"Reflections in the Screen : playing in mixed reality"

I am a textile artist interested in the connection between textiles and technology. This site and the panels created in association with it set up a series of looped relationships between the virtual the artificial and the real. This project is part of the "Craft is Dead -Long live Craft" digital exhibition held at the Craft Victoria Gallery in Melbourne between the 21st of May to the 13th of June 1998. This exhibition is part of the Next Wave Festival in May 1998

Images within this site are created from digitally manipulated scans of the textiles that are in the "real" show. This process could be described as an inquiry into the tension that surrounds the idea of originality and the value system associated with the original object.

Screens traditionally act as a boundary. Paradoxically, however a computer screen is perceived to be a point of access to a virtual world. The internet is portrayed by the digital industry as a rich source of information that is accessible to all. The inference is that via this information we can become knowledgable or wise. However information on its own is pretty barren. We have to use information and manipulate information and in order to do this we need to apply experience in order to form ideas. This process enables us to make sense of our world, our relationship to it and who we are. In calling upon experience we immediately tap into our culture and its associated cultural memory. In other words, the minute you speak about experience you also speak about a cultural value system coming into play.

Embroidery is a culturally-loaded practice which has been perceived as a craft derivative and lacking in originality. It is rarely read as a graphic medium in its own right. Modern art movements emphasise and value highly the idea of originality. Post-modernism however has called into question the priority of the 'original'.

For this work, I recorded and reproduced hand worked textiles, from previous and current work. These scans were incorporated into digital manipulated images. Some where printed on fabric then combined and restitched to form parts of the panels produced for the show. These where rescanned and recombined to form further permutations of the notion of 'sampling.' This process sets up ambiguities between the 'original' and 'reproduced' on a number of levels.

Many aspects of internet are areas of cultural re-presentation. However more subtle areas of our cultural heritage are also in play. One of these are areas associated with how we employ metaphors in order to construct and manipulate patterns of thought around a particular topic. The internet constantly implements two main metaphors in order to make cyberspace understandable. The first noticeable metaphor is associated with textiles with the use of terms such as World Wide Web, internet, and thread. The other, is associated with geographical terms. The word cyberspace itself creates a mental image of a space. The two main internet browsers are called Netscape and Internet Explorer. Both combine a textile metaphor with the notion of navigating and traversing a landscape. The internet is a new social phenomenon and these metaphors are currently in the process of negotiation. This cultural construction is describing this metaphorical space using conventions of cartography and in order to make technology friendly the familiarity of textiles are invoked through constant reference.

I have constructed this site as a series of images which act in relationship. Not only am I interested in teasing out ideas associated with the value of the 'original' object but at the same time I was intrigued by the shift in reading that occurs when the order in which you encounter an image changes. In other words, when experience of that image or an experience of a version of that image is encountered again or approached from a different angle by the viewer.


Please note: This site was archive as published in 1998

For more infromation about my work see the 'about' section of this site