TheDArtCo meets Massimo Magee

Massimo Magee is one of the most intriguing digital artists TheDArtCo has ever met.

Massimo is a very well-known artist, he is from London and he is very talented both in music and video art.

You can see his physical pieces at Saatchi Art and digital Artworks at Sedition and at some of the most important NFT Marketplaces.

On his site, https://www.massimomagee.com , we read this statement:

Audiovisual Digital Art

Digital art objects meticulously designed by Massimo Magee to each be read as both a visual still image and a piece of audio, these being two readings of the same file. This is 21st century multimedia art derived from the twin lineages of abstract image making and experimental music, an assertion of the possibility of the new with artistic, political and spiritual resonance”.

We are curious people, so we decided to ping Massimo on Twitter and ask him if we could talk and learn more about his art. By the way, TheDArtCo already had, at the time, one of his beautiful artworks in its NFTs collection…

TheDArtCo: Massimo, when did you decide to become an artist?

M.M.: I have been in the art world forever… A musician for almost 20 years, as well as making audiovisual work and also writing.

Music and visual art have always fascinated me. I love all the different media that I can use to produce artworks, but the main things for me in NFTs are my audiovisual pieces and their multimedia aspect. I love audiovisual art that combines music and visual art together. But I also make purely visual pieces.

TheDArtCo: On your website you also offer a book written by yourself. All in all, the concepts you present on the website are very sophisticated. Please can you explain your philosophy? Also, why did you choose to do digital art specifically?

M.M.: Why the digital medium? Well, because of its possibilities: I wanted to exploit the new digital medium at its best and for its own strengths.

Does making a painting on a tablet really add anything? I mean, what’s the reason for doing it? Getting a piece of canvas and some paints seems to me like a much more accessible and tactile option, not to mention more affordable, and it’s the real thing – as opposed to a digital simulacrum that will always be inferior because it’s trying to be something else.

Audiovisual art and multimedia art were born to be digital. Conceptually, my audiovisual art can only fully exist as a digital object. And it can only be appreciated if there is a computer in between, translating the artwork into visual and audio readings for the human observer to perceive. In that sense, my art is made firstly for the computer.

The computer can see the whole audiovisual piece in one file simultaneously but human observers can only experience the separate visual and audio readings one by one, and only through the screen of the computer.

This a fundamentally modernist idea. When you are listening to the audio of my artwork, you are also hearing all of the visual data, and vice versa. You must remember that your computer can enjoy the artwork in full (as one file), while you cannot. It is only once the computer translates the file into separate visual and audio readings that you can experience it and the computer’s perception of the file becomes clear to you.

Try to imagine: there is a boundary between the digital and the real world and digital art exchanges content across that border. As soon as images or sounds cross that border from real into digital, they become simply undifferentiated data, whatever medium they corresponded to in the real world, and this is true whether we are talking about artificial intelligence or only computer perception.

Both the audio and the visual elements of the artworks are made by me. When you download the artwork, you receive three files: one for the audio reading, one for the visual reading and a video file combining both of them together.

TheDArtCo: Music and audio all made by yourself of course.

M.M. Yes it’s all me.

TheDArtCo: What do you think about blockchain art?

M.M. Truly digital artworks can only live in the digital world and blockchain is the perfect way to transfer them. It is also a very efficient way to establish authorship and ownership.

TheDArtCo: You are also a musician. What do you think about music on the blockchain?

M.M. Music on the blockchain? It has potential… but it is difficult to make it grow, as everyone has got used to listening to music more or less for free while the blockchain would have them pay for it… Maybe it could work, but it will take time to develop this concept.

We say bye to our artist and rushed to buy a second piece from him on MyBae: we really love his concepts, really innovative. At TheDArtCo, we also think that digital art must try to use all the features of this medium, and Massimo Magee artworks are really doing this.

Links:

My website contains links to my physical pieces on Saatchi Art, my NFTs on a range of platforms, as well as my current exhibition in Cryptovoxels:

https://www.massimomagee.com


Another metaverse project of mine is my new solo clarinet record, the first live instrumental performance recorded in an entirely virtual venue in the world of Cryptovoxels:

https://orbit577.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-the-metaverse-to-evan-parker-and-john-coltrane

Also upcoming later in 2021 is my new multimedia novel, which includes some of my audiovisual art pieces placed within a self-defined fictional (and philosophical) context. It will be published by Eleusinian Press:

http://www.eleusinianpress.co.uk/

Sheer Beauty from TheDArtCo collection
Enantiodromia from TheDArtCo collection