Displacements: Notes

Displacements (2015) is a series of images of digitally altered landscapes in which I employ data visualization as a language for viewing the environment differently, for shifting conventional views of the natural world.

As a landscape artist and photographer immersed in the digital realm of data as language, I explore and photograph environments to produce series such as Displacements (2015), images from the Bisti Wilderness in Northern New Mexico, which I have re-drawn with a variety of personal marks and technological methods. My inspirations come from the badlands of the Southwest, the industrial wastelands of northern New Jersey, the dark forests of Finland, and the intersections of art + science + technology.

As I wander through isolated environments, with camera in hand, I read the landscape as a narrative text, as frames in a film, and lose my Self in the enormity of the land. Vastness provokes the image gathering, allowing conventional boundaries of landscape and human physicality and time and space to shift, to temporarily dissolve. I later connect with the vast stillness of the images through my technological collaborators, the computer and software. I apply algorithms, personal mark-making, mapping, drawing and imaging techniques to digital representations of the remote lands; and I extract visual images from source code. For a substrate into which the pigments of the images are infused, I use aluminum, ally of nature and technology, as the luminous reflective surface produces ever-moving light-filled sensations.

I have adopted these procedures to create an intersection of environment and technology where transformed experiences reside, where we can extend our explorations into worlds of ambiguity and uncertainty, into unmapped territories, into realms of the imagination. Using data as language to shake images loose from their referents, to shift the inquiry away from conventional representational traces, I am asking other questions for all of us: “What’s new here? What’s different? Is there possibility here? Can there be a new consciousness?”

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  1. […] Displacements, new works on aluminum by Leah Siegel, are featured at 11 Sobre los Cerros, Los Cordilleras, (House #4)  Haciendas Parade of Homes, Santa Fe, NM. […]

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