Digitalizing Our Natural World: Gabrielle Dunkley On Tara Rodgers ExhibitPosted: August 22, 2012
Post by Gabrielle Dunkley, Stamp Gallery of Art
If you asked me what “Super Collider” software was before I installed the “Tara Rodgers: Patterns of Movement” exhibit alongside my fellow Stamp Gallery staff and artist Tara Rodgers, I’d ask you if you were talking about physics.
After witnessing screens of overwhelming code, I began to notice the poetry behind Rodgers’ intent. Her software managed to marry two seemingly impossible combinations: nature and artifice. From screens scrolling reactive codes mimicking unpredictable patterns of sound in nature to compositions intended to resemble the chaos theory, the exhibit perpetuated a unique and cerebral experience that challenged visitors to see the nature of our digital world, both figuratively and literally.
One of the common questions visitors asked while placing the over-sized headphones on their ears was:
“Is this the sound you hear when you put your ear to a seashell?”
At first, visitors would walk through the gallery gazing at the graphics dancing on the television monitors while listening to cleverly composed imitations of white noise. Interestingly enough, while walking through a “sea” of expensive software, they still felt a presence of nature.
I began to notice eerie associations between a new “white noise”. We spend most of our day listening to the hum of air conditioning, computer processor fans, and seemingly unnoticeable high pitches bouncing between cell phone signals in the air. Rodgers comments on our interpretation of the natural world while simultaneously introducing a new version of what we consider “natural”.
Nature 2.0 could be a suitable message: intentionally pixilated pictures of tree branches and clouds paired with a light composition of wind imitating white noise. Or was it white noise imitating wind?
You’d have to listen for yourself to find out. You can learn more about Tara Rodgers’ creative process by reading our interview or by visiting her critically acclaimed website pinknoises.com and listen to clips of her work.
-Gabrielle Dunkley, Stamp Gallery of Art