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Dan Baldwin

Indiana University
Indiana, USA
50" x 50"

Artist Statement: Technology is a dynamic medium to utilize, another brush with which to create, another tool with which to communicate. As new technologies emerge, so do the possibilities of creating works that approach art in a manner never before seen. Constantly reinventing itself, the narrative as an art form is but one example. No matter what era, storytellers have always used the current technology to teach, inform, express, and entertain.

Narrative painting has always fascinated me; the stories artists have evoked on canvas have captivated me for hours at a time. Often, I left wondering exactly what these stories meant, as if I somehow missed the artist's intent. The result left me to create my own story, based off of what I interpreted from the painting. My story depended not on my knowledge of the artist's specific experience, but on my imagination, personal understanding, and memory. My work today builds on these ideas.

The experience is derived from traditional approaches to narrative painting, where visual elements are composed in a manner to convey a story. However, the inclusion of a flat, LCD touch screen within the painting allows the static story to transform dynamically. In this piece the touch screen serves as a television that contains various, often unrelated imagery that influences the narrative of the entire work.

These narrative elements facilitate the viewer's vision and provide the ability to actively alter the story at hand, both personally and publicly. The viewer becomes artist / storyteller, transforming what might be vague to vivid. This idea is reinforced as the viewer interacts with the touch screen. The physical act of moving into the painting, interacting, and moving back to examine their work replicates the process of an artist in the studio.

Ultimately the success of any narrative art form is the story and how it is conveyed. It is the goal of this work to create an experience, through collaboration and interactivity, where the story evolves into a more personal and meaningful event.