Light installation, October 2017
SMPT Colour Bars, October 2017 (photograph of installation, unedited)
Forest Coding, October 2017 (photograph of installation, unedited)
Forest Light Sculpture Series, October 2017
(photograph of installation)
Woodland Void, October 2017 (photograph of installation, unedited)
Forestry Voids Series, October 2017 (photograph of installation) . Featured in Plathoes Cave Magazine: Encountering Value Beyond the Certainty Machine, February 2018
Video of shapes being projected into the trees, October 2017
All of the images above are documentation of the 'Forest Light Installation'. This was a real installation in Longleat Forest (Somerset, England) in October 2017.
I hired a fuel-powered generator and wheeled it into the forest, then attached a high-power projector and projected videos of shapes into the trees. The trees fragmented the shapes and created a completely new and surreal digital environment within the forest.
I wanted to explore how I could interrupt a natural organic landscape with strict logical geometric shapes. Geometric shapes are arguably the 'purest form', according to Malevich's Suprematism. The SMPTE colour bars are also based on this idea of purity (these are used to calibrate TV monitors since they are the most fundamental colours used in screens.)
I then decided that the 'purest form' of a (digital) image is the data it's made from, so I projected computer code into the trees. The trees looked as though they were grown from code, as though I had broken the universe and revealed the mathematic software it's ran on.
This reminded me of the Intelligent Design Theory, which argues that the world is too mathematically perfect to have arisen by chance and must have been designed by an intelligent entity (a 'God'). I was also reminded of the philosopher Nick Bostrom, who believes that there is a 20% chance we are living in a computer simulation. Perhaps the logic of code and mathematics are the root of the universe, and even Mother Nature is simply a digital algorithm.
Original video which was being projected, September 2017
Projector, plank of wood, wheelbarrow, laptop, generator, camera, tripod, umbrella
Acrylic paint on canvas, 42 x 60cm
The Forest Light Installation was inspired by this painting. Originally, I created this as a visual mock-up for a sculptural piece involving geometric lights installed in the forest.
This created a problem: how could I make a sculpture defy gravity and float weightlessly above the ground like the blue square in this painting? I don't have to follow the laws of physics while painting, but a sculpture needs to. I could attach the square to something hidden (to give the illusion of it floating) but this felt inauthentic.
The 'Forest Light Installation' (above) solved this by creating a weightless sculpture. A 2D film is projected into a 3D environment to create a sculpture out of light. Just like the painting, the shapes float weightlessly and cast an eerie glow on the rest of the forest.