Paul Dolan is an artist living in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He is a Senior Lecturer of Animation and Programme Leader of the Animation BA course at Northumbria University. He is currently writing up his PhD thesis entitled "In Silico: A practice-based exploration of computer simulations in contemporary art."
Dolan grew up in the Derwent Valley, Gateshead, playing videogames and hanging out in forests and fields. His childhood set up a lifelong dichotomy of the real and virtual, of the natural and simulated.
His work explores the points of contact between digital and natural environments, often with an ecological purpose. Through use of photography, computer simulation, game engines and visual scripting, Dolan explores the material properties of "immaterial" digital images, especially in relation to ecology and the natural world.
His work consists of complex software processes and image making techniques that can be thought of as assemblages of real, virtual, algorithmic, audio and temporal components.
In real time works such as Wireframe Valley (2017) and Floating Point (2016), programmed events such as the degradation of a rural landscape and the melting of an iceberg, unfold over imperceptibly extended durations, whilst the action on screen occurs at a normal rate. Simulated time is used to explore the paradox of micro-temporalities of digital culture (such as computer processor cycles and hard drive revolutions) against the extended duration of geologic and ecological time.