Millree Hughes

Artist statement

In the early 00s, a number of artists in New York tried to imagine what digital art might look like. Rather than trying to create something entirely new, they related what they made to the tradition of painting and drawing.  Artists like Claire Corey, Marsha Cottrell, Jeff Elrod and Tom Moody used commercially available software to explore how gesture, colour and the art-making process was affected by being made on the computer.

My interest was in the relationship between technology and nature. In America in the 50s scientism promised that it would find a way to preserve nature. But by the late 60s this had began to ring hollow: technology seemed to be intent on destroying it. I wanted to make abstract digital landscapes that rather than evoking the future, reinterpreted what had been lost.

My images and animations are made on the computer using a variety of software and rendered by using a drawing tablet.  The relationship between nature and the body is a motif that I feel is innate to the practice.

Increasingly, however, I find that I’m looking away from the image of the bitterly ironic simulated landscape and in the direction of the romantic ideal of the numinous; translated into the digital sublime. Perhaps technology is not entirely to blame. Maybe the mimetic image of the landscape can lead us back to a deeper understanding of nature. The realization of Goethe’s dream of an union between science and poetry.