Thomas Lisle, artist from the United Kingdom. Photo © Courtesy of the artist
1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
I am an artist who is working in digital animation and painting. I have been interested in electronic and digital images from the age of about 18, which is over 40 years ago. In the late 1970s, I got caught up in the punk movement. It was great fun, but by the time I started an art school, I just wanted to focus on painting (I’m tone-deaf and musically incompetent too), but I had taken with me some of the ideas of the period about shaking up artistic activities and incorporating the technology of the time. In those days, we constantly had to tune our televisions to get the best picture.
When I was doing this, I had this idea, from looking at the distortions on the screen, that this was a type of abstraction was ‘New’ and of the age. For many years, I thought I had invented this, but I think a guy in the US started film TV screens before me. Glitch had all sorts of possibilities for artistic expression. I didn’t even know there were such things as edit suites and video FX at that time. Over the years, I developed my glitch practice to make a wide range of painterly contemporary images, which I developed into a series of installations.
By the time I had left university, I started to explore the possibilities of TV graphics, and I soon realised that there was a lot that could be done with technology. Still, this technology was not really making something or images that were the original or really anything to do with contemporary art painting practice. These technologies did not and were not orientated towards the world of art; they are effects developed for graphics to be used by lots of people, they are not original. Around the early 1990s, I decided to stop making what today would be called glitch art.