Julien Gachadoat or better known as v3ga was born to an art-loving family. His mom had an art gallery in Agen, France, and he was surrounded by art back home. At the age of just 13 years, he discovered the Atari ST demoscene. From there, a crazy journey in digital and generative art has started. He is following one good rule: Never stop learning!
NFT Granny: “Dear Julien, it’s a great pleasure to meet you. I saw that you are using different techniques to create art – sometimes the computer, sometimes the plotter. Which one do you prefer?”
Julien Gachadoat: It’s a pleasure to meet you too. I don’t prefer any techniques as my plotter artworks are the direct outputs of the algorithms I conceive on my computer. Both tools are strongly connected in my practice.
How did you first become interested in art, and how did you get started with it yourself?
Julien Gachadoat: I was lucky enough to have been raised in a family where art and culture, in general, were very present. My mother had an art gallery (called Galerie Brodoux in Agen, France) where local artists were exhibited regularly. At home, we were surrounded by paintings and books. I guess this was my first direct contact with art, more or less conscientiously.
My father was a college teacher, and one strong memory of my childhood was him coming back home with a computer when I was eight at the beginning of the 80s. I was instantly hooked and started typing code to be able to play games. This was the only way back then.
Another intense moment that got me into using computer code to create visuals was the discovery of the Atari ST demoscene when I was 13. I wanted to know how those crazy visual effects were achieved, so I started using my limited knowledge in computer programming and mathematics to mimic those effects with different programming languages (primarily basic and a bit of 68000 assembler). I understood that computer code could be used visually creatively. At that time, I did not know anything about the history of the generative art movement, which emerged in the 50s.
Later in my twenties, I discovered Processing. Thanks to it, I started being interested in the history of generative art while discovering a solid and emergent creative visual coding scene. I have begun regularly sketching with Processing then, and buying an axidraw in 2017 made me sketch and plot almost daily.
Could you tell us more about the story of your project “Haze-03”?
Julien Gachadoat: This artwork results from experimenting with a subdivision algorithm I have been using in many of my artworks. It uses a special configuration of parameters that make it possible to produce this type of visuals. The algorithm is versatile enough so that it lets me explore a wide range of graphic patterns.
One of the “Haze” visuals was recently featured in Noema magazine as an illustration. Though my artworks are black and white abstract geometries, I love hearing people tell me they are evocative or remind them of things. It’s very gratifying.
Which of your artworks are you most proud of?
Julien Gachadoat: I am very proud of the “Landscape” series. One of the first iterations came out in 2018, and I was so excited to see the results first on-screen and then after several hours of plotting.
I have been taking time to explore this algorithm a lot. It is based again on a custom polygon subdivision algorithm with some unique configurations of parameters. I always feel like an explorer, fine-tuning numbers in the hope of finding the subtle sequences that will make the visual “click” in my head.
Is there an artist you would like to work with? Like a collaboration?
Julien Gachadoat: One of my dreams would be to collaborate with historical figures of the generative movement like Vera Molnár, Frieder Nake or Manfred Mohr, to name a few of my references.
I had the chance to meet Frieder Nake twice, in Bordeaux for Processing Bordeaux event and Amiens at CO:DE/*SIGN event.
We are curious 🙂 Would you be willing to share any plans of upcoming projects?
Julien Gachadoat: I have a few collaborations in the pipeline.
One I can talk about is an original collaborative plotter project in collaboration with Iskra (@pointline), Marcelo (@msoriaro) and Guillaume (@entropismes).
Also I am happy and proud to be part of the A.R.E book produced by Generative Hut and edited by Vetro. It was released in Ocotber 2021 and it features some great generative artists I’ve been following for some time now. I am very honored to be part of it.
Also, another project I am going to work on is for a french label doing cutting edge electronic music. The project involves — again! — plotting and producing unique record sleeves for a limited vinyl release. This is going to be great.
Who or what are your biggest influences or sources of inspiration?
