My work is about modularity and remixability (Lev Manovich), which results in transformation, where an object like
an early Intel EPROM chip can transform across multiple media
and platforms for both technological and aesthetic purposes (I have used it for a weaving design, as once suggested by William Gibson).
Such transformation is almost definitional for
humans; digital technology merely gives new tools. Indeed, we
are now on the verge of the realization of the observation: "All
art can be reduced to a sequence of binary bits, zeros and ones
in endless succession."
Digital technology also
increases the speed of transformation. Ray Kurzweil observes:
"Time exponentially speeds up." And so it is with the
cyclical transformations we now experience at an ever increasing
modularity, remixability and transformation; and a fourth stage
of cultural evolution: neogenesis.
1. Modularity - The key
component of "Desire" is an image sequence from an
MRI brain scan conducted at Waisman Center of the University
of Wisconsin (Madison); part of a series spanning six months
(and three separate scans) in 2005. To this is added a sound
track from a movie trailer - available on the Internet -
of New York City magazine model Tyler Reed (also cover girl for
Penthouse Magazine, April, 2001); who frequently returns to post-industrial
Akron, Ohio to visit family and friends. Those trailers functioned
as modules from which sound files and video stills could be extracted
(with specific permission).
2. Remixability - Being
reduced to a sequence of zeros and ones, it was not much of a
challenge to remix those elements into a new work, different form
the source material. But it could not have been done, or I could
not have done it from a small farm in rural Ohio, without
iTunes, iMovie and QuickTime (and a few tricks learned along
3. Transformation - The
process of remixing has dramatically transformed the source material.
The lab techs at Madison were, I imagine, surprised to find their
brain scans on the Internet, linked to the music of Jeremy Hight,
Cezary Ostrowski and a soft-core "art" movie. Nor had
Tyler imagined that any of her movies would be transformed in
such a way; although she's known for supporting the work of young
and emerging artists.
4. Neogenesis - The products
of transformation serve as the seed of further transformation.
It is a process as biological as reproduction itself. Example:
during the scans at Waisman Center, I was presented with a rapid
succession of images that were either beautiful and obscene;
obscene in the sense of cockroaches, human filth, piles of dead
animals and brutalized rape victims (I'm still ot sure how to
categorize the images of gold, bundled bills and coinage--I generally
tripped the "negative" button on my hand-held response
device). The neural reaction was captured immediately with the
fMRI scan; and my eye movements were recorded on a small camera
tracking visual movement. "Desire" serves as a model
for a new set of movies based on this body of data; that
is, the images eliciting the response, and the response as recorded
with fMRI imaging, will be shown as a new, remixed cultural product;
with a variety of sound tracks, of course.
Admitted to the bar in
1970, W. Logan Fry retired from the practice of law in 1987 to
become a weaver of tech and med design: brain scans, microchips,
machine language and cosmic code.
His first contact with
the web was the Third Annual Digital Salon of the School of Visual
Arts, NYC (1995), which exhibited his weaving: "Digital
Evolution" physically in NYC; in print (Leonardo);
and on the Internet .
the first incarnation of his Digital Museum of Modern Art, was
presented at the Beecher Center of the Butler Institute of American
Art in 2002; and DMOMA went online in 2003. DMOMA currently presents
exhibitions originating from around the world in English and
the languages of origin.