“Melancholia II” references Albrecht Durer’s “Melencolia I” (1514), a cryptic composition featuring an angelic figure lost in contemplation, surrounded by various scientific, architectural and artistic tools.
I’ve always felt a strong kinship with Durer’s print. Even though Durer created the image more than 500 years ago, I feel that it communicates a particular emotional state which seems prevalent in the 21st century. When I am plugged into the internet, I feel as though I have every possible tool at my fingertips but I’m lost as to how use them constructively.
In my work I use abstract sculptural forms to explore the fluid nature of identity in a digitally saturated culture. The ambiguous nature of the sculptures, as well as the malleability of digital forms, allows me to contextualise them into different compositions which completely change how they are read by a viewer. I want to use my work as a visual way of exploring how we exist online, either as platonic anonymous “users” or as carefully constructed avatars.
My art practice is concerned with exploring the historical and contemporary intersection between visual culture and technology. I'm intrigued by how art and technological advancement have often informed one another. From the camera obscura to digital imaging, I want to investigate how these forces interact and come to shape the way that we create the world that we live in.
Tobias Williams is a Toronto based artist and educator working in digital and print media.