During the past several years my work has increasingly become interested in how landscape representation has remained relevant in networked environments like the Internet. I have found through looking at previous art historical models of landscape representation that several movements and moments continue to resonate with my own work. Romanticism is a particularly fitting cultural period when noticing the rise of allegory and abstraction taking place within contemporary landscape simulation. The use of poetic irony, fragment, and the admiration of history also exemplifies some of the shared tropes that exist between then and now. As a result of tracing these reoccurring questions that appear in my research, my work further inquires into the ways in which humanity inherently uses various forms of technology to view landscape. These devices vary from the GPS in our phones, to the fence posts that demarcate our National Parks. This long-standing technological relationship that humanity has with landscape makes me question my own perspective on nature and how I can best respond to my physical environment.
In order to further illustrate the equivalences that I see between Romanticism and contemporary digital art, I have created The Wanderer - a multiple-ending video game that positions the player as a ghost character exploring various pathways into a purgatory-like mountain landscape. Throughout the game, players explore a sombre, almost forgotten landscape filled with letters from the past, gravestones of remembered poets, classical and 20th century ruins, a seaside wreckage, and self-reflexive sign-posts. Accompanying the game is a series of high-resolution renderings that isolate five different objects the player will encounter within the game. Also within this body of work is a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) printed rendering of the landscape that players can explore. These objects, along with the game itself, invite the audience into a conversation concerning our relationship to digital landscape, as well as investigate the ways in which history has shown that these questions will last with us for many generations to come.
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