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User Preferences: Tech Q&A With Data Artist A.N. Fischer

User Preferences: Tech Q&A With Data Artist A.N. Fischer

The Future Order; 180 × 108 cm; C-print

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: AN Fischer.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Andreas Nicolas Fischer and I am a visual artist from Berlin. I work with generative systems and the translation of data and digital processes into the physical.

What kind of hardware do you use?
I have two main PC workstations and a couple of render slaves. Also, a pen tablet, a CNC mill, a DSLR, and some old lenses.

What kind of software do you use?
Processing, MS Paint, Blender, iA Writer, Coda, Adobe Photoshop and After Effects, Terragen, 3d Construction Kit, Sculptris, Rhino, WinPCNC.

What piece of equipment can you simply not live without?
I think I could live without all of them (in a hunter-gatherer sense). In fact I’d like that. It’s a love/hate thing.

Schwarm (blau); 90 × 60 cm; Lambda-print


If money were no object, how would you change your current setup?
I would sit in a room full of books, pens, paper and a laptop and pay people to do my bidding. I am not a luddite, but I think the internet has eroded a great amount of focus, which I am trying to reclaim. Less time spent sitting in front of glowing rectangles would be healthier. If you pressed me for another answer I´d probably have someone custom build me a “Million Dollar PC” with external watercooling and all the internal cables sleeved white.

Is there any piece of technology that inspired you to take the path you did?
Processing has influenced me greatly. I learned to program with it and it schooled my logical thinking. But it was more the results than the software itself that inspired me. I first saw the intricate prints Casey Reas showed at his first solo show at the DAM in 2005, which convinced me that this was something I´d like to pursue.

Schwarm; Installation View at Experimenting with Clouds at Rua Red Dublin


What is your favorite piece of technology from your childhood?
My Super Nintendo, which I had chipped to 60 Hz and sawn open to fit US cartridges. I still own that machine and every year around Christmas I take it from its box and play a few rounds of Mario Kart and Streetfighter II Turbo.

What fantasy piece of technology would you like to see invented?
A lot of the things we know from classic science fiction like Philip K. Dick, Stanislaw Lem and (my favorite) William Gibson are in the process of being invented or have already been invented. I read an interview with William Gibson a while ago where he says if you went to a science fiction publisher in 1981 and told him what has happened until 2012 (9/11, the AIDS epidemic, the Internet) he wouldn’t believe you. I have no particular thing I´d like to have, but all the
medical inventions Ray Kurzweil talks about in Transcend" like nano-medicine and genetic modifications through RNA injection sound pretty interesting. It’s only a matter of time.

Follow AN Fischer on Twitter and Tumblr.

@ImYourKid