Artist Profile: Walter Volbers

58 A: You are one of Germany’s first 3D-artists. Are you still enjoying it?

Walter Volbers: Funny enough, but it still remains interesting, even today. I think it’s going to stay that way, as long as the software stays around in the future (Editor’s note: The application in question is Softimage). That’s the only dark cloud right now, with a built-in buzz kill! As far as software and its development is concerned: Of course everything has become more complex, but I still try to remain an “allround” artist, although not necessarily in all areas. That’s what keeps it from getting boring.

58A: What do you like about abstract computer animation?

Walter Volbers: For example being able to use pretty colors and materials to create an aesthetic theme on the wall. As opposed to the fact that I like to destroy and break things in my 3D-programming.

58A: Did you ever display your images in public or host an exhibition?

Walter Volbers: Yes and no. I successfully earned appreciation in some 3D-forums, but other than that, my stuff remained in the drawer. I gravitate towards moving images, so in my free time I like to create 3D short films. The last one proved pretty exhausting and time-intensive. Maybe that’s why I discovered how manageable abstract computer animation is. The only thing that’s still really time-consuming is rendering the images at these kinds of print resolutions (Editor’s note: Total two days rendering time on 7(!) computers.).

58A: You’re also known to like taking photographs of special places. What kinds of places?

Walter Volbers: Those were all "Lost Places". That was a really intriguing thing. And it sure was a bit of an adventure, allowing me to discover beautiful objects. This can easily lead to life-threatening situations, especially if you happen to be alone with your phone caught in a no-service area. But I really subscribe to the motto, “No risk – no fun!”

58A: There seems to be a certain tranquility in these places. Does that have a calming effect on you?

Walter Volbers: Well, honestly the whole thing has never really been fully relaxed. It actually tends to be too quiet in these locations, and if you end up hearing a noise from somewhere, you tense up again right away. Or if you’re spotted by security or some overeager right-wing military sports club, or have an encounter with a homeless person. What really convinced me to leave the whole thing alone in the end was a confrontation with junk thieves.

58A: What happened?

Walter Volbers: Ultimately, nothing, but the whole vibe was really strange. That could have really backfired. Junk thieves, no cellphone coverage, and me by myself with a camera, and a good one on top of that.

58A: How would you imagine everyday life without a computer (smartphones would be okay)?

Walter Volbers: As a deserted, high-water proof island with excellent cooking.

58A: True or false: Humans are one of nature’s great inventions?

Walter Volbers: That’s right! And we are still waiting on a grand invention that’s not related to 42! (Editor’s note: Check out Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.) It would be great if everybody could live like everybody else.

58A: What do you wish for?

Walter Volbers: The usual stuff: a long and independent life for all.

58A: Let’s talk about material things: What will be your next big purchase?

Walter Volbers: I’m pretty convinced it will be an HD flat screen. But I happen to have bought a high-end TV from a quality brand when the whole tubular TV technology reached its peak in terms of resolution in the last century. So as long as that one doesn’t implode, there won’t be a new one going up on my wall.

58A: Mister Volbers, it's been a delight talking to you.

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