Bending time and space to explore childhood memories, artists create new viewing possibilities with a combination of physical work, projection-mapped video, and augmented reality.
curated by Anne Spalter www.annespalter.com
Nicole Cohen, Valerie Fuchs, Carla Gannis, Katya Grokhovsky, Sky Kim, Wendy Klemperer, Erin Ko, Richard Pasquarelli, Anne Spalter / Liora Manne, Leslie Thornton.
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Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, in his influential text, In Praise of Shadows, communicates definitely the appeal and aesthetic importance of darkness and the revelatory nature that a reductive tonal world can deliver: “if not for shadows there would be no beauty” p30. In exploring our own pasts and the spaces of memory we see and feel things clearly that are abstracted from the usual passage of time. Our memories bring us back immediately to an event from long ago--and, like the claude glass, retain only key elements.
Unlike real-world travel, our personal inner space is not constrained by known physics and yet actual spaces play a key role. In Gaston Bauchelard’s The Poetics of Space he describes the psychological importance of one’s childhood home and its usefulness in structuring memory. By returning to these rooms one can recover spaces and with time itself being factored out “We are unable to relive duration that has been destroyed. We can think only of it, in the line of an abstract time that is deprived of all thickness.”p.33
In keeping with the theme of tapping into autobiographical/childhood memory, the description of space/time travel--the tesseract--from the children’s book A Wrinkle in Time (placing two parts of a stretched out piece of fabric next to each other--the wrinkle-- to leap over the space between them) is the perfect lens to convey that memory is a dimensional space with its own logic and interconnections.
With today’s computer technology we can interpret and present space with new techniques. Just as Crary recognized the importance of perspective and its related devices to art, so the use of those same matrix transforms lets us manipulate and visualize the 3D computational world. Each posits a singular point of view, inescapable from the very math of the image’s creation. What more perfect environment for an autobiographical foray--where the understanding of a space as a child can be so different from one’s perception as an adult. Just as Maillet insists that the black mirror is a supplement to sight and not a substitute for it, so the use of new computer-based visual technology in art is best in service of a clear artistic vision.