Tim Forcade

Tim Forcade

Lawrence, Kansas

"Decades ago, I realized that paint alone could not fully express what I aspired to do. Light became my passion. I appreciate its expressive and objective nature occurring regardless of the objects if falls upon. I am utterly fascinated. I adore it. I recognize its origin, what it has passed through, reflected from – its experience – and for that I am the moth.

But how might I work with it or control it? My passion to become ever more intimate with light itself has resulted in an ongoing search transporting me through projectors, electronics, various motorized devices and of course photography all in an effort to create ever more multilayered experiences of it. Given decades of studio work photographing everything from burgers to ball gowns, I am comfortable with the medium. However, I have often been frustrated by its limitations – particularly those implicit in the medium due to limits of physics, film, and optics, to name a few.

For years I attempted to work beyond these limitations. Obsessed with photographic abstraction, I created large print compositions made from elaborate studio still-life sets. These photographs were designed to emphasize the properties of light itself rather than the objects comprising each still life. Using a custom camera and intricate lighting, I created a series of images consisting of photographic arrays of multiple high-resolution images. These became the starting points for numerous works combining the processes of both photography and painting. These abstractions began increasingly to strip away object identity leaving only light itself. But what if I could bypass physicality? What if I could work with the impossible?

Enter the domain of 3D computer graphics. My long experience with 2D and 3D programs demonstrated many advantages over my physical photo studio, all of which added up no limits. This is beyond painting or photography. It is a direct encounter with light’s essence."

Tim Forcade is a multimedia artist employing painting, theatrical/studio lighting, electronic systems, video and photography to create imagery inspired by light in all its forms.  He has combined his education in drawing and painting (BFA 1970) with ongoing research and experiments with technology-based media.  His work has been published, collected and exhibited nationally and internationally.

His obsession with art and technology began in the 1960’s.  At that time Tim began work with projected light using paint, liquids, various materials and motors producing environmental stage effects for live performances across the midwest and Canada.  He also produced a series of photographs using theatrical stroboscopic lights and choreography to create imagery using the figure as a point of departure toward abstract photography.  Throughout the 70s and 80s, via independent trial and error, he designed and built his Light Machine Series — interactive electronic devices he used to transform sound into colored light compositions for installations, photography and video.

During the 80s and 90s Tim participated in the emergence and evolution of 2D and 3D computer graphics as an artist, beta site, author, and development team member. He has taught and lectured extensively at various conferences and colleges including SIGGRAPH, the University of Washington, the University of Kansas and Alberta College of Art.

His more recent work leverages his decades of experience as a professional photographer and artist skilled in computational photography and digital image processing. For the last 15 years his large photographic works on paper and fabric have been based on locating or building subjects that he asserts “affect light without necessarily being delineated by it.” This recent work as been referred to as color field photography and a true synthesis between painting and photography.

His current work with 3D computer graphics has transported his image making from cameras and studio still life sets into virtual space and as he puts it, “beyond physicality and its limitations and toward a more perfect encounter with the essence of light.”