Maybe it was the rolling gorilla, the alien cat, or the sale snake. If you browsed SSENSE during the sale, chances are you had a favorite GIF. The artist who created our love-them-or-hate-them sale graphics is 27-year-old Claudia Maté, a digital artist who mines the farthest reaches of the internet for inspiration.
Born in Madrid and now based in London, Maté has been using computers ever since building her own P.C. from scratch with her father at age nine. Her GIFs and digital artworks feature the dialogue boxes, loading bars, and choppy 3D renderings encountered during serious hours logged online. Not to mention her taste for circa-1990’s computer graphics (like that floating whale you may remember). “I love old techniques,” says Maté, “So I mix these with the current tools.” An ongoing project, a collaborative Tumblr named Cloaque, engages with the nature of “digital trash” images uploaded to the internet and then forgotten by turning them into an endlessly scrolling collage that’s as alive, unexpected, and infinite as the World Wide Web itself. We talked to Maté about her internet preferences.
When did you first start making art?
I did some engravings and papier maché sculptures when I was a baby, lol. My father was a great engraver.
What programs or tools do you use?
What interests you the most about internet art?
The thing I like the most is reaching the last corner of the world from my desk.
What’s your favorite era of the internet?
Who makes better art – people or machines?
Machines always need people.
What’s the longest amount of time you've ever gone without the internet?
Maybe 24 hours. I've never gone a long time without the internet, I always find a way to connect.
Which would be worse: no internet ever again, or say… never going swimming again in your life?
No internet anymore? That would be a nightmare! I’d prefer not to go swimming ever again.
What kind of projects do you have planned for the future?
Take a vacation in the heavenly islands of Croatia with Carlos Saez, my brother and partner at Cloaque.