Zach Lieberman’s art is more of an experiment. Based in New York City, he creates artwork with code, focusing on building experimental drawing and animation tools. His interactive environments invite participants to become performers. “My main focus is how computation can be used as medium for poetry,” his website states.
In 2016 Lieberman started an experiment of doing daily sketches in the form of short animations posted on his Instagram. In these sketches, he tried out different visual ideas involving geometry, animation, gesture, and graphic form. “I had no idea what to expect but it felt like a good new years resolution and nice way to experiment with some ideas I had been thinking about,” he said in an interview with Medium.
Like most experiments, Lieberman’s project began by chance. “My step-daughter was having trouble falling asleep by herself at the time and so I would hang out in her room, read some books and then as she tried to sleep, I’d code a sketch and in the morning show it to her,” he recalled.
“At the beginning of the year she was really positive, ‘that’s hypnotizing me!’ but after a while she started to offer more criticism, ‘you should try color’ or ‘that looks a little too crazy to me.’ She pushed me in different directions. I was happy to show her that art making is daily work and small discoveries.”
The sketches themselves are coded in openFrameworks (using Xcode) and a few use paper.js. “The sketches are the opposite of work to me, so I try to be totally un-work like,” says Lieberman. “I don’t use github, I don’t keep code clean, I just make and record without thinking very carefully about anything. I sketch up until the point I think it’s interesting, record it, post it and clock out. It’s the opposite of how I approach commercial work. When I sketch I want to work as messy and mindlessly as possible — I don’t plan, I just see where the wind blows.”
Here are some highlights from his Instagram page.