Differentiating the tangible from the intangible, Chad Knight’s embodiment of works is of dream-like mindscapes, and otherworldly human-objects that examine the archaic and futuristic age’s dualities segue between the complexities of physical and social existence in virtual worlds that evoke a visceral response. Moniker, the “Digital Catalyst” of our generation, his artistic éclat is coveted by collectors and celebrated by his peers for his incarnate composition.
VENÜ sits down with Knight for a personal interview that touches upon life, the cyclical leitmotif of his visual narrative, empathy towards nature, and the curated collaborative with Dror Benshetrit for our cover.
VENÜ: Many artists find a genre and stick to it. You’re an artist that works in between illusionism, surrealism, sculpture, and simulation. Would you consider your art abstract?
CHAD KNIGHT: I do have a genre; it’s virtual. I work in a 4D environment, which is simulated digitally, using computer languages. My hands interact with a physical mouse/ tablet/pen, but in my head, I am obsessing my craft, whether virtual sculpting, virtual 3D modeling, particle simulation, virtual material design, physics simulation, and time manipulation. 3D modeling grew up. The wide variety of styles in my art is sometimes a reflection of new software, virtual design tools, and techniques I’m learning. I would consider my art occasionally abstract depending on my purpose and what I wish to communicate. I use symbolism frequently to represent personal challenges.
“Chad’s creations are the ultimate explorations of his inner voice that enhance a dialogue between him and the audience.”
VENÜ: How do you see Time?
CK: Replicating terrenes of simulation between now and reality is tied to physics in the VR sphere of organized and constructed 3D technologies leading to a complexity of new discovery. I start loosely based on a one-to-one future in theory; lifelike- using physical reality to create a simulated virtual world space. The application of this process begins in creation mode, “setting the stimulation.” The outsets of lighting elements are frozen in time. When I hit the play button, time starts like an animation system, and each frame is considered Planck length. Each Planck increment provides the infinite opportunity for change. Every option in the universe exists and is answered by either a user or set of rules (Laws of Physics, DNA, RNA, i.e.) with a yes or no. Time exploration is limited to what we can perceive or interact, riddled with physical limitations. The human eye only sees at a rate between 20 and 40 frames per second (FPS). How can humans go faster than light when we can’t even perceive things moving at speeds that exist on vast scales? And interact with it? Ultimately, time is perception = relative to the scale of the system.
VENÜ: What are your feelings toward your ability to master so many types of expression?
CK: It’s a blessing and a curse. The inability to shut up my head results from a relentless influx flood of ideas that run through my mind all day and night. I believe my unconscious thought moderator is super lazy or super excited all the time, and this should-be-filter lets any old thought pass through to my conscious mind. I’m super competitive and have unrealistically high expectations for everything I encounter. My mind won’t allow me to rest until I have accomplished what I really want to do. I’m incredibly grateful to have the abilities I’ve been given and take no credit for it. I’m not better or any different, perhaps a vulnerable target of envy. I care, and I want people to like me, so I’m an acute observer of my own and others’ thoughts and emotions. I think that helps me learn things more quickly. One of my most potent genetic mutations is the marker for an enlarged hippocampus, the brain region responsible for learning. I have two sets of those alleles.
VENÜ: What in life drives you to create? Is there a moment that you try to encapsulate?
CK: What drives me is knowing potential exists. – Many unanswered questions fascinate me. The percipience of information that would provide answers to these mysteries exists somewhere out there in this universe, and the fact we can’t find it drives me crazy. We missed something significant along the way. Everyone is too deep in their respective areas of expertise to see the forest from the trees. Continually exploring and inventing new virtual creation and manipulation techniques inspires endless ideas.
VENÜ: You have a deep interest in the human condition. Is there something within today’s society that you wish to expose directly or indirectly through your art?
CK: I had to confront my alcohol addiction. In coming to terms with my demons, I had to stop drinking and be entirely present to listen to the incessant negative patterns to reconfigure a positive chain of thought. This was an unrelentingly cruel and, at times, terrifying time that took me through some unchartered territory of self-discovery and awareness that led me to a place where I could get to the basement floor and the driving forces of my life. To understand the mechanics of how thinking works, I learned how to separate myself from the noisy chatter of my leaky subconscious and replaced old patterns with a healthy, positive, and productive state-of-mind. I take comfort in letting others know that you’re not alone.
