Origins of Techspressionism by Steve Miller

Steve Miller (USA), Far Enough Away, 2019. Inkjet and silkscreen, 40 x 30 inches.

Steve Miller (USA), Far Enough Away, 2019. Inkjet and silkscreen, 40 x 30 inches.

The seed for Techspressionism may have geminated in 1992 when Colin Goldberg and I worked together in my studio preparing for a solo exhibition in Paris.  For that exhibition I silkscreened images made from human X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and echocardiograms to construct individual portraits as seen through the lens of science and technology.  The paintings were a combination of loose abstract expressionist techniques alongside Warhol’s silk-screening methods.  In fact, one of my printing assistants working alongside Colin at the time had previously printed for Warhol.  

In this work, I realized the need to embrace the new visual language of the digital within the paradigm of classical modernist painting.  In 1994, Colin told me about the World Wide Web and showed me how to own my name as a domain,  I learned about websites and constructed one with Colin’s technical guidance.  It was a true collaboration of his engagement with technology in concert with my knowledge of art history.  My personal interest in computers began a decade earlier in 1983 when I was experimenting with the Khyron and Dubner computers at ABC television studios, digitally manipulating images and mixing together the visual languages of fine art, such as cubism, with the new aesthetics of pixilation and digital distortion.  

The association with Colin was fortuitous. Colin had talent and the tools of technical finesse, and I absorbed whatever I could of this emerging new world.  Over the years we have collaborated on a variety of projects, including an interactive VR experience launched in 1999 called Dreaming Brain, which was one of the earliest examples of VR-based net art. Our conversations have spanned the topics of social media, creative content distribution and new models of working, along with the advent of the blockchain and NFTs.  During one of these conversations on my front porch in August of 2020, was launched.  Could cold tech marry emotion?  Was Techspressionism a word that could encapsulate new media within the expressive history of painting?  

The window for Techspressionism is wide open with artist nodes currently developing in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, and Iran. The exhibition at Southampton Arts Center, which includes artists from over 20 countries, is proof positive that Techspressionism has truly gone global.

Steve Miller
Sagaponack NY USA
May 2022

View this artist’s work included in the exhibition here.