Interviews | October 2, 2022 |

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Image courtesy of Betty Holloway

Interview: Betty Holloway
Luca Curci talks with Betty Holloway during the 15th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

Melbourne-based artist & digital native B. Holloway, produces creative works both in traditional and new media such as A.I & creative code. Recently Holloway has turned their attention to using more digital mediums such as video and machine learning to visualize the recurring patterns of machine-made, natural and perceptual systems. Both hyperreal and abstract, Holloway takes inspiration from personal meditations, lucid dreams and autoscopic encounters; transforming these encounters into scenes suggestive of a synthesis of external and internal realities Holloway’s art is an expression of the artist’s continued fascination with data, mechanical processes and in-depth exploration into the concept of perception; in particular the formulation of what it is as an ecology. Central themes explored in their work are existentialism, neurodivergence, natural and artificial networks as well as consciousness related to human perception.

With perception as the foundation of human experience, their disruptive and critical artistic contributions aim to deepen our understanding of human nature. Through exposure to visualizations of the connections that exist, we as artists and audiences become our agents of power, changing our world through changing our perception of it.

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Image courtesy of Betty Holloway

Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Betty Holloway – I’m working on a new series which builds on previous work I’ve created that uses Artificial Intelligence to visualize the recurring patterns of machine-made, natural and perceptual systems. This new work will focus on A.I systems that use language models.

LC – What are you currently working on?
BH – I have recently been accepted into a small business mentorship program where I am developing a viable business plan for a creative project called ‘The Alchemical Art’. The Alchemical Art is an online & physical art space exhibiting carefully curated collections of new media & traditional art. I hope to also focus on artists from underrepresented groups and donate a portion of the sales to charities that support these groups.

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Image courtesy of Betty Holloway

LC – How is your creative process?
BH – My creative process these days involves magickal rituals to access states beyond myself. I feel in order to actually create expansive art offerings that are for the collective- or for the communities, we need to access more than what we know just within ourselves… more than what we think is important or more than what we prioritize. When you access your higher self or states beyond yourself you start to connect with other lenses and other ways of perceiving these goals.

LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
BH – In my experience, you have to be very determined and you have to find ways of making the creative process inspiring and fun as there are many demotivating factors when starting out (and also probably later on in one’s career too). As an artist, you also need to surround yourself with people who believe in and support your journey.

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
BH – Yes. My first artworks were more hyperrealism in style and I was using pencil and oil paints to do that. The mediums I use now have moved to creative code and machine-learning networks and the style has become more abstract.

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Image courtesy of Betty Holloway

LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
BH – These works are part of a bigger ongoing group of work under the title of ‘Perception is an Ecology.’

LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
BH – The artworks in this ‘Perception is an Ecology’ series are machine-learning-created abstract pieces that were trained on datasets from nature. In code, I then algorithmically- or mathematically manipulated the latent space outputs to create an abstract animation. Although abstract, there is a sense of familiarity with the imagery due to the organic subject matter of the dataset it was trained on. The artworks are part of my ongoing fascination with data and are a creative interpretation and exploration of the concept of perception; in particular the formation of what it is as an ecology. By perception, I mean both the amazing mechanics of how our eyes work and also the higher-level cognitive act of making meaning and sense of the world around us. We are not defined by the bits that make us up, we are defined by our environment and our interaction with that environment…by our personal ecologies (both relative, historical and empirical). With perception as the foundation of human experience, I hope to deepen our understanding of human nature. The more we can visualize perception as these ecologies, the more we as artists and art audiences become our own agents of power, changing our world through changing our perception of it.

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Image courtesy of Betty Holloway

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
BH – It was a delight working with your team, the project coordinators I worked with went out of their way to assist me with questions and special requests I had. Thank you Guilia, Christina and Amaride.

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
BH – Professional & impressive.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
BH – I am grateful for your platform. It has given me the opportunity to display my art in the beautiful and magical surroundings of Venice in Italy, and in such gorgeous buildings like the Palazzo Bembo.

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Image courtesy of Betty Holloway
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Image courtesy of Betty Holloway
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Image courtesy of Betty Holloway

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