VENÜ: Who and what are the most significant influences of your art?
CK: I have no classical training in art. At two years old, I climbed out of my crib and out the window onto the roof. I was insatiably curious and stubborn, “aggressive but affectionate” is how my mother described me. Skateboarding provided the adrenaline I craved and introduced me to my first true creative outlet. However, skateboarding and 3D are both viably boundless in their freedoms of expression that presented opportunities. My religion of influence is from the BAD ASSES and underdogs of society. I’m deeply moved by the underserved and underrepresented minority communities that are waking up to and embracing the fact that no man or woman is any better or worse than any other man or woman. Everyone deserves an equal chance at life. My root approach to life was inspired by my dad at a young age, who instilled the ethic in me to never give up, and Danny Way, who continually redefined what’s possible. This effectuated the belief that I could do far greater things than I realized, and my faith was resolute. I want other people to feel this.
VENÜ: How much perception and awareness plays a role in the timing of your work?
CK: Perception is only part of the equation. Interpretation, assigning and associating meaning to what is perceived, and then filtering it through experiences directed by our DNA is when we have awareness. When we are aware, we can identify our conscious and unconscious biases. We can then decide whether or not to act on impulse. This is what separates us from the animals. As we continue to evolve, we will further separate ourselves from the instincts that do not serve our goals. Ai has the upper hand here.
VENÜ: Your backgrounds appear as crucial as the sculptures themselves. Do you consider yourself an environmentalist?
CK: I’m fascinated with the simplicity and complexity of how units and systems increase in scale and how human-created objects meld within the space without injuring the nature of the interaction. The beauty lies in our ability to coexist in harmony and elevate one another. We are the result of adapted environmental mutations we cannot begin to fathom. I love being in nature, but I do not fear for our planet. If we self-extinct ourselves, I think the earth will heal, and we will become the threads of a forgotten time.
VENÜ: Recognizing that human beings are part of nature, three fundamental energies govern our inner and outer environments- Movement, transformation, and structure. We see this in your work. Can you explain more?
CK: Our surroundings are perceivable; it doesn’t dictate what we feel or believe. Earth water, sky, fear, love & anger are all part of the palate with water’s recurring themes. My use of color, form, frame, and light is utilized as a reflection to elicit an emotional response. The universe is simply information, governed by a set of rules that manifests our physical reality. What’s bright and colorful is impalpable. The corporeal sense is a start to geometry-a horse-a mountain, part of it not being a conscious decision. The context between the pragmatic and intuitive is made to be seen and purposeful, whether obvious or discreet. I do what feels right … It’s like building a collage. I try not to interfere with it, settling all emotional, physical, and intellectual debts.
“We are the result of adapted environmental mutations we cannot begin to fathom.”
VENÜ: What’s symbolic about horses and carriages?
CK: They are elements and a compass used to reference a juxtaposed timeline betwixt cyberspace with humanity’s previously analog society. Imagine how significant these structures would look to people of that eon. It would appear alien, much like how people of the modern era still marvel at structures like Stonehenge and Easter Island.
Frequency of Genesis (Venü cover) is a synopsis of Dror Benshetrit’s oeuvre. Intelligence manifests our reality in the form of vibration through matter. Ideas oscillate through our minds precipitating our existence. – A solidity we’ve awakened that brings to light our moral conscience. Humans are cautiously orbiting enlightenment. We are drawn to its beauty and the opportunity to grow beyond our periphery, but we are still only human.
Chad’s depth of sensitivity allows the viewer to scope his transcendental expression through copious eyes. In short, his visual milieu is a brain ride that bisects human existence between primitive and advanced futures that observe our conceivable courtship. Dror shares, “Knight’s narrative is an act of liberation that inspires us all to do what we love and share what we are passionate about with others.” ☐
For further information visit: @chadknight