Virtual Mother-Nature

Curated by elliehicks
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The representation, adaptation and interpretation of the natural world within technological pieces of art, attracts many of today’s contemporary artists. This exhibition will seek to understand how different aspects of nature are depicted within technology, whether that is in internet art, or through the creation of mechanical hardware. The works selected for the exhibition with exemplify the different forms of technological art whilst focusing on the subject of nature. The pieces often incorporate this oxymoron to create something new, and often functional. We will explore the subtle irony of interweaving these two juxtaposing concepts; that of plants, the human body, natural life and growth and modern advances in technology.// ‘A Soap Opera for Laptops’ by G.H. Hovagimyan and Peter Sinclair and ‘Hardware’ by Marc Garrett both explore the recreation of the human mind and body using programming and interactive internet platforms. ‘A Soap Opera for Laptops’ is four physical robots which reconstruct spontaneous, natural human communication, whereas ‘Hardware’ delves into the private world of our subconscious thoughts. These two works consider the natural functions of the human body and aim to reconstruct the integral features with modern technology; this demonstrates the possibility, and often ethically debated idea, of creating ‘life’ with recent advances in technology.// In contrast to the concept of technological progression, ‘Growth Rendering Device’ and ‘Translator II: Grower’ address the notion of natural growth and evolution. Sabrina Raff’s ‘Translator II: Grower’ is a vehicle which draws grass around the bottom of the exhibition space depending on the levels of CO₂ measured in the room. This piece investigates the relationship between people and nature and the equilibrium they both depend on. ‘Growth Rendering Device’ replaces light and food for hydroponic solution to initiate the growth of a plant. The creator of this piece, David Bowen, examines how technology can essentially replace natural resources. These two works both deal with the life cycle of the natural world, considering the catalyst of growth using robotic instruments.// Contemporary artists also consider the mathematical patterns found in nature and use their form to create aesthetically pleasing pieces. ‘Swarm’ by Daniel Shiffman uses the patterns of flocking birds as an organic medium to capture and then recreate images. In contrast to the other pieces, this work exercises natural forms to produce a piece of art that is visually appealing and reflects the traditional medium of painting, whilst utilizing technology to create the interactive video installation.

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