Who are you?
My name is Nicolas Sassoon, I’m a Franco-Canadian artist living between Canada & France. For the last 15 years my art practice has been focused on the pixel and the screen, reflecting on their entanglement and materiality by working with pixelated figures, moiré patterns and early computer graphics. This focus on early computer graphics is driven by the sculptural, material and pictorial qualities of this imagery, as well as its limitations and its poetics. My work often explores the projective dimensions of screen-based space, and the relationships between computer technology and the natural world. I also tend to work on cross-disciplinary projects in the fields of architecture, electronic music, textiles, and art.
When did you start making art?
I’ve always been drawing and painting since a very early age. I started taking it a bit more seriously when I was 18-19 years old. I’m 41 now, so it’s been a while.
What does your creative setup look like? What tools do you find yourself using day to day?
For my digital work, my setup is just my laptop. For my material practice, I have a studio space with different tools. For the last 2 years my studio has mostly been my laptop, and whenever I need to make physical works, I try to find local resources wherever I am.
Tell us about your GARDEN WORKS series.
GARDEN WORKS is an early series from 2011. At that time, I was very much focused on trying to appropriate a visual language pertaining to early computer graphics, consisting of pixel patterns, limited color palettes and very simple motions. I was also really into gardening at that time, and I used to go to a store in Vancouver called Gardenworks. I think the series GARDEN WORKS stems from both of these influences: I was trying to evoke different types of lifeforms growing in contained environments, using a very minimal visual language.
I’m a huge fan of your BOOLEAN MOUNTAIN series on HEN. How did this series come to exist?
I’ve always been interested in Boolean operations as an essential and historic part of the toolkit one can use with 3D modelling. Boolean operations are also very specific to digital space and to how “matter” becomes a very malleable concept in 3D modelling. The series BOOLEAN MOUNTAINS, which was created in 2018, is a meeting point between this malleable concept of matter and figures that are at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to being malleable: mountains.
What adds value to your art?
I appreciate many things about my art practice which makes it valuable to me. It brings a sense of fulfillment and purpose to my everyday life. It is also a vehicle for meaningful friendships and events I can participate to. Another very important part is being able to live from my art, which brings both validation and safety to keep making more art. In my case, value is a combination of all of these points.
Do you have any works that stand out the most to you?
Some works have more of a personal significance, sometimes they are closely tied to specific memories and periods of my life. This is what makes them stand out, and it would be endless if I started explaining which ones and why!
Are there any quotes or pieces of advice you live by?
It’s better to lose yourself in your passion than to lose your passion.
What do you have planned for the future?
I’m moving out of Vancouver while I’m answering this, so aside from exciting releases coming soon, the future is very exciting and unpredictable right now!
I just want to shout out my partner Kerry Doran and my dear friend P1xelfool for being amazing human beings.