Interview: Demetris Shammas

Demetris ShammasDemetris Shammas, Algorithmic Drawing Prints from series Things inside other things, 2015

Interview: Demetris Shammas

Director Luca Curci talks with artist Demetris Shammas during LIQUID ROOMS – THE LABYRINTH exhibition in Venice.

Demetris Shammas is a Cyprus-born architect and computational designer, whose data-driven processes explore the intersection of technology, art, mathematics and philosophy. While following a seemingly rational path, his work is driven by an attraction towards the unrepresentable, the unbuilt, by an eagerness to examine the possible as that which can never be fully captured. The steps are themselves uncertain and mixed with arbitrarily set rules, as they follow at first a “recording of experience”, then a “de–coding of experience” and finally a “re-composition of a virtual interpretation” that can again be brought into the real.

Demetris ShammasDemetris Shammas, Photographs from exhibited series Even Monday, 2014

Luca Curci – Your work has just been exhibited during LIQUID ROOMS – THE LABYRINTH exhibition in Venice: can you talk about your personal experience in Venice with International ArtExpo?

Demetris Shammas – I was unfortunately unable to attend the exhibition so my experience is restricted to the documented footage that I have seen, in which the spaces of the exhibition looked wildly intriguing. I liked the idea of this labyrinthine setup through different venues, expressing the character of the city itself. Additionally, during the preparation as well as the exhibition period, the communication we had with the ArtExpo organization was excellent.

 Demetris ShammasDemetris Shammas, Vi1:1a, 2013

L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the
festival’s theme?

D. S. – I presented two photographic series, taken from two different time periods, one in color and the other in black and white, one in a natural setting and captured in an afternoon and the other in a man-made setting and captured throughout two months. Though extremely different, I always saw these series – and by extension these experiences – as complementary to each other; seeing that the exhibition’s theme explored the relationship between man and space, I thought they would be fitting.

Demetris ShammasDemetris Shammas, photographs from exhibited series My Acidic Land, 2015

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

D. S. – Lately I am working with data and its manipulation by digital tools. Leaving my camera aside, I pretend that I am a programmer and try to produce algorithmic narratives, as still or moving images.

Demetris ShammasDemetris Shammas, The irrational instrument, 2014

L. C. – What is art for you?

D. S. – I am honestly incapable of answering this question. Attempting to define things always confuses me.

Demetris ShammasDemetris Shammas, Shape Grammars, 2015

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo organization? Do you think International ArtExpo organization can represent an opportunity for artists?

D. S. – I think the organization is a great opportunity for anyone to show what they are currently working on. There are constantly new themes being explored and the exhibitions are open to various artistic media, from video art to installations to performance. I would say that perhaps the organization’s most interesting element is the way in which the artists can be represented in exhibition spaces and at the same time connected through an Internet platform. If there is good work to be shown, then I would definitely say yes, this represents a great opportunity.


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