Tim MacKay

Vectorial landscapes, floating cars and oil-spill eddies of psychedelic colour, a mere taste of what Tim MacKay’s gorgeous digital collages have to offer. Tim is a Toronto based artist who creates pieces comprised of downloaded material and applying traditional collage techniques, transposing pixels to print, and then reversing the process to produce remarkable cut and paste artworks.

Tim explained that he’d been making collage pieces since 2011, initially as presents for his sister. “I was addicted to the process from the get go” he says.  Interested to find out more about the creation of his striking and original digital images, I asked him about his influences.

“These collages are very much a symptom and reaction to the endless stream images that is Tumblr, where all images can be stripped of authorship, context, or property, without origins or history. It is a disorienting, timeless, world (especially for someone slightly older than the average user) and the process of manually or physically constructing these collages from the content of this world is an attempt to navigate with it a renewed sense of wonder.

I’ve read about the image anarchism, of art (art without the status as property) in the digital landscape and I like to think these collages are a product of that. In the process of cutting and pasting, forcing connections and disconnections between anchor-less fragments I am creating a whole, a singular composition, out of this anarchy.”

Your pieces have no titles, how significant is this to your processes?

“I think I avoid applying a title to the finished pieces because during the process of making them I do not have an end in mind. From then on i’m always just asking what’s next? 

I also think that much of contemporary art is so dependent on, or simply just is, the text – titles, theory, criticism, etc. What I love about art on the web is that much of that text, which is external but integral to the art, can be stripped away and it is opened up to new connections and shifting contexts. This puts more weight on the images themselves without the textual conceptual framework.”

When do you feel you’ve arrived at a composition that you’re satisfied with?

“I know it is done when it is engaging, mysterious enough, creates the right effect, not message. I want my work to promote a way of seeing, using the old painting composition fundamentals of balance and depth of field but with new digital age content, more than providing an easily digestible message or concrete idea. It is certainly more about questions, drawing attention to the act of seeing, or consuming images, bringing a sense of depth and wonder to 
this process.”

Tim MacKay’s compositions are a varied and off-the-wall fusion of scissors, jpegs, scanners and glue. Extolling the transgressive nature of the digital art world, they provide an astute insight into the rebellious and abstracted nature of collage as a contemporary art form.

Find more work here: 

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