Anne Morgan Spalter
For decades I have worked with a collection of personal symbols that I believe are also representative of our collective unconscious. I often used digital technology to generate new ways of approaching this content, recently including artificial intelligence. Although I usually continue to work with the AI imagery after it is created, the process feels like a true collaboration with another entity.
These symbols include pathways such as highways and bridges; modes of transportation such as planes, ships, and UFOs; bodies of water from oceans to swimming pools; signalling structures such as lighthouses; and largely empty landscapes often featuring skyscrapers and urban landscape or clouds, mountains and water/seascapes. The compositions frequently include or are based on circles and spheres and use patterning to create geometric order. The works usually incorporate specific times of day, using the lighting and colors of sunset, sunrise, or twilight.
Like recurring characters in a story these symbolic images come and go in different combinations and I have approached them with a range of both traditional and digital media. They often have simultaneous physical and spiritual references–acting as both objective landscape elements and tools for inner exploration.
Digital mixed-media artist Anne Spalter is an academic pioneer who founded the original digital fine arts programs at Brown University and The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the 1990s and authored the internationally taught textbook, The Computer in the Visual Arts (Addison-Wesley, 1999).
Her artistic process combines a consistent set of personal symbols with a hybrid arsenal of traditional mark-making methods and innovative digital tools. A new body of work, further developed at a Winter 2019 residency at MASS MoCA, combines artificial intelligence algorithms with oil paint and pastels.
Spalter is also noted for her large-scale public projects. MTA Arts commissioned Spalter to create a 52-screen digital art installation, New York Dreaming, which remained on view in one of its most crowded commuter hubs (Fulton Center) for just under a year. Spalter’s 2019 large-scale projects included a 47,000 square foot LED video work on the Hong Kong harbor.
Spalter’s work is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK); the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY); the Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence, RI); and others. Alongside her studio practice, Spalter continues to lecture on digital art practice and theory.