In Points of Volatility the endlessly generated horizon offers the promise of boundless space and resources, however it is all a machination, an illusion. The slices are reminiscent of statistics and daily stock market indices, ever shifting like a harsh white noise. No matter how many claims are made to predict and control the plethora of information streams, time and space have been sliced into so many nano-segments that the human mind can only make vague divinations about where we are headed.
Points of Volatility is an endless landscape machine that uses laser cut profiles of Colorado mountain ranges, a modified industrial conveyor belt, and tilt sensitive spheres with LED lightning strings. Two small surveillance cameras transmit live views of the landscape to a pair of projectors.
This project was made in conversation with Brandon Vogt, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. The exhibition in which this piece premiered, "Hypothesis," was organized around pairing up scientists and artists to look at the connections between the ways each deciphers the natural world. When learning about Vogt’s research I was struck by the visuality of it, as well as the micro and macro examinations he explores within the academic framework of “Geography.” We worked together to imagine the machine and he provided the topographical slices used in the work. The spheres of lightning were an attempt to make physical the mathematical theories he has been working on to understand where lightning will strike. In these veins of research we are often limited to probabilities and forecasts as the full complexity of the landscapes can never truly be systematized; it is here in these spaces where art and science fold over one another as we attempt to decipher the world around us.