In response to Wendy’s great presentation on Hito Steyerl’s “In Defense of the Poor Image” I thought I would post a public art project that I worked on in 2014 in collaboration with Studio F Minus. The piece was to be installed on the new sound barriers slated for the Queen West and Liberty Village neighbourhoods, but was been put on hold indefinitely in late 2015. So goes public art.
The project was called “Dot_JPG” and consisted of three massive vitreous glass tile mosaic murals that explored the intersection of, and incongruity between, real and digital experiences. The project was a comment on the contemporary methods used to document the world around us, and an attempt to translate of some of those ephemeral techniques into a physical art object. The concept was based on an essay entitled “Glitch Studies Manifesto” published by theorist and artist Rosa Menkman in 2011. Her paper examines the use of errors occurring in digital and analog technology – glitches, skips, interference – to create a visual aesthetic.
Through a trompe l’oeil effect, the mosaics would appear, from privileged perspectives, as rectangular “screens” on the noise walls, each depicting a pixelated image of the landscape directly beyond the wall. As the viewer moves away from these privileged points, or as the real-life backdrop changes over time, the view slides out of phase with the perspective of the image. The lived experience of the space and the digital record of it become incongruent. A “glitch” is therefore created; encouraging viewers to consider how digital representation mediates their experience in the world.
Here is a concept/process image produced for the competition stage of the proposal.