Out There — in light of remote possibilities
Monash University Faculty Gallery, Melbourne 2007
Spear’s prints, layered and fragmented digital mappings, and other associated works, ( a video, sound work, paintings and an artist’s book), are speculations on the night sky and how we might understand the space ‘out there’, from ‘back here.’
‘Out there’ is a space mostly incomprehensible to the full range of the senses. The invisibility of this space is revealed through a machine-produced visibility that extends our vision, using remote sensing and computer technologies and systems associated with light and time. As technology increasingly stands in for first-hand sense experience, so mapping stands in for space, giving a form of visible reality (the map), to an invisible reality, (the space being mapped).
However, mapping space is always embedded in the subjective conditions of human thinking. It is in the end the mapmaker’s version of reality. Spear poses two questions:
- What is the relationship between observation, speculation and imagination in the process of mapping space distinct from the earth, both in artistic terms and in a wider field of relationships that includes history and science?
- When culture and its technologies are laid over nature like a map, what are the implications for our sense of the real, and for curiosity and desire?