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Bruce Wands

School of Visual Arts
New York, US
brucewands@aol.com
The Earth is Art


Artist Statement: This image is an abstract impression of the earth. The initial sense of familiarity that has developed from our many years of looking at the earth from afar is brought into question by the unreal landscape. The idea for the image came from realizing that the word "art" is contained within the word "earth."

I started by experimenting with traditional 2D imagery and then moved to 3D using Alias|Wavefront Maya. My plan was to make a globe that had aesthetic value, was somewhat recognizable as the earth, but was also very different. It was developed from a visual and compositional approach, rather than from a geographical one. The intention is to draw viewers in through the obvious association with the earth, and then to engage them though the details contained within the globe: the surfaces, textures, and colors. Since we are all so familiar with this view of the earth, our eye naturally searches for recognizable patterns where none are to be found, much like the game we used to play as children making shapes and animals out of the changing patterns of clouds.

This image was part of the International Exhibition that was held at the National Museum of Fine Art in Beijing, China 31 May - 18 June, 2001. It was also included in ASCI DIGITAL 01: Our Sci-Tech World Exhibition in which "artists and scientists focus on print images that reflect the world of science and technology" and was on exhibit 29 September - 25 November, 2001 at the Technology Gallery, New York Hall of Science and 7 December - 25 January, 2002 at the Silicon Gallery in Philadelphia.

I am now working on a series of globe images that is based on several different nations around the world. I will use different national statistics, such as the percentage of water versus land, the various elevations of the country, economic data, and population density, as parameters to define the different surface properties. Additional source material will be the national colors of the country and satellite photographs. The viewpoint will be from outer space looking directly down at the country. Once the data have been input, I will then modify the globes from an aesthetic viewpoint. The final images will reflect the diversity that exists in the various countries of the world, along with the similarities that they all share as members of our planet.