Visiting Assistant Prof. Jack Toolin will the presenting Perfect View, one part of the C5 Landscape Initiative projects, will be exhibited at the Project Room at Chelsea Art Museum.

Exhibition dates: August 5–September 2

Opening reception: August 5, 6–8 PM

Artists talk: August 26th, 6–8 PM

The Project Room for New Media at Chelsea Art Museum, Home of the Miotte Foundation, is pleased to announce an exhibition of experimental geography created by Jack Toolin/C5. Perfect View is part of the C5 Landscape Initiative, a suite of four projects that address the perception of landscape in light of GPS technology. The Perfect View exhibition will feature six large-scale triptychs, video documentation, expedition artifacts, and the interactive C5 GPS Media Player.

Perfect View is an interdisciplinary exploration of ‘sublime’ landscape created by Jack Toolin as part of the new media collaborative C5. The Perfect View exhibition includes six large-scale triptychs, video documentation, artifacts gathered during the project’s development, and the C5 GPS Media Player, which allows the display of media related to the Perfect View.

The project was initiated in an online request made to ‘geocachers’ around the U.S. for places that they thought were sublime. Geocaching is a growing activity wherein enthusiasts place ‘caches’ in hidden locations, recording the latitude/longitude coordinates for publication on the web, and enabling others to seek them out. The latitude and longitude coordinates retrieved from this collective intelligence became the waypoints for a thirty-three-state, thirteen-thousand-mile motorcycle expedition and the subject matter of this project. The ‘sublime’ locations visited ranged from riverbeds to rocky outcroppings, with some possessing grand vistas and others an intimate solitude.

The triptychs documenting the sites consist of large-scale photographs, satellite imagery, and computer-generated renderings. These three technologies provide for distinctly different ways of representing topography and have implications for our experience and interpretation of the landscape. The video documentation presents interviews with three of the geocachers who contributed sites to the project – their enthusiasm for geocaching provides insights into both the communal aspect of the activity and the rewards of exploration. The C5 GPS Media Player presents some of the expedition routes – in the form of GPS tracklogs – from Perfect View as well as photographic and video documentation associated with them. It also allows the visitor to see documentation from the other C5 expeditions that together with the Perfect View compose the Landscape Initiative, a suite of projects investigating GPS and landscape.

Perfect View delves into our increasingly technological methods of exploring, evaluating, and sharing our experience of topography. While ostensibly about landscape and landscape imagery, Perfect View addresses parallels between technological and philosophical developments during the Enlightenment and during our current high-tech period. Not only does current technology enable multiple, simultaneous representations, it permits peer-to-peer sharing across vast geographic regions and cultural differences. And while technology is often seen as antithetical to nature, there is a respectably large community of users who engage with GPS technology precisely for the fascination of exploring little-known areas in the natural world.

Jack Toolin is an artist whose work spans new media installation, digital imaging, and performance. He works both independently and collaboratively and has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2002 Whitney Biennial); San Francisco Camerawork; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Museo Nacional de Bellas Arte, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Foxy Production, New York City, and more. He has lectured widely and most recently presented The Indeterminate Landscape in the Age of Reason as part of the Emerging Landscapes conference at the University of Westminster, London, in June of this year. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute and an adjunct professor at the Polytechnic Institute at NYU.

Perfect View