The Earth Sci­ences and Cre­ative Prac­tice: Ex­plor­ing the Bound­aries Be­tween Dig­i­tal and Ma­te­r­ial Cul­tures

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Variable Reality – Inter-formalities in Digital/Analogue Arts

Presentation Title:

  • The Earth Sci­ences and Cre­ative Prac­tice: Ex­plor­ing the Bound­aries Be­tween Dig­i­tal and Ma­te­r­ial Cul­tures

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Panel: Variable Reality – Inter-formalities in Digital/Analogue Arts

    Within cur­rent art prac­tice, artists en­gage with the earth sci­ences as a source of in­spi­ra­tion and as a provider of data about the phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment. This rich source of data in­cludes in­for­ma­tion on many el­e­ments: from the con­di­tions of the at­mos­phere, to phys­i­cal for­ma­tions; from small scale to gi­gan­tic for­ma­tions; ex­tremes of heat and cold; and the in­ter­ac­tion of all these in time and space. Ad­di­tion­ally, the mod­els, vi­su­al­i­sa­tions and ex­pla­na­tions of these phe­nom­ena by sci­en­tists can in­clude aes­thetic char­ac­ter­is­tics that are ap­pre­ci­ated by a wider au­di­ence than im­me­di­ate sci­en­tific peers. When we are con­cerned with dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ments, the dis­cus­sion is most often cen­tred on vi­su­al­i­sa­tion, which in­cludes ref­er­ence to both ob­jects with a ma­te­r­ial or phys­i­cal ex­is­tence and to men­tal con­structs. These can be di­rectly ob­serv­able or be­come vis­i­ble through an in­stru­ment or de­vice.

    Vi­sual char­ac­ter­is­tics can also be trans­lated from a non-vi­sual state into con­structed data, as a ‘con­cep­tual’ trans­la­tion. Using ex­am­ples re­lated to the earth sci­ences, this pre­sen­ta­tion will first dis­cuss the ways in which cre­ative works demon­strate the move­ment of ideas and con­cepts from the phys­i­cal to the dig­i­tal. Then, ex­am­ples of works that take us from the dig­i­tal to the phys­i­cal will be con­sid­ered that make spe­cific ref­er­ence to ge­ol­ogy, stud­ies of rock for­ma­tions and tech­nolo­gies sup­port­ing min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. This will in­clude works that are en­gaged with re­lated en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and cul­tural is­sues. It is pro­posed that a study of these ‘trans­la­tions’ to and  from the dig­i­tal to the ma­te­r­ial can open up fur­ther pos­si­bil­i­ties for pro­vid­ing a cri­tique of new media works in the con­text of a broader his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive, in­clud­ing land art, ecol­ogy and en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivism.

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