Thursday, November 30, 2006

Abstract Microecologies - Pierre Proske

A rare treat last night: some generative art in Canberra. The event was a one-night show at the Front gallery from Australian artist Pierre Proske, presenting the results of a residency at the ANU's Department of Archaeology and Natural History. Proske was embedded with the Paleoworks group, who do palaeo- and archeo-botany, mainly by way of using microscopes to look at ancient pollen.

The resulting works use micro-botanical images as poetic and aesthetic materials to reflect on the residency itself. In one series they're used to texture Superformula shapes, creating hyper-layered clouds that seem organically lumpy and mathematically crisp at the same time. In another series Proske used portraits of his Palaeoworks hosts to "seed" accumulations of tinted micro-blobs; they play on the edges of abstraction, at the same time evoking (for me at least) some big ideas about identity, multiplicity, and symbiogenesis.

Proske's blog of the residency is a wealth of detail. His previous work is worth checking out too - the Intelligent Fridge Poetry Magnets (pdf) attracted widepread attention earlier this year; and apparently they may yet appear on a home appliance near you...

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