Echo Chamber


Echo Chamber
2021-ongoing
24 pigment prints on Hahnemühle cotton rag
Each 150cm x 150cm
Edition of 4 + 1 AP

Echo Chamber is an ever-expanding series of abstract landscapes created by disrupting, manipulating, and reimagining famous Australian landscape paintings (as well as a few portraits for good measure) to emphasise the algorithmic nature of the digital terrain (pun intended). Pixels interest me because they are the smallest visible controllable element of a digital image; beyond the pixel is just pure information—bits of information. I wanted to explore the Australian landscape because my artwork and personal experience have never been self-reflectively ‘Australian’ or defined by place. Overseas is the only time I feel ‘Australian’ (whatever that necessitates) because the moment I open my mouth and speak I am instantly recognised and catalogued as Australian, along with all the perceived ‘Australian-ness’ that comes along with it. Yet for me, landscapes reveal more than time and place; they reveal universal and fundamental questions—and this is what really interests me. The aim is to explore the circular relationship between technology and nature by creating large-scale prints that sit somewhere between real and imagined landscapes. Humans have always interpreted nature based on their technology. Newtonian mechanics, for instance, saw the Universe as a clockwork mechanism, and genetics—discovered at the dawn of the computer age—viewed DNA as digital code. Likewise, today we superimpose our current fixation with advanced simulations and artificial intelligence onto the laws of physics and, by doing so, ponder if we are ourselves living in a simulation. Nonetheless, physics, particularly quantum physics, isn’t really about reality; it’s just the best description about how the world appears to us. Science, like art and philosophy, isn’t about finding out how or what nature is; rather, it is about what we can say about nature. On a more personal note, I find it boring, monotonous, and uninspiring when contemporary photography remains within the safety of conceptual and historical boundaries – things like taking the easy path by simply photographically recreating a still life or taking a photo with the subject wearing a pretty mask or costume as if this is ‘cutting-edge’ (and repeating this same process until it becomes meaningless). Taking a risk, even if this risk comes to nothing, is wonderfully rousing.

 

Click individual work to view more detail:

 

The antecedent vs the reimagined:

 

 

 

Works within the series:

~ Albert Henry Fullwood, Cathedral Rock, Kiama, New South Wales, 1891 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Arthur Boyd, Australian scapegoat, 1987 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Arthur Boyd, Colour plate for ‘Lovers’, from the series Lovers, 1993 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Arthur Boyd, Jinker on a sand bank with moon, 1976 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Arthur Boyd, Lovers in an orchard, from the series Lovers, 1993 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Arthur Boyd, Nebuchadnezzar on fire falling over a waterfall. 1966-1968 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Arthur Streeton, ‘What thou amongst the leaves hast never known’, 1896 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Fred Williams, Burnt landscape, Upwey no 2, 1968 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Fred Williams, Sea haze, Vinegar Hill, 1974 from the series Echo Chamber

~ John Olsen, Pied beauty, 1969 from the series Echo Chamber

~ John Olsen, River passing through a plain, 1982 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Julian Ashton, Shoalhaven River, junction with Broughton Creek, New South Wales, 1891 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Russell Drysdale, Crucifixion, 1946 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Sidney Nolan, Boat, 1959

~ Sidney Nolan, Broome sunset WA, 1985 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Sidney Nolan, Desert, 1986 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Sidney Nolan, Policeman floating in the river, 1964 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Sidney Nolan, Sketch for cover of ‘The Vegetative Eye’, 1948 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Sidney Nolan, The journey, 1986 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Sidney Nolan, Untitled (abstract), 1940 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Sidney Nolan, Untitled, 1982 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Tom Roberts, (Landscape sketch, Hobart), circa 1890 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Tom Roberts, Sherbrooke Forest, 1924 from the series Echo Chamber

~ Tom Roberts, Trawool landscape, 1928 from the series Echo Chamber