Los Angeles-based artist Folkert Gorter has come a long way since his days at the School of Art, Media and Technology in Utrecht. Back then, the Dutch-born designer considered himself fortunate to be attending a school that put a strong emphasis on the virtual and digital worlds, even though these concepts were still essentially in their infancy. It was this forward-looking education that enabled Gorter to shape a career that blurs the line between the real and the virtual.
That blurring is evident in his collection of images that is available for free download at his wphostinghub.net/superfamous/ website. The collection currently includes more than 80 stunning works of photography and graphic design. Gorter places an emphasis on landscapes, which are often bleak, yet stunning. Similarly, he takes inspiration from nature, focusing on the whorls in a fallen log, the unique striations in a rock formation, the details of an insect's wing or the subtle decay of a fading blossom. Users who visit superfamous will also find studies in architecture that include the famous Getty Center and the picturesque bridge at Big Sur.
Gorter also seems to be influenced by industrial sites and transportation, as his collection features several images taken along the highway. Others show a vintage car, the Queen Mary cruise ship, an airplane wing or a water tower. The designer makes limited use of human subjects in his free images. Nonetheless, these are memorable and visually fascinating.
Several published interviews with the designer indicate that the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s has influenced him throughout his career. He spends his days working in his Los Angeles studio, designing remarkable web pages for clients. Known for often lamenting that the form and function of websites rarely meet on equal footing, Gorter strives to create designs that not only look fantastic but also work precisely as they are supposed to.
In addition to producing influential work for various clients, Gorter is also the founder and innovative force behind several creative communities that exist online. These include Cargo, but does it float and Space Collective in addition to superfamous. Gorter's work reveals his fascination with both the natural and virtual worlds. In many of his images, it seems that he is seeking the point at which nature and the digital meet. Hence his interest in landscapes that seem as if they were captured on another planet along with patterns and geometric designs. These are all reflected in the images that are available to users on superfamous.
From his earliest days at the university in Utrecht, Gorter was introduced to the juncture at which art, design and technology meet. That's because his instructors were mainly creations of the 1960s California counterculture. They were not traditional thinkers, and Gorter has actually described them as "psychedelic." In fact, he notes that many of his instructors, and others like them, were among the early pioneers of the Internet. Describing them as "artist-engineers," he notes their desire to be able to exhibit works of art online and then to design work that was specifically meant for the virtual world. Their desire to push the boundaries of what a website could do helped to shape the development of the Internet, laying the groundwork for what Gorter and other cutting-edge designers are able to do today.
The work that Gorter currently makes available on his superfamous domain clearly reflects his intention to "speak using media" and to "dive below or beyond or above language ..." Users who are hoping to make a memorable, eye-catching statement may want to download his images to use in their own art projects or commercial efforts. Of course, it's important to only use such images within the limits of the law and licenses that pertain to them.
Using the images
The images Gorter has made available at the http://images.superfamous.com/ domain are free to be used for any purpose. This is made possible through a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, which requires the user to give credit for the source of the image. This license makes it permissible for users to share the images in the medium and format of their choosing. People can also transform the images any way they like. Perhaps one of Gorter's images will be used as the background for a company's brochure. It is possible to manipulate and adapt the image in any way necessary to accommodate the needs of the publisher. However, this use is only appropriate if attribution is given.
Giving attribution does not have to be complicated. In fact, the license stipulates that this can be done in any reasonable manner. At the most basic level, it's necessary to disclose the name of the designer and a link to the original material. It's also not unusual to include a notice regarding the license or a copyright notice. However, the user is not permitted to imply that the artist, in this case Folkert Gorter, in any way endorses or approves of the use. Users may download as many images from the superfamous domain as they like without incurring any charges.
As far back as 1994, Gorter is known to have professed his interest in dedicating his life to the Internet. The works he makes available for free at superfamous seem to bear out this promise. His stark, complex and visually fascinating images can enhance any art, commercial or personal project. As long as users include proper attribution, they may do so without incurring any financial cost.