Dark Tech Fantasies and Cyber Dreams with Matthieu Martin
Meet Matthieu Martin, a Paris-based digital artist who creates stunning dark tech visual that’s gone viral on social channels. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on the future of art evolving – including why he thinks some artists starting out now may be the last of their kind.
How do you balance your creative vision with the practical considerations of making a living as an artist?
– It’s a bit complicated, you can’t always choose the job you want to do, moreover, you have to work to be able to live but when you work you have more time to develop your art. That’s why at first it’s a little complicated, but over time, with experience and the fact that digital art is becoming more democratic, it is becoming easier to win contracts. We can talk about NFTs which are now very present and which are really a huge opportunity for all artists allowing them to live from their art. It is, I think the holy grail for any artist.
Could you share a particularly memorable project or artwork that you’ve created, and what makes it special to you?
– Why not talk about the video that made me big on Instagram, the story behind that video, and that I bought the book about the making of Ghost in the Shell. And in that book, I saw a still image that I was very interested in, so I decided to reproduce it and add things around it by making a video. I wanted to make a kind of pov video where the spectator walks in this environment, but as often towards the end I decided to stop. But as I had animated these two characters, I said to myself that I was going to do a small reel just on them. So I took out the video which didn’t go too badly, so over a month later I don’t know why it exploded and it is now almost 10M views. It was also after the release of this video that I was asked to join Superrare. We can say that there was a before and after this happened.
How has living in Paris influenced your artistic style and subject matter do you think?
– I don’t know if Paris could have influenced my style, to tell the truth. I started working with 3D shortly before living in Paris, before that I was in the south of France, in Toulouse, I wasn’t doing 3D at that point but I was doing music, graphic design, and illustration, and in and for each practice I was very much influenced by the futuristic/cyberpunk universe. Living in Paris is good because I have easy access to big exhibitions. I love Renaissance paintings, I can go to the Louvres when I want and recently there are events related to NFTs.
You say you are heavily influenced by cyberpunk aesthetics. How do you think the current state of technology and society compares to the visions of the future depicted in cyberpunk literature and film?
– When we are told about the future, we are always shown happy, white, bright things, which will be really beneficial, but the cyberpunk universe is quite the opposite, and our world is not all white and people know it. I think society knows the future won’t be so perfect, plus all the sci-fi movies and books. People already know what to expect. Anyway, that’s the impression I get when I see the comments on my Instagram posts.
Do you worry about the speed of developments in the field of AI?
– Yes, of course, it appeared very recently and the majority of artistic professions are already almost useless, there are only videos left that the AI cannot yet reproduce correctly. I feel bad for all the new people who are going to get into photography or illustration, for example. I’m afraid they are the last generation right now.
How do you see digital fashion evolving in the future, and where do you see your role in it?
– I’m not very good at predictions but I think digital fashion will be very present of course, through games, metaverses, clothing brands will certainly even have their collections but I’m not sure that outside of games or metaverse, people will be interested in it. And I hope to be part of it if I can!
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and what would you create together?