My artwork often employs touch sensitive devices as a way to engage and immerse viewers into the projects.
I think of my own computational artworks as visualizing information, proposing that computer-based artworks (and data) can be experiential, socially engaged, even poetic.
In this current work, I use touch sensitive screens and track pads as a metaphor for exploring memory and forgetting within the realm of digital media. retrieval pictures uses software that has been custom programmed by my long time programmer/collaborator - Colin Gay.
In the works - Volumes no. 1 and no. 2 - prepared for a public exhibition - a viewer strokes the input device to reveal visual fragments on LCD screens. One's touch reveals only a small segment of the full image (digitized records global political events - from Abu Ghraib to the Wall Street Bankers before Congress - culled from print newspapers), then fades into pixel debris when your fingers move. I use the software and ubiquitous technology, to explore our inability to remember and/or our desire to forget. In the 'retrieval pictures' you can never 'see' the entire image at once, the viewer is asked to use their minds eye to recreate the whole.
I note as well that our way of consuming information is changing rapidly. In the time that I have created this anachronistic paper archive, we have seen the personal digital tablet appear as a way of consuming news and media. Perhaps even more ephemeral than material newspapers - news has become 'information glimpses'. I have designed the interactivity in this work to offer more 'data', more detail of the image, only when the viewer physically slows down, playing against the game-like, point and click, 'fast information' that we expect of our devices, our interfaces.
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