Henry Driver was shortlisted in the Aesthetica Art Prize with his interactive installation Odyssey (2014). The piece questions the definitions of virtual space and the illusory aspects of choice and action within this. We speak to Driver offering insight into this work and his wider practice.
A: Your works reflect the speed at which the digital and virtual worlds are developing and increasingly dominating our lives. What is the importance of involving the viewer in your installations?
HD: We are continuously becoming deeper immersed in technology, and the replication of this via the immersion of the viewer, is central to the communication and atmosphere of my work. Whether the piece is interactive or not, I always seek to develop a profound engagement with the viewer.
A: How do you prepare your work and where do you find inspiration?
HD: I find inspiration through current affairs, technology news, articles, texts and research studies. My most recent project Second Skin was inspired by a research study on differentiating CGI and photography as well as news stories on topics of photographic retouching and manipulation.
A: Is there a particular message you want to send out with Odyssey?
HD: I am interested in the disruption of utopian perceptions of technology and video games. Odyssey presents an example of when the player is but a pawn to the developer’s desires of engagement, an element which is present in most digital technologies. Digital interactions are often perceived as free, yet, for most experiences there is a transaction of information or rights, demanded by the developer.
A: You have shown your work in different national and international galleries. What is next for you?
HD: In February 2017 I will be the artist in residence at Signal Culture, New York, I am very much looking forward to using their extensive video studio. This summer, I have a residency at Grove Projects and had my Master’s Show at Norwich University of the Arts in early August.
To see more Henry Driver’s work, visit www.henrydriverartist.com
Entries are open for the Aesthetica Art Prize until 31 August. Enter here: www.aestheticamagazine.com/artprize
1. Henry Driver, Odyssey (2014).