Kyle McDonald is an artist who works with code. He’s based in Brooklyn, but has shown personal and collaborative work at exhibits and festivals around the world, and was formerly an artist in residence at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. I chose to write about McDonald because I admire him as both an artist and professional and how that carries over into how he presents and embodies his work. While his projects exhibit similarity in their themes, human interactions, artificial intelligence, computer vision, etc., there is an immense fluidity and refreshing inconsistency in the work he produces. The work is not tied to one medium, platform, or coding language which gives each project a sense of technological agnosticism, putting emphasis on the idea being explored. That being said, he also deals with immensely technically complex work, but never overemphasizes the technical aspect of each project. Much of McDonald’s work is presented rather casually, as short video snippets or in a humorous tone that always seems approachable, not arcane or pretentious. Through his work, you can see that he’s passionately curious, and his projects are explorations to develop an understanding of something new. Additionally, he’s a humble and inviting speaker whose energy is visible when he speaks. One project that I’m particularly fond of is Sharing Faces, which was a interactive video installation between two galleries in Korea and Japan. It’s a project that’s incredibly intuitive to interact with, uses a complex technology in a very subtle and downplayed way, and ultimately creates something so human and touching that playfully addresses lingering social tension between the two countries.


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