Figure 2006

Due to a lack of touch, art made on the computer often struggles with a distanced relationship to the body. Millree Hughes hoped that introducing a figure into his digital landscapes would make them more physical.

Every Summer the Welsh village that the artist is from was occupied by holiday makers. Among them were lads from northern factory towns. In 1972 their look was both effeminate and aggressive.

David Bowie, in particular, asked youth culture to take on:

'...a new sexually ambiguous image for those youngsters willing and brave enough to challenge the notoriously pedestrian stereotypes conventionally available to working class men and women'*

The artist believes that contemporary life has separated us from nature. Increasingly we have a sense of not belonging to the landscape and with it comes a lack of responsibility for where we are from. Working class glam, despite its' escapist appearance, was not afraid to aggressively defend its' home turf. This yobbishness seemed to represent the kind of militancy and sense of locale that his digital landscapes needed.

Attempting to better identify the 'figure' led to a string of drawings, which became a performance. 0"Lummox: the movie" is an unreliable record of events leading up to that performance during Miami/Basel '04.

Working with the director Peter Boyd Mclean on this movie revealed all the complications of trying to bring the ideal into the real. Identifying the figure was one thing, putting it into the landscape would be another. Clearly abstract painters got rid of the figure for a reason, with it comes so many contradictions, so much conflict.

Artist's Statement 2004

I am a British artist; I have been working as a digital artist since 1998.

I use the computer to reconstitute the landscape that I dig up from memory. I draw in the software Flash which distorts and reorders the interconnection of computer manipulation to gesture. I'm left with a metaphor for the relationship between technology and nature.

Science has argued in the past that technology will save nature, even though the evidence of our eyes suggests completely the opposite. The simulated landscape is a stand-in for the one that is no longer there.

Artist's Statement 2003

The computer and particularly the internet has made for those with access to it, a practical reality of a theoretical assumption that all truth is contingent. The internet has made opinion out of what were once taken to be facts and made reporting into hearsay. There is no truth in this environment, only distortion and choice. As a result the ability to differentiate has become prioritized and ironically, in a time when civil liberties are most at risk, contemporary life has become focused on the individuals' exercising of their free will.

*Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style