For several years now, Rus Khasanov has been making typefaces and abstract films using practical effects done in-camera. From typefaces made out of liquid refractions to hypnotic colour films,, the visual artist and graphic designer from Ekaterinburg, Russia is still on the hunt of finding new ways to use photography to create his dreamlike sequences.
Having created projects for the likes of Adobe, Bloomberg Markets, GQ, IBM and Wired, Rus tells us how he began his creative practice which has in turn, contributed to his unique approach to image making. “I didn’t learn the technical details of shooting and editing. I just started and did it,” Rus tells It’s Nice That. “For me, the form in which I put on my ideas is not so important. The experiment itself is important to me, the novelty of the idea.”
In his constant search for finding something new, he recently completed a gradient-rich, colourful project in his signature visual style. Although it may look like an CGI experiment in shading and textures, Disctortion is actually created almost entirely without practical and physical effects. It’s hard to believe that these highly saturated, liquid colours that ripple and modulate across our screens are done without digital tricks. “These images look like computer graphics, some kind of experiment with gradients. But the whole point is that it’s just a photo,” Rus explains.
Created with “no computer tricks” and “a minimum working with Photoshop," Rus found various methods to destroy, transform and alter the discs to achieve the result he wanted. With its formerly smooth surface now deformed, the discs start to change colour and coagulate into distorted textures. “For this project, I took various CDs and DVDs and destroyed them: I burned discs, froze them, tore them up, dipped them into various chemicals and bent them. It was amazing to see how the discs react differently to the same actions and create different textures,” adds Rus.
The whole project started when he spotted a CD of 90s music lying on the street, shimmering in rainbows as it reflected off the sun. “My work is the constant search for something new. I love this moment: when a new idea comes to me and I start working on it. I forget about everything else,” Rus says. And along with the abstract photography he produced for Disctortion, Rus also created the typography by drawing liquids on altered discs. “The process of work where I can experiment and improvise energises me,” he adds.
“For me it’s like magic, to seek out the beauty in ordinary things and capture it on my camera,” Rus adds. It’s always inspiring to see projects driven by pure creativity, especially if it’s executed well. Although some of the most exciting emerging works out there happen by pushing the boundaries of digital technology, it’s exciting to see that there are still a myriad of different image-making techniques that can still be explored using physical materials and methods.