About this project
Last winter, I was commissioned by the Hungarian Cultural Center to create this piece for an exhibition at their gallery in Manhattan for an open September 15th 2010. Three days before I was to begin installing, the show was canceled and my contract was disavowed leaving me holding the bill.
The recent national Hungarian elections ousted the former liberal government replacing it with one far right and frighteningly nationalistic. As promised in the campaign, this new government blindly canceled all programs put in place by the former. My project was included in this. I became collateral damage in the Hungarian political wars.
Some press and an interview for a deeper look:
ARTNET NEWS: HUNGARIAN POLITICS HITS NYC ARTIST Oct, 5, 2010
ART ON AIR with Michael Rush December 3, 2010:
With your pledges, I plan to publish catalog documenting installation and the story of it's cancelation as a way of shining light on the political turmoil in Hungary.
Titled, "Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology Is Indistinguishable From Magic", this installation is 12 feet tall and 83 feet long and made entirely out of hundreds of hand-cut gypsum board polyhedra and over 550 stills of Youtube or Vimeo video of the night sky from all over the world. These pixel-like stills form a massive reclining skeleton. The title refers to Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law. A science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, Clarke formulated the Third Law to explain the source of our amazement as our limitation, rather than the impossibility of technology
The full color catalog will be introduced by the original curator Corinne Erni, examples of my past work, an essay by Norman Ballard, an artist description of the political fallout. The catalog will show extensive documentation of the installation including detailed close ups, and a four-page, fold-out spread of the entire piece.
Here's a little about the ideas behind this project:
Digital visual language begins with the pixel. This tiny polyhedron is the primary building block of digital images and allows us to see and connect with each other in the Virtual World. When this contact occurs, we bring in aspects of ourselves, exchanging atoms for pixels. This connectivity creates avatars, extensions of our Actual World personas who act as our ambassadors inside the Virtual World.
This constant travel across the Actual/Virtual border begs these questions: How closely related are pixels and atoms? And are they growing closer together?
When the viewer engages with this piece, they experience both the micro of pixels and atoms and the macro of the digital and physical universes. As the viewer changes their vantage points to the art, they move in and out of these universes, experiencing the overlap, sensing our changing connectedness with the natural and digital worlds.
Janos Stone, 2011
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