Temporal Cartography

Temporal Cartography. Pierogi Gallery Flatfiles, 2009-2010.

Utopias serve a dual function, they allow us to imagine the trajectory of the future as radically different than the present and they make us aware of how our own imagination is hostage to the background of structures we dwell within. Using this trope of utopia, the Temporal Cartography drawing series uses a custom coded software program that interacts with the verb tense of historical documents to create a unique drawing. Authors, ranging from science fiction writer Ursla Le Guin to neo-conservative political economist Francis Fukuyama were selected based on their interest in utopia. These texts were fed into a program I developed with software engineers that interprets the future and past tense as a set of fractal attractors/resistors. The duration the program runs and the number of lines it draws are spawned by algorithms that sample data from the text. The dense cloud-like lines generated by the computer program are stochastically attracted to uses of past tense in the appropriated text and pushed away from the future tense. The drawings generated by this process were printed onto sheets of velum and used as the background for a series of pencil, pen, ink, wash and acrylic hand-drawn diagrams that reflect upon the nature of temporality. In a sense, this process embodies the utopian possibilities of the text, obscuring history and revealing and reflecting upon the potentials of imagined future worlds.

Several of these drawings are available for sale through Pierogi Gallery’s flatfiles here