J.D. Doria – Tel-Aviv, Israel

The Petri Dish Project (01b) -2014

The Petri Dish Project (01b) -2014

Briefly describe the work you do.

In my work, since the beginning, it was the line of separation between imagination, nature and matter that caught my attention and became across multiple mediums my experimental and aesthetic enterprise.

What would happen if one looks at nature, imagination and matter as a continuum? Where the one is endlessly spilling into the other? My work, originally rooted in painting, interprets such a continuum of potential openness and attempts to achieve it by the attentive usages of bridges, the bridges to which I refer as technologies.

Technologies in my work are the artist’s extension, and they profoundly change how i relate to the artistic process, they help expose and reveal the ‘middle’, the constant leaking of medium into medium, of mind into mind and of projected futures into the present. I am after the softness that unfolds as interconnected-ness, opening by that a corridor into new transitory ‘home’ for our perception.

For example in my last project – the Petri Dish, rather than painting I am “growing” images by the agency of materials (colors and mediums). The composition in the Petri dish becomes active and generates chaotic processes, out of which a ‘colony’ of images emerges. This is where the camera and the close collaboration with a photographer enter the scene and capture the dynamics in time. Images are then digitally enlarged and grown and enter a process of selection and articulation. Each ‘work’ is then composed by a circular image of the particular “culture” and by the ‘multitude’ of images extracted from the process.

Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.

Cinema is my background and the initial corridor I took into art, and it has definitely influenced the way I understand art, aesthetics and the scope of being an artist. When we think of cinema, Technology is a critical factor in enabling the emergence of Cinema and the final product of it is always the outcome of an ensemble of masters working together. The interesting element is that the artistic output is grown through stations that blur the times of the process: script, recreated during shooting reframed during editing. The work of art is understood as a malleable substance that can profoundly mutate via the coordination of multiple stations of making. I believe that this attitude towards the artistic process is visible in my current work. The use of technology, the collaborative work and the succession of multiple stations of making, are an integral aspect in the way I create. The final images are extracted in multiple stages, at first in the generative aspect of my work with materials, then through technology which allows to open the initial impressions into multiple spatial scales and time frames, then through the collaborative dialogic act of selection and articulation, and eventually in the final editing and presentation of the artistic product – painting as multitude.

The Petri Dish Project (01a) - 2014

The Petri Dish Project (01a) – 2014

The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

The most important aspect of my work is the experimentation phase in the studio. This is where I meet new materials and discover them in interaction, searching for emergent properties that can lead my imagination into new realms. During this period I enjoy the freedom from specific intent and immerse myself in the doing of things that carry no useful end in the immediacy. It is very similar to a meditation method and it operates through soft intention, which enables a space of mind and intensity on the edge. The experimentation embeds two parallel processes both characterized as being far from equilibrium: the interaction of the materials and the navigation of my states of mind. The moments of alignment of both realms are basically what I am after. My experimentation phases range between one to three months, after which the actual creation of a project is done in an intense and short period of time.

What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

I think that my idea of making art at the beginning was definitely biased, at times bending towards ideals and at a times leaning towards the here and now of the self.

And perhaps the boldest difference that emerge along the years of practice lies in the understanding that the making of art needs to be dressed with a proper context and that the context needs to be relevant (a currency) to the current phase of the culture. Which means that the making of art lies in the communication between morphology of eternality and morphology of temporalities and the actual ‘making’ is itself a process of morph-genesis that composes these morphologies into new and hopefully relevant form and fabric.

The Petri Dish Project (01c) - 2014

The Petri Dish Project (01c) – 2014

When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can? 

I work in periods. There is an intense period of work and then I do other things that basically become, at the right timings, the next platform for the creative process. So in general there are intense periods of research, not directly connected to the studio and intense period of making, in between there is all the rest.

How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?

My work has passed through a radical change in the last 5 years. When I introduced technology into the traditional process of painting and from then my work has been a mediation between painting and technology. Along these years, I have used various technologies: 3D scanner, digital photography and computer software. And I also changed the medium upon which I work moving from big canvases to small paper, and lately migrating from the 2D surfaces of traditional painting to the 3D depth and fluidity of Petri dish cultures captured on still camera. The Petri dish, in its symbolic power, reflects in my mind the growing powers of experimentation that characterize the beginning of the current century. As humans our civilization may soon be able to play with our inner codes, to reprogram the inner folds of ourselves. It is a dramatic discontinuity with previous history and it is happening extremely fast. In the last few years I contemplate more and more the importance that aesthetics may assume in the transition phase, the possibility to read aesthetics as “curation-of-becoming” and bring it to be a relevant voice in the ongoing debate about the future of our race and life at large.

Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?

If I were to name a few, then, through cinema I met Andrei Tarkovsky, who touched me deeply for the correlation between art and higher states of mind. In painting I would say Kazimir Malevich, who for me embodies the real pathfinder. Through the web and my interest in the evolution of the mind, future and friendship, I met the writings of ‘Wildcat’, who provokes, through his writing, the very substance of a mind on the edge.

If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?

I would wish to be a super intelligent mind mold that could grow in minds and diffuse into those mediums insights, visions and dreams.


J. D. Doria, aHeadshot jd dorian interdisciplinary artist, works and lives in Tel Aviv and has exhibited his works internationally in Tel Aviv, Rome, Milan, Paris and Munich among others. His work explores through ‘matter’ the questions he deems fundamental in a human becoming, and matures at the intersections between art and technology, and between art and science. His background in cinema allows him to capture unexpected dynamic qualities in his works, which stem out from painting, and evolve through technology and photography into generative art. Among his exhibited projects, Painting as a multitude, Organic Memory and the Petri Dish Project.

jd doria 2


All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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