Why We're Loving: Zach Lieberman, artist

Why We're Loving: Zach Lieberman, artist

What did you create for the show? Play the World is essentially an instrument where, when you press a note, it finds that note in a radio station from around the world. It sounds musical but also a bit cacophonous, as if you are tuning the radio, and there are hidden connections in what you find.

Do you think coders are artists? I think code is a medium that can be used for artistic purposes like any medium – writing, drawing, video, even the mail. Code is a medium for logical expression, which means it’s suitable for logical operations such as ordering a list or calculating a sum. The key for using it artistically is to overcome that. A lot of art, I think, is about trying to express things that are inexpressible, that are not logical, that are hard to quantify – this creates a tension that I find quite interesting.

How did you get into making art with code? I was a fine-art student and I had to find a job. I weaselled my way into web design, really bluffing it, until the economy crashed (this was Web 1.0). It was then that I discovered people who were doing animation with code. From that first moment I saw something move across the screen from some equation that I had typed, I was hooked.

Of which pieces of work are you most proud? I’m proud of Drawn, which takes a drawing and brings it to life. For me, it’s really magical – having some way to take ink and bring it to life was really touching. I am proud of the EyeWriter, where we partnered with the paralysed graffiti artist Tempt One and made tools for him to draw graffiti using his eye movements. I am also proud of OpenFrameworks, which is a tool and community I helped co-found to help other artists make work using these tools. This past year, I helped start the School for Poetic Computation, where we teach and promote this kind of art-making.

Where do you get your inspiration? A lot of what I do is ask simple "what if" questions, usually around a gesture or feeling. I think finding time to ask good questions is the key to making rewarding work. My stepdaughter, who is almost five, asks a ton of questions and is reminding me to see the world in new ways.

You have

[DAYS_LEFT] Days left

of your free trial

Subscribe now

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...


1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).