Professor Jack Toolin’s work Perfect View will be exhibited as part of Light.Camera.Action at the Azarian-McCullough Art Gallery, St. Thomas Acquinas College, Sparkill, NY.
Exhibition dates: November 7–December 12
Reception: Thursday, November 18, 4:30–6:30
Perfect View considers our perception of landscape in light of growing technological mediation brought about by digital technologies. GPS, satellite imaging, computer graphics, etc. allow us to preview, to navigate, to represent, and to conceptualize our experience of landscape in complex ways. How does this mediation affect the phenomenological experience of the natural environment? In what ways do these technologies enhance the experience of nature? Does their use somehow interfere with this experience? Are some forms of perception privileged over others due to their use?
For Perfect View, geocaching enthusiasts across the U.S. were asked to recommend ‘sublime’ locations. The latitude and longitude coordinates retrieved from this collective intelligence became the waypoints (guide points) for a thirty-three state, thirteen thousand mile motorcycle expedition and the subject matter of this project. The exhibited pieces are triptychs that juxtapose three different ways of viewing the sites’ topographies. These include photographic documentation, satellite aerial imagery of the location (the blue dots show the precise point of documentation), and 3-D computer graphic imagery of the topography using USGS topological data as a source. The work plays on the parallels between technological and philosophical developments during the Enlightenment and our current period of high-tech innovation. It also plays on our extraordinary ability to represent nature while the qualities of sublimity remain elusive.