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07 DECEMBER 2004

Real: Digital Installation

"Real – the installation – consists of a database of images. Images were chosen that had the potential to raise issues of mediation and authenticity – details from postcards, signage and survey forms, street scenes, museum displays and advertising. The images are categorised according to terms such as nature, prosthesis and body–terms that reveal something of the practices, often implicit, that are at play in the interpretation of contemporary environments. The digital medium allowed us to construct and explore a matrix of associations between images and categories in the database. Sequences of images relevant to a category are displayed over multiple monitors. Through the juxtaposition of images with images, and images with categories, shifts in understanding occur. Assumptions about the real are brought into play.

The project grew out of an interest in two bodies of work The first, the work of the Situationist International with their focus on the social and cultural mediation that occurs in urban environments. We were particularly interested in the Situationist strategy of the dérive (drift) as a means of renegotiating and reconceptualising encounters with lived environments. The second body of work was that of writers such as Heidegger, Gadamer, Wittgenstein and Foucault. We were interested in the metaphors that they explored in articulating alternatives to metaphysical concepts of interpretation, truth, language and representation. In particular we were interested in developing a visual and physical response to the insight that we are always already located within constellations of practice. All perception is mediated by prior understanding. All experience is interpretation.

We were also interested in developing modes of expression that draw on specific qualities of digital media. Processes of classification and random combination lie at the heart of the work. These are supported through the use of a database and random generation algorithms. Combinations of images and categories that might not otherwise come to light are constructed."

(Aaron Fry & Sally McLaughlin)



2001 • Aaron Fry • authenticityconstellationsdata-drivendatabasederivedesiredigital image processingdigital media • digital processing • environmentfragmentinstallationinterpretationjuxtapositionmediationNew Zealand artistpracticerealrelationships • Sally McLaughlin • samplingsimulationvirtual reality

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