(click on thumbnail to view a larger version)



Ian Gwilt

University of Waikato
Sydney, Australia
iangwilt@bigpond.com
Complex Connections
90cm x 97cm

Artist Statement: Digital abstractions complex connections ...

Referencing details from various graphical user interfaces, these prints form a series of works that abstract onscreen imagery and reverse the usual input-output process physical to digital, by taking from the digital and making physical. Taking inspiration from the inherently multiple (digital source material) and remediating this as a physical, one-off or limited edition print, the images address the notion of Walter Benjamin's "aura of the original" and examine the implications for originality and physical representation for artworks in a "post-real" digital age.

A dramatic change in scale and location (computer screen to gallery wall) is another important aspect of the work. Viewed out of context and away from the usual intimacy of the screen, the images can (still) trigger the memory of a familiar, ubiquitous monitor interface. The artworks begin to utilise these same visual elements to refer to the "human condition" applied to a digital context. Narratives and distinctively human comments are constructed from the visual building blocks of the digital environment, a place where we are increasingly spending our time and energies.

As the boundaries and reference points between physically and digitally grounded imagery become less defined, the duality of the interplay moves toward a more seamless self-referencing and continuous activity. A visual feedback loop, where the clues of originality become increasingly hard to differentiate and, perhaps, increasingly irrelevant. By extracting the real-world metaphors from the digital environment and taking them back into the physical world, the works become a kind of hyper-mediated simulacrum.

Ian Gwilt is an adjunct fellow in computer graphic design at Waikato University, School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, New Zealand, and a visiting lecturer in visual communications at the University of Technology Sydney, Department of Design Architecture and Building, Australia.