) Final words?

a)What distinguishes humans from the rest of this universe, is the imagination.. our ability to contemplate and to create things that are not literally here...


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