Artist Statement _ pre_digital

During the 1990's I made the transition from analog to digital. In 1990 leaving painting behind, I made a series of large scale works using video and photography, with the effectiveness of the work rooted in a physically based sensuousness. These works became the Liquid Light Series described below. In 1995 I got my first computer and since then I have worked digitally making a transition from a physically based 2D print orientation to a virtually based 3D computer animation one. I have always been concerned, however with communicating a deep sensuousness and sense of emotional complexity and meaning, in an equally complex spatio-temporal way. Now with the natural world undergoing radical processing at our hands I have become more and more occupied with making synthetic objects which enrich our increasingly synthetic environment and embody the virtual in a meaningful way. In my mind, for various theoretical reasons and common sense reasons, there is a continuum, not a dichotomy, between the real and the virtual, matter and space and the digital/information domains.

The Liquid Light Series:1990 - 1994. These works take a video portrait and transform it into a wall sized palpable architectural space. The temporal and psychological complexity of the video is transformed into a spatial complexity which starts out baroque in the earlier pieces and ends up blatantly fractal. Almost all works are mural sized. They are made of an array of canvas and alkyd paint covered aluminum plates which were coated with photoemulsion (manipulated as paint), and then printed with photographs of videos. The culminating work in this series is Change of State from 1994.This work is derived from a video of my sister, who is an opthamologist, while she is practicing a radial keratotomy on a pig's eyeball implanted in a human mask. This is the procedure which sculpts the cornea of the eye as a lens and allows people to be free of eyeglasses. It evokes the sense of transformation of vision from monocular to multi-ocular, from natural to synthetic, from physical to virtual, viz. the disembodied eye. The series ends with the full transition to digital computer based work beginning a new series called Synthetic Landscapes.

In the mid 1990's I realised that advances in many fields, digital technology, artificial intelligence, biophysics and bioengineering, chaos/complexity theory, string theory are conjoining to make the boundary between what is alive and what is not alive less a sharp and more of a complex continuum. Some authors are now defining life as the flow of information so that there is a continuity between what is alive and what is not alive They suggest that it is more accurate to think of objects as existing on a curve of more or less alive. At the same time human culture is radically transforming the whole ecosystem, so that we are evolving to adapt to niches of our own creation, putting the wild on the road to extinction. Importantly, a major component of these niches is their associated ethical and aesthetic systems. It is crucial then, to evolve meaningful and humanistic ethical and aesthetic values which encompass the inevitable integration of technology and nature.


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Copyright Andrea Ackerman 2006. All rights reserved.