Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Daisy Bell

This is a picture of Jennifer Steinkamp's Daisy Bell, consisting of a huge projection of flowers. The following is an excerpt from a press release that I found really helpful in interpreting the work:
"The title, Daisy Bell, refers to a particular moment in the history of science and culture: when in 1962, Bell Labs used the IBM 704 to synthesize the popular 19th- Century English song of the same name. The song was also used in the climactic scene of the epic film 2001: A Space Odyssey in which the supercomputer HAL 9000 begins to sing Daisy, Daisy as his consciousness is degraded.
Steinkamp's Daisy Bell series is comprised of a variety of poisonous flowers that appear to cascade down the gallery walls."

The use of pattern is pretty prominent in this piece, and I think it's very effective in making the work seem large and overpowering. But Steinkampf also manages to create the illusion of texture, making you want to touch the piece, which become even more interesting when you reach your hand out to and the image is projected onto you own hand. This kind of interaction makes the piece really interesting and I love the way she chose to display the image, as it speaks not only to idea of technology in relation to nature, but also causes direct interaction between the human viewer and the technology. Also the choice of poisonous flowers makes the whole work so much more powerful, as the knowledge that they are poisonous contrasts the beautiful image and pleasing colors so starkly. I love this piece because it does such a god job of establishing a relationship between its content and its viewer, and presents complex ideas so beautifully.

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