Growing up in a small town in Switzerland, as a young boy Benjamin Muzzin found solace in the computer. “It was a great window into knowing what was going on abroad and the only way to feel part of a subculture for a while as I wasn’t really interested in what was going on in the mainstream media,” he tells It’s Nice That. Years later, Benjamin went onto study media and interaction design at ECAL, experimenting with CGI, 3D and video mapping softwares, which were still pretty new back then in 2010.
Consequently, he landed a regular job creating live visuals for clubs in Geneva including Le Zoo, controlling up to 16 different projectors at the same time. “As you can imagine, it was an amazing playground to experiment with all kinds of weird visuals as large-scale installations,” Benjamin tells It’s Nice That. Going onto exhibit his work at arts festivals and exhibitions all around the world, including Sundance, the digital artist has focused on his CGI outputs ever since, in both an artistic and commercial setting.
Currently teaching on the 3D animation course at his alma mater, Benjamin’s personal work continues to interpret nature through computer generated images. “I feel like we humans have a constant need to control nature” says the artist, “so maybe doing it in a virtual space is paradoxically the most extreme way to do it, but also the most harmless one.” Drawing out this predicament through a three dimensional virtual realm, his work also touches on sci-fi themes and fears from the 60s and 70s.
He applies the label of “digital art” loosely to his work however, noting: “I don’t think that this term will live on for that much longer. It is already merging into many other disciplines as most of our daily activities involve new technologies; art forms included.” If anyone intends to stay at the forefront of the discipline, Benjamin states the work must move in the experimental direction. “I have the feeling that everything is becoming flat and focusing too hard on trying to look perfect. Social media is having a terrible impact on the quality of the works that are being produced. We can see that things need to look kinda sexy rather than meaningful, and most of the time, the research part is totally invisible even though it’s a majorly interesting part of the work. Some punk rawness would actually be refreshing and things need to be shaken up badly.”
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.