PROFESSIONAL, MACHO, VISCERA: 5 QUESTIONS FOR ELLIOT DODD

Elliot Dodd works with the surfaces and techniques of the global-techno-macho-man. Sculptural objects, drawings, and moving images work to hijack languages of desire, confidence and authority into a new floppy, composite structure.  

His ways of expression span video, drawing, sculpture and VR technologies, visualizing symbols of financial power and masculinity. Elliot Dodd’s digital works play with pixelated landscapes, blurring on-screen and off-screen realities by recalling a digital interface or loading screen. Eyeballs with details close to perfection, widely opened, staring at the viewer intensely, seemingly observing people’s capitalistic behaviors are a signature element of Dodd’s art and also is an essential element in Elliot Dodd’s NFT series Super Normal, with which he turns his playful art into a currency. The five-part NFT series starts as gleaming, rotating coins and with the denominations increasing, so does the visual complexity of the coins. Vapid dilated eyeballs combine with icky, turgid flesh and hi-res mechanics, all clinging to a glowing gold coin.  

What three words describe your work best? 

Professional, macho, viscera. 


What is the core creative idea behind the “Super Normal NFTs”? 

I wanted to make my own currency as a new space to explore my ideas. A UK hedge-fund manager gave a speech during the peak of the covid pandemic about the possibility of "Super Normal Returns" for investors at that time. This brazen, relentless drive toward profit inspired/scared me to create the Super Normal currency. I'm interested in how NFTs are bought and sold on the secondary market, forming a kind of asset currency, so I'm playing with the idea of value, by giving each coin a notional Super Normal value and introducing things like scarcity and abundance. I'm looking at these pure capitalist theoretical agendas as ways to think about problematic masculine personality traits and actions: confidence, domination, profit, fear of weakness, pumped-up-ness, cruelty, emotion-free, appetite etc. 

 

Can you explain the work process behind this work? 

For each coin I have created a character that embodies a different personality, making use of different shiny, wet or reflective objects and types of surfaces. I use a 3D animation software called Blender to draw and sculpt some parts, and to define the surface finishes and lighting. I started with a really simple intention to emulate the spinning gold coins you collect in computer games, then increase their size and complexity as the denominations increase. I'm also producing a set of real-world works that will be given away to collectors investing in multiple coins: PVC banner certificates and printed clothing, for example. 

 
What role does humor play in your work? 

Humor is massively important in my work; I find that when interlaced with serious issues it somehow amplifies or intensifies them. Using humorous characters also draws people into the work feeling loose and relaxed. The facial expressions in my work communicate quite directly. 

How did you develop your distinctive style? 

The idea of my art practice being a kind of mini-corporation with different areas of production and focus really excites me. Strangely, this de-personalization enables me more effectively to explore ideas around masculinity that, personally, I find embarrassing and awkward. It also allows me to switch constantly between different types of creating: drawing, 3D animation, sculpture or virtual reality...  and everything can stay in the realm of imagination or proposition as it's always part of the larger corporation. 

Elliot Dodd's NFT series "Super Normal Currency" is part of the selection shown at misa.art ARTIST FAIR Mallorca at CCA Andratx and is exclusively available on misa.art!

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