LOCKDOWN SERIES

During these turbulent, unsettling times, we want to share a glimmer of beauty to break up the fear and anxiety. Each week we will be highlighting new artworks from emerging artists and share their thoughts and inspirations during this time. This week we are showcasing the work of Photographer and Glitch Artist, Alecks Ayling.

ONLINE EXHIBITION

'cabinfever' by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

2020
42cm x 29.7cm
Digital Giclée Print printed on Hahnemühle Photorag paper

"This piece came about as a response to a lot of people experiencing cabin fever. The blending of hours into days, no longer knowing what day of the week this is. The subject is actually my wife, who hasn't left the house in roughly three weeks. Time no longer has any meaning, and emotions are hard to describe."

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'crouchcrouchcrouchcrouch'
by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

2020
42cm x 29.7cm
Digital Giclée Print printed on Hahnemühle Photorag paper

"I took the initial shot while shooting for the band Why Patterns - a very new noise rock/experimental band from London. Their particular brand of noise really jammed with my penchant for glitch art, so it really made sense for me to combine the two."

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'handful'
by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

2020
29.7cm x 42cm
Digital Giclée Print printed on Hahnemühle Photorag paper

"This piece came about purely by chance, I was playing around with a red light filter for my flash and I noticed it gave the photos a really eerie horror feel - so I really leaned into the tense atmosphere to create something spooky."

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'puckerupurekcup'
by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

2020
29.7cm x 42cm
Digital Giclée Print printed on Hahnemühle Photorag paper

"This was a light painting I did with a pure white light in a very dark room, then I combined it with my love for neon lights and manipulated it to look like lips. This is much simpler than I usually go for, but I guess sometimes less is more!"

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'TURN THAT NOISE DOWN'
by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

2020
29.7cm x 42cm
Digital Giclée Print printed on Hahnemühle Photorag paper

"This was an experiment in messing around with a sort of damaged file glitching - basically corrupting the file that leads to some very noisy aberrations in the image. Then I looked into PNG glitch and then started playing around with that."

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'<we're melting x100>'
by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

2020
29.7cm x 42cm
Digital Giclée Print printed on Hahnemühle Photorag paper

"This was another shot from Why Patterns - initially with this shot there was a crowd in the background and this was chiefly a pixel sorting piece, but then I decided I didn't like that so much, so I took the crowd out with lighting curves and a bit of burning of the image, used PNG corruption again and converted it back to glitch it some more and basically messed with the colour channels and colour profiles until all that remained was the foreground. I had a lot of fun with this one."

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INTERVIEW

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I currently live in Walthamstow in London, but I'm from a seaside town in Kent, called Whitstable. Currently, I'm isolating in Walthamstow with my wife and our housemate.

WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC BACKGROUND?

I've never studied art, in fact, I really hated art in school - but I always loved playing around with Photoshop, have done since I was eleven years old. Then as a teenager, I got into video editing, making strange videos with my cousin with little to no plot, using sound and dialogue from TV shows, video games, adverts, whatever I could get my hands on. Around the age of 20, I discovered glitch art and realised that this was an art form that really resonated with me… from that point, I was more or less hooked. A few years later I got into film photography, and then I started combining the two. Last year, I made the switch to primarily shooting on digital, mostly for convenience.

WHAT IS/ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUMS?

Well… the glitch art pretty much has to be done digitally, so I guess digital? That being said, a lot is also created through photos that I will have taken and manipulated (though I often collaborate with other people and manipulate their pictures) so… both photography and miscellaneous digital processing.

WHO/WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR KEY INFLUENCES/INSPIRATIONS ARE?

When I started making glitch art, I only really knew one person who did anything like it. A regular at the bottle shop I worked at called Oli Chilton (@moiremotion on Instagram). But over time, I met other people who do absolutely amazing work, most notably Adam John Williams (otherwise known as Chemical Adam, @adamjohnwilliams on Instagram) and Lydia Musonic (@harsh.femme on Instagram). They're both, honestly, geniuses. Their ingenuity and creativity know no bounds.

