Michael Wylegly

Artist’s Page

My relationship with emerging media and digital arts started at a young age. I remember first using the computer to create work back when Flash was still owned by Macromedia. Back then I enjoyed playing around with different forms of interfaces and building small games. I would scour the web for animations and cool sites to copy. My work transitioned as I got older. Having learned the very basics (I mean very basics) of programming, I felt confident enough to tackle videogame modding and 3d software. I became enamored with texturing and 3d systems. For hours I would fiddle with normal maps and particle effects. This almost narcotic love of tweaking and testing still haunts me today.

I attended the Alberta College of Art + Design, and enrolled in the media arts and digital technology program. One of the first courses I had the opportunity of taking was an introduction to 3d modeling.

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In the second year of my bachelors I began to explore artist programming languages. I was introduced to the processing library and started creating generative artworks, image filters, pixel sorters and text generators. It was another great reminder of my early days exploring Actionscript. I loved how procedurally generated visuals had their own personalities. Particles and trails which spread across a screen, recursive patterns building themselves, the endless flexibility to create new forms. As an emerging artist I felt that there was a real power in the way computers and interfaces could connect a viewer or user to the content.

These programming classes really gave me the foundation and confidence to troubleshoot technical problems. I flourished in these classes and I became more flexible in both frontend and backend development. I was able to direct my own work, but also able to help others on a technical level, offering support to classmates when they were interested in using data or API’s for their projects.

Along with developing my programming skills I began to explore patch based artist tools. Software such as MAXMSP, VVVV and Touch Designer. These tools had a great library of contributions and I began to prototype interfaces which used computer vision and networking. I started to design installations with generative visuals which could be interacted with via ipads (over osc), fiducial markers, through sound, and custom touch-screens. My explorations afforded me many opportunities. I was invited to participate in several shows both in Calgary and at the Banff Arts Center. I participated in several projects through ce3c, including projection mapping, text and technology, and mobile based work. Through the Banff Center  I was able to work and participate with Moment Factory as a resident, building what was a centerpiece for the inaugural Convergence Conference.

Throughout school I took opportunities doing design projects and maintained a healthy sketching, drawing and painting relationship. During my final years of my degree I helped run and organize both the programs shared studio space, and our gallery space (including an awesome 3 projector touch screen setup). I would be the go to audio/video guy, help with setup and striking, and design posters for shows.

The skills I had learned in school had helped land a position doing branding and marketing for a startup in Calgary. While there I honed my design skills and was able to transition to a larger company where I started as a motion designer. I then moved into a position that better utilized my technical skills doing interactive development, interface design, and helping to inform creative direction. I’ve worked on projects for The City of Calgary, Disney, TD Bank, Washington Corp, Suncor and many others. I’ve also been given the opportunity to play with VR headsets such as the occulus rift and Microsoft holo-lense, as well as spending time on my own exploring the A-Frame web vr library.

visit www.michaelwylegly.com to see more work.