Movement Studio Demo Artist Wynn Earl Buzzell, Jr.

Wynn Earl Buzzell, Jr. will be in the Movement Studio demonstrating organically inspired digital design and fabrication July 23–24 and July 30–31.

Brook Lundquist: What can you tell me about your upcoming demonstration?

Wynn Earl Buzzell, Jr.: My demonstration will show examples of my past and present work. Since much of my design work occurs digitally I want to show visitors how my designs, which are largely realized in the computer, translate into reality. To do this I am going to have my 3-D printer actively printing prototypes of some of my designs. I also will have some finished pieces on display to discuss. Finished 3-D prints also require a lot of post-production work, which I intend to demonstrate as well.

The past work I will show includes larger installations, all digitally generated, built from and with a variety of materials and techniques.

The current work I will show includes small and medium sized objects that are parametrically generated using several computer scripts that I built. These objects include pots, light fixtures, and a series of aquascapes. These are the objects that I will be actively modeling and 3-D printing.

So many of the patterns and processes that inform my work are the result of movement of some kind.

– Wynn Earl Buzzell, Jr.
digital image of an installation designed by Wynn Buzzell
Digital image of an installation designed by Wynn Buzzell, Jr.

BL: How has your background as a scientist influenced your career as an artist? How did you make that transition?

WEBJ: As a younger person, I was obsessed with science. I earned degrees in biology and chemistry as an undergraduate, and so began my career as a scientist. My design training occurred later while working toward my master’s degree in architecture and working in the field for several years. I began working in the art industry two years ago. To me the transition seemed very natural; I just always followed what I was passionate about, never leaving anything behind but using all of my experiences to inform my creative work.

My experiences as a scientist and architect have greatly influenced my work as an artist. I find that I am almost always inspired by things I see in the natural world. Simultaneously I have a strong tendency to create work, at least large scale work, that is like architecture in that it functions in some way.

BL: What would you say most significantly inspires your work?

WEBJ: Probably natural patterns. Not just because they are beautiful but because to me they are evidence of something much greater. My thesis work was titled, “Biomimicry: The Pervasive Pattern.” During this research I extensively studied the endless patterns that exist in the natural world and the forces, both physical and chemical, that create them. I also studied the algorithms that can be used to create the same patterns using computers. To me this spoke to some underlying logic in the universe that computation and mathematics give us the power to use in design.

BL: How do you use movement in your artwork? How will movement be used in this demonstration specifically?

WEBJ: So many of the patterns and processes that inform my work are the result of movement of some kind. In this way I think my work often has a connection to movement. Mōtiō is a good example of this. I found forms and patterns in a series of images of people moving and then developed a process to mimic these forms digitally to create an installation piece.

Since the connection to movement in my work is indirect, the 3-D printer will be doing the most active movement in my demonstration.

digital image of an installation designed by Wynn Buzzell
Digital image of an installation designed by Wynn Buzzell, Jr.

BL: Why movement in art? What was the inspiration that led you to incorporate movement into your artistic process?

WEBJ: I love kinetic art and have often thought of creating pieces that can actively move. For now though my work captures movement indirectly. For example, the ever changing form of sand dunes is driven by the multitude of tiny movements of individual sand grains. These movements and processes can be described mathematically and recreated using the power of computation. If I can use this type of logic to create a process and make art I feel like I’m connected to it in some way. In this way my work has a deeper meaning to me and I hope to others. This is how I use movement in my artistic process.

Buzzell is a biologist turned architect currently working in Denver as an artist and art fabricator at Demiurge. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Buzzell obtained his masters of architecture from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This summer, you can see an example of his design work, Mōtiō, In Motion: An Outdoor Installation, outside the DAM on Martin Plaza.

Brook Lundquist is a studio and artist programs intern in the learning and engagement department at the Denver Art Museum. Brook is working toward her bachelor’s degree in art history and studio art at Texas Christian University.