Julien Gachadoat: Undoubtedly the early pioneers of generative art in the 50s and the 60s.
The Atari ST and Amiga demoscenes strongly marked my teenage years.
Lately I was impressed by the work of Irma Blank after having visited her exhibition at CAPC museum in Bordeaux.
Is there something specific you are trying to express with your art?
Julien Gachadoat: The starting point of my artworks is always a process, some simple rules that hopefully combined together will produce visual appealing, some kind of graphic melody that can be evocative for people looking.
What do you feel when you are creating new art?
Julien Gachadoat: Happy and a lot of excitement when I feel a particular algorithm can potentially produce some nice visual outputs.
Do you remember the first time you heard about NFT Art?
Julien Gachadoat: Yes, it was around December 2020 when Andreas Gysin posted some artworks on SuperRare. I was intrigued and asked him a few questions and then I totally forgot about it. This was until Ringers by Dmitri Cherniak dropped on Art Blocks platform, around February 2021 I think. From my understanding of NFTs at that time, I had only a vague but strong feeling this was the perfect platform for generative artists to express the potentiality of one’s algorithms.
I then got introduced to Hicetnunc in March 2021 by Lionel Radisson, I started to get accustomed to the semantics and logics of posting artworks on the blockchain then. I am still learning.
How do you enjoy the NFT Art you have collected? Do you have a way to display it for example at home?
Julien Gachadoat: I only collected NFTs on Hicetnunc at the moment, but failed twice to collect on Art Blocks. At the moment I do not have any dedicated screen at home to display artworks. I would like to have one though, and I imagine it being placed among framed artworks.
What would be your biggest wish for the NFT Art scene? What is currently missing / not fully developed to reach full potential out of it?
Julien Gachadoat: I am far from being an expert of the NFT Art Scene. This is relatively new to me. One thing that I missed when I got into it is the lack of documentation on how all this works and how you can start posting artworks on platforms. But the community helped me a lot.
Nevertheless, I tend to believe that NFTs allow a broader audience to discover generative artworks, and that’s a good thing.
Which tools do you use to create your art?
Julien Gachadoat: I use Processing / p5js and the axidraw plotter made by Evil Mad Science.
What does a typical day for you look like, and what do you like to do when you’re not busy with NFT Art?
Julien Gachadoat: A typical day is spent at the studio working on clients’ projects, then sharing some time with my daughter and/or my girlfriend after day work and then working in the evening on my personal projects. This can go from coding core algorithms of artworks I’ve got in mind, designing some tool interfaces to explore combinations of parameters or simply playing with the tools to export renderings.
Once this work is done, I usually launch a plot at night, falling asleep with the rhythmic noise of the plotter motors to discover the result the following day. It is an excellent way to wake up.
When I’m not busy with computer art and coding in general, I like reading and I am currently learning the basics of astronomy, being fascinated by the general relativity theory and quantum mechanics.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Julien Gachadoat: Do not stop learning.
Is there something aside from art or NFTs you collect?
Julien Gachadoat: I love books and tend to have too many at home. Also, I started collecting plots / artworks / NFTs from generative artists I like. I have to say I love trading generative postcards too.
What do you feel the moment a project you’ve created dropped?
Julien Gachadoat: I had the chance to have a project drop on Art Blocks in July 2021 called Radiance. I felt very anxious before the release (as most AB artists I guess), completely panicked when dropping it and then relieved when seeing it was warmly received by the community of collectors and artists. All in all this was an experience I will remember for a long time, being supported by my daughter and my girlfriend while commenting on the drops on the AB discord.
By the way, I have just started sending the first 1/1 Radiance prints for collectors.
- Full Name: Julien Gachadoat
- Date of Birth: 8th June 1975
- Current hometown: Bordeaux (France)
- Languages he speaks: French, English
- What did you want to be when you were a child: Plane pilot & math. researcher
- Education: Master degree in microelectronics (Bordeaux I University) and master degree in graphic design (Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs Paris)
- First Job: web developer