User Preferences: Tech Q&A With Angelo Plessas
Still from TowersAndPowers.com, 2009.
Each week we chat about the tools of the trade with one outstanding creative to find out exactly how they do what they do. The questions are always the same, the answers, not so much. This week: Angelo Plessas.
The Creators Project: Who are you and what do you do?
Angelo Plessas: My name is Angelo Plessas and I am an artist based in Athens, Greece. I mostly make websites that are animated and interactive. Some of these works resemble sculptural portraits of imaginary characters or other sides of myself, alternating between funny and poignant, strange and romantic like this, or some other times these websites explore concepts of writing. Then I usually “build” physical presences from these in different formats such as performances, installations, print publications [or all of the above].
What kind of hardware do you use?
Always a desktop computer or a laptop, sometimes a projector and a printer. Most of the time headphones and a coffee maker.
What kind of software do you use?
I tend more and more to make everything on the browser. I love code hunting and I try to use open-source software such jEdit or KompoZer, and then I still use “ancient” software such as Flash, Illustrator and Photoshop. Lately I’m trying to learn more HTML5 canvas to make a piece entirely on smartphone.
Still from TempoCrescendo.com, 2011
What piece of equipment can you simply not live without?
If money were no object, how would you change your current set up?
I would move half the year to a beautiful spot in India, rent a nice space and hire a bunch of very advanced programmers to make new works. At the same time [I would] conduct workshops, events, exhibitions and invite and host other artists for residencies—combined altogether with yoga and meditation. [Essentially] being the host of an internet art ashram in India!
Is there any piece of technology that inspired you to take the path you did?
When I first started experimenting with Flash in the mid-90s, I was so amazed. I did so many nice things so easily. But before this, when I was a kid, I loved recording stuff from TV—[anything] from music videos to documentaries, shows, candid camera stuff etc.—and combining them all together. I loved TV browsing. Since I was about 9 or 10 I was [creating] my own video art by just “bookmarking” my faves in videocassettes. Every videocassette had a theme and I had some collage/sticker art on it. I used to have a great videocassette archive. Without knowing it, I was so anticipating the internet…
Still from UnWhiteMe.com, 2008
What is your favorite piece of technology from your childhood?
Since I was a child I’ve loved playing with machines especially game consoles, record players, VCR’s, and I love Camcorders!
What fantasy piece of technology would you like to see invented?
Teleportation is one my occasional dreams… I imagine how an ideal solution would be for the environment and eventually peace for the world. No traffic jams, no pollution, no fear. But being more realistic, we urgently need electricity and internet connection to merge into one thing. Every object should be synched to the internet, from our cars to our household belongings. Everything should be connected and operated from our smartphones so we can take care everything remotely such as cooking, cleaning, organizing etc. I would love to see a Desire Facilitator Robot… Imagine a very, very advanced Siri.