daniel alexander smith

Four and No Waves Four and No Waves Four and No Waves Four and No Waves
Four and No Waves Four and No Waves Four and No Waves Four and No Waves

Four And No Waves

Since the invention of linear perspective, image making has become mechanized. Printing, chemical films, digital sensors, and computer rendering have extended the reaches of realism. As the complexity of these technologies increases, the rules defining realism multiply, and realism itself becomes abstract. These works present simpler instances of technology’s abstraction from reality. While complex geometries best represent the intricacies of water, they strain the limits of computer rendering. This inverse relationship represents a schism between technological realism and natural reality. A perfectly reconstructed wave is never a real wave, just like Google’s planet sized map of the Earth is not the Earth. What is at stake today is the achievement of a realism so complex that it displaces reality. When we pursue a perfect realism, we live in total abstraction.

Defined by transformation and formlessness, a wave is the simplest symbol of the abstraction technology propagates. A drawing machine moves erratically; a sculpture flattens then becomes dimensional as you move around it; a drawing is rendered over the course of an exhibition, gradually becoming 1000 times more complex. These works exist in a transitional state between motion and stasis, realism and abstraction, nature and technology. This state between states is our state. It is the reality of contemporary life.

Water on Mylar, 2016