DO YOU HAVE ANY MUSICAL INFLUENCES THAT INSPIRE YOUR WORK? OR ANY PARTICULAR ARTISTS/SONGS YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO WHILE WORKING?

I take a lot of inspiration from music. Without sounding too pretentious, I try to display what I think music would sound like if it looked like something (or what the emotions music make you feel look like).

It really depends on what I'm working on, but often featured are Venetian Snares, Perturbator, Igorrr, Aphex Twin, the list could go on forever. It changes a lot. 

SO, WOULD YOU SAY CHROMESTHESIA IS AN ELEMENT IN YOUR WORK/PROCESS?

This is the first time I've heard about chromesthesia - I've heard of synesthesia but not specifically chromesthesia. I guess you could say that, yeah! It's more that I get the shape/severity of glitch from the music than the colour.

Check out this playlist by Alecks to hear what they're listening to right now.

I’m doing good! I’ve had a couple down days and dealing with PMS during this whole thing has been an interesting experience to say the least. I was away from January, and was meant to come home April 30th but, obviously, had to come home earlier. That was weird as I had to be isolated in my room for 2 weeks so as not to put my family at risk, I had some rough days during that. I’ve been working on something every day, and every now and then I come up with something that I feel proud of enough to show people. I think it’s important to keep your brain active and creative right now, not just for artists but for everyone, it stops you going completely mad.

WE'RE GOING THROUGH A PRETTY UNSETTLING TIME RIGHT NOW, HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Honestly, I'm doing alright. I'm an introvert by nature and I don't often go out when I'm not working my Muggle job. I'm worried about my wife, they're immunocompromised so contracting a virus that we don't really know that much about, at a time when the NHS is critically underfunded, overworked, and frankly, oversubscribed, is a terrifying concept. I've just become a housewife, cooking, cleaning, and looking after my wife. I take a lot of pleasure in it, but it's also really important that in this time we all take time to look after ourselves. When I was in therapy last year, my therapist and I spoke a lot about 'self-keeping' rather than 'self-care' - self-care is often a response to something negative, whether it's emotional or physical. Self-keeping is about doing nice things for you, because you find them nice. Not as a reward, just because you can. I've been spending my evenings surrounded with colourful lights, blankets, lava lamps, and incense. The impact on my mental health has been substantial.

HOW IS THE LOCKDOWN AFFECTING YOU CREATIVELY?

Well, I've been using this time to work on a zine. Unfortunately, my laptop is broken, so all I have to work on is my wife's old university laptop which… struggles with more or less all the things I do, so my output is somewhat limited by that. However, I'm sitting on a lot of content at the minute. Real good at making a lot of art, not so good at posting it/remembering to post it.

Annoyingly, both of the major projects I had planned require other people, so in the interest of public health, I've put that off until this all blows over! Watch this space though.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH WITH THIS TIME?

I'm not pushing it, if I want to create, I'll create. So far, I've been using this time to focus on more music-oriented art. Namely, playing more bass guitar. Also, I just put out a chillout mix on SoundCloud, so I'll be practising with stuff like that as well.
https://soundcloud.com/themilkiestape

AND DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR STAYING CREATIVE DURING QUARANTINE?

Art is a great thing for keeping yourself busy, when all you have is time. I swear by a process I learned in the one life drawing class I attended, spend 35 minutes just not thinking about it and getting ideas out! 5 minutes first, then start a new one for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes for the third. Gives you ideas, gets the creativity flowing, all that good shit.

Aside from that, my advice is to create for yourself. If you like it, that's the important thing

To see more of Alecks's work, visit their artist's page or check out our online shop

SHOP

'crouchcrouchcrouchcrouch'
by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

£86

'cabinfever' by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

£86

'<we're melting x100>' by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

£86

'TURN THAT NOISE DOWN'
by Alecks 'themilkape' Ayling

£86

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exhibition

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exhibition

See previous
exhibition