VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Whittaker, Barry

Barry Whittaker
US artist


10 questions of the interview

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
I am a multimedia artist, designer, musician, and Associate Professor of Art at the University of Toledo where I teach graphic and interactive design. I received a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

2. When, how and why started you filming?
I began making video art in graduate school, which gradually progressed to interactive video, games, and animation.

3.What kind of subjects have your videos/films?
I often work with abstracted forms and explore miscommunication and misperception as themes.

4. How do you develop your videos/films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
I often work with game engines and programming to create generative animations. If the work exists as a video, it was likely captured as one instance of the custom software playthrough.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
As I mentioned, I use game engines for many of the animations I make. These often include 3D and 2D elements and scripted behaviors

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre videos/films in general and you personally?
Interactive and generative films, animation, and games are already gaining popularity. Along with the expansion of the NFT market, I see new genres and software developing quickly in the near future.

7. How do you finance your films?
My projects are self-financed with occasional grant funding for a few pieces of hardware.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
I often collaborate on performances, installations, and games. With a background as a performing and recording musician, collaboration is a very familiar process. However, most of my animated work is done alone. This allows me to explore more abstract and obtuse ideas that allow me to develop meaning through experimentation and play. I enjoy both ways of working and choose what is appropriate for each project.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
I have many influences, but the video work of Roman Signer made a big impression on me when I first encountered his projects. His embrace of experimentation and humor continues to inspire me.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
I will continue to create work, experiment, and play to allow the forms of projects to evolve to something beyond the form they now take. I’m looking forward to how new technologies will influence the types of exhibitions and display opportunities for these kinds of artworks in the future.