lowkey hard being awesome
Thomas Webb is a multi-disciplinary artist and creative hacker living in London, UK.
Growing up in the nineties with a dad who in his own childhood was a prodigy video game programmer, Webb’s first memories of art are the very games his dad programmed. Outrun and Roadblasters, late nights and early mornings spent gaming cultivated within him a love for this pixelated, neon grit that’s gone on to inspire his own work and many others across art, music, cinema and broader pop culture.
Webb’s love of technology, devices and computers continued to grow from this young age and with it too a mindset of taking things apart to put them back together in a different way – leading to his unique artistic style seen today. One of his first hacking exploits involved hacking into his school’s computer system when he was 13; displeased with the lack of justice against his bullies, Webb decided to take matters into his own hands… Webb has now developed an extensive creative hacking background, and you’ll find Webb leading keynotes around the world, such as his recent talk TedxBucharest about how artists of the future think.
During his talks, Webb often highlights how a lack of understanding of the technology around us leads to an underappreciation of it. By breaking down techniques and theories of technology, Webb highlights in his keynotes the art involved in technological processes, carefully constructed code holding the same potential beauty as a typical piece of art. Webb today continues to champion this thinking through his artwork, using the same techniques to create thought-provoking artwork.
While always a creative at heart, 2018 is the year Webb wholeheartedly threw himself into the world of art. Despite perceived success by his peers before this shift, Webb had long been unhappy and frustrated in his work, suffering from depression and struggling with the implications of having ADHD. After searching for various forms of help, Webb knew he had to look inward; it was time to make some drastic changes, and so he did. His first piece ‘Rainfall’, programmed in a café, was the start of his artistic journey proper – from there Webb knew he had found his calling.6 months later, Webb invested every penny to his name towards a solo exhibition ‘Strangers’, an instance of art using real data to be used and updated in real-time. Through this, Webb’s art is an ever-evolving narrative where anybody and everybody can be the author – employing millions of users to define and shape the artistic message of his work in real-time.
Featured in the Evening Standard and receiving high praise from attendees, ‘Strangers’ further propelled Webb into the world of art through an invitation to collaborate with internationally acclaimed fashion brand Valentino – embracing Webb’s innovative direction and style. Highlights of this collaboration include a takeover of the iconic Shibuya Square, Webb’s first showing of his digital infinity mirror creation in Munich, a hologram infinity room in Dubai and a 6 storey high ‘infinity monolith’ in South Korea.
Through Thomas’ recent digital infinity mirror work, he offers a new art medium that removes the ‘tv screen’ element of digital art. Instead, he presents a dynamic reflection on both topical social issues such as mental health or climate change and also the viewer; allowing for an unparalleled level of immersion. These artworks further build on concepts shown at ‘Stranger’s, through utilising real-time data, Webb only furthers the level of absorption in his art.
In January 2019 Webb joined internationally recognised production company, The Mill+ as a director and with it directed his first film for MyTheresa and Valentino.