Tim Portlock was once a mural painter. He is influenced by the American sublime landscape painting tradition, and now in his digital works on paper, he is using of the tropes of the sublime (gorgeous sunsets, threatening skies) to create simulations of cities (Philadelphia, for example), with 3D gaming technology and 3D animation software. What you see in Portlock’s painterly images are birds-eye views of depopulated urban scenes with large portions of the real world altered. Working from photographs, Portlock builds up his cities from scratch. In this new world order, there are no people in evidence because the artist would rather have you insert yourself into the work. The artist’s solo show at Vox Populi, where he is a member, opens First Friday, Sept. 7. Below is a sample from our interview with Tim. Next week, the full episode will run.