Tuesday, April 6, 2010

RR5 Digital Fabrication

Digital Fabrication from Lisa Iwamoto, specifically the section entitled Sectioning, inspired me to reflect on my own work. Lisa Iwamoto's focus on digital design and physical fabrication informed this process, since both of these aspects are present in Network as Metaphor: Andyland-Ukraine (2010). I began my project with the phyical process of drawing virtual landscapes, reflecting all the while on that term, virtual. To me "virtual" and "imaginary" are similar at least in terms of representation. Thus the imaginary nature of the landscape has similarities to virtual and fantasy worlds, such as Second Life, or even Tolkien's Middle Earth. Thus when it dawned on me recently that I had always been taught that my heritage stemmed from a place that existed (in the 80's) but also did NOT exist due to the Iron Curtain, I realized that this was a fertile area to explore.

The work is partly defined by an orthagonal projection of the type Iwamoto defines. In my case, this was achieved using satellite technology from our friends at Google, and a typical display of such: a two-dimentional map. This is probably the most common type of orthogonal projection we use in everyday life. Painstakingly I adapted one of my drawings as representative of dots on the map, and a dataset was created of real-life locations (the addresses where various postcards and artistamps were sent).

A second technology that Iwamoto discusses was used in Network as Metaphor: Andyland- Ukraine, namely a laser cutter. However, this was a different part of the process. Using a symbolic form rather than creating different forms, per se, the sue of the laser cutter to create perforations for artistamnps reflects on the changing tools (new media) artists and governments have at their disposal.

Yet a third aspect of Digital Fabrication is present in the work. That of the changing perspective gained through the aggregation of the real and virtual, projected and actual. While the orthogonal-cartographic view was useful, an effort was made to break down this view into different perspectives to personalize and get a glimpse of the contemporary art scene in Ukraine. The thesis questioned the media landscape, and investigated what was essential for artsitic discourse there. Artists' blogs and websites, digital media, mail art and other ephemera were the replacement parts for the original romanticized landscape. [pictured: Blog of Lubomyr Tymkiv, Ukraine]

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