Otro is an artist who goes by the name of Julien Ducourthial in real life. An independent artist from France exploring the low tech aesthetics in the fields of pixel art, animation and design with a strong authentic style.
He sometimes plays with the collective visual memory of the viewer, using references to old iconography in graphical collages, taking them out of their original context, putting it in a different unusual perspective. When looking at the work, it feels very familiar to some, leaving you with a vague and sometimes confused feeling of recognition and understanding. Though, his recent work seems to be moving away from that.
Here’s some recent work by Otro. Click on the thumbnails to view the full artwork.
Eventhough Otro’s free work is often abstract and feels very autonomous, he also does applied work for different artists. Resonating his strong personal style in album covers and fanzines, his creative approach seems to work well in both free and applied directions.
Besides his solo productions, he does work for both Uprough and 8bitpeoples, both digital art collectives. Where Uprough has strong roots in the demoscene, so has the art of Otro, being influenced by the early demoscene aesthetics, among other things like comics, games and graphic design.
Otro’s love for his low tech background is shown in his project MazeMod. An online radio station, dedicated to the Amiga and tracker music culture. Here’s the promo he released in 2008.
Mazemod radio (2008)
Some questions and answers.
[8bit today] How did your love for low tech aesthetics develop? What is your background?
[Otro] I started making graphics through the Amiga and Deluxe Paint. I was fond of cracktros and those kind of colorful graphics and i started to make some mixtapes with corrupted glitchy pixels recorded on video back 99. I switched on micromusic.net community in the beginning 2001 to bring my own animations and started to make some sets and artworks for friends who were making electro and chiptunes music at this period. I discovered a new potential in the use of animation softwares and titlers and started to develop various veejay sets through the Mnu software and Demomania. Later i switched on the gp2x for some videosets but i was a bit out of motivation for continuing veejaying on the 8bit scene.
I always liked the variety of graphics used on computer going from public domain, specifical programs to demoscene aesthetics. I think my main inspiration comes from there: the use of different sources both as icons, fonts, scans and personal research.
I’m also interested in art, paintings, installations and graphic designers who explore experimental and mixed sources artworks.
[8bit today] Could you tell more about your process of working? How does a piece evolve for you? And how does it fit in the bigger picture for you?
[Otro] I’m working on bigger specifical artwork to get a bit out of the centered computer screen and way of composing an image. I think it’s harder to apprehend a low-tech feel through internet viewing since the lo-res is not given like on oldschool computers. The restrictions are to be determined, I’m seeking on ‘by default’ aesthetic coming out of the programs, mainly for the abstract readability and options to rebuild upon these.
I bring up various styles of graphics going from pixel illustration to collages, depends of my mood but those last years i’m more implicated in researches around geometry, abstract and textures. I’m oftenly remixing my graphics because that’s a process digital graphics can permit and this gave me new keys on how to build further artworks and series.
[8bit today] Working in the fields of autonomous and applied art, plus in static and moving form, what is your main focus? And how do these disciplines relate to each other for you?
[Otro] Well I like the vjing for experimental purposes only, shapes and random completion. But static and moving forms have always been in the center of demo building so that’s why i’m mainly switching to these kind of productions today. I try to bring a compromise between the technical show and graphics experiment, most of the time it’s one or another but i honestly only found interest in the combination of both !
[8bit today] What are your plans for the future?
[Otro] Some personal and collaborative projects on the run !
Visit Otro’s website at ilbm.info.