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A Digital Frontier: Ceramic Sculpture by Darien A-Johnson

A ceramic artwork with a digital glitch aestheticAscending across what's pushed, porcelain, mixed media

Darien A-Johnson works in ceramics, creating abstract works that push the ceramic medium toward a digital frontier, emulating “glitch” aesthetics most commonly associated with digital media such as GIFs. The artist’s ceramic works are simultaneously chaotic and fine-tuned in terms of craftsmanship. 

An up-close image of a porcelain scupture with many patternsReceding to the point (detail), porcelain, mixed media


Looking at one of Darien’s ceramic artworks is almost like seeing fragments of many different images at once; like flipping across channels on TV, catching tiny fragments of various programs, small enough that they blend into a vaster mass of fragments rather than representing their own original whole. This in turn creates a sense of possibility -- that there may be multitudes of different figures or images within the sculpture. 

The front page of Darien A. Johnson's art portfolio


It’s also really interesting to see an aesthetic that’s so entrenched in the realm of digital art and media be recreated so strikingly in a traditional material. A glitch, originally an accidental side-effect of some error or faulty process in digital media, is lent a further sense of aesthetic deliberateness when recreated in solid, unchangeable ceramic.

An abstract porcelain sculpture made with gold and yellow tonesTangled Stopping, porcelain, mixed media

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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