Tell us about yourself.
My name is Riccardo Stecca Bassato, I am an interactive media developer and a digital artist.
Why do you do what you do?
I saw the the dawn of the Information Era: the thrill of the 80’s technologies and the rise of the home computer shaped my passion for programming. I’ve always been fond of things that connect with emotions through any mediums, particularly where these are expressed within the intersection of arts with the digital world. So, I have always been interested in programming as much as in freehand drawing and many other things.
How do you work (the process)?
My work as an artist always comes from a moment of observation that triggered my curiosity or particular feelings. When I watch a bee going through its to-do list, I see so much more than an insect. From there I very easily end up pondering the most existential questions. I wish I could talk to this little flying thing and ask it “hey, how’s your weekend?” and then talk about our very different life experiences. Such thoughts unavoidably start mixing with my daily routine, sometimes producing interesting intersections with my scientific activities. I love observing movement and find the math that could get close to reproducing it. I start from a creative process, often with the semi-pleasant feeling of wasting my time and slowly dive into algorithms
What’s your background (where are you from)?
I’m from Padua, Italy and graduated in Venice in Computer Human Interfaces.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Software developer in several fields including augmented and virtual reality, architecture and digital art.
I believe in new forms of art in which interaction plays a central role in inviting the viewer to not just observe but to participate in the scenery, in a shared space and time, be part of it and live it for a moment.
I love seeing information, in its broadest meaning, come alive; be it emotions, facts, concepts or surreal creations.
What’s integral to the work of a digital artist?
Some technical skills surely play an important role but there must be space for curiosity, sensitivity, openness to look at things from different perspectives. Widening the span between these two sides is what makes the difference. Experimenting, scraping, doing and doing again, throwing away and change approach or topic all together, with an unavoidable dose of frustration, are the artist’s knife/tool sharpeners. In this, digital artists not only are no exception, but they are also the maximization of the approach, being able to take advantage of technologies that enable potentially infinite re-iteration of their experiments and artwork production.
What themes do you pursue?
Movement in nature, morphogenesis, algorithmic art, amplification of details, climate change, human emotions.
What inspires you?
Observing patterns in nature. Leonardo Da Vinci, Gruppo-N (founded in my original town in 1959), Vera Molnar, Zach Lieberman, Ernst Haeckel.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
In the sacred forest stay silent and listen. This piece of advice my grandfather gave me when I was a kid, is even today, one of the most influential lessons I received in my life. Artistically speaking there
What inspired you to create Bee?
One day walking in Regent’s Park I suddenly came to a saddening realisation. I was in a place full of blooming roses and there were no bees. Searching, I finally saw a few and I remembered how many there used to be. I felt incredibly sad and so I stopped to watch them do their daily routines in a way I hadn’t watched them for many many years, with new curiosity and empathy.