“N3w_b0d1es”: A Talk by Lee Blalock, April 3
The architectural video installation project Still finds Edwin Abbott’s novel Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions as a primary inspiration, a story centered on two-dimensional geometric figure, a Square who is occupying a land of flatness, but through a series of encounters with a higher dimensional being who is a sphere discovering a greater reality outside of his own limited gates of perceptions. Likewise, the virtually rendered work of Snow Yunxue Fu thrives to guide the viewers into a metaphorical higher dimensional world, where the artwork becomes necessary physical symbols for the viewer’s physical perception in relation to the greater reality, and the installation function as a port.
In the book, the narrator is a square who is visited by a three dimensional sphere. After the Square's mind is opened to new dimensions, he dreamed of a visit to a one-dimensional world (Lineland) inhabited by "lustrous points". He attempts to convince the realm's monarch of a second dimension; but is unable to do so. The sphere says to the square upon his effort in convincing the point in the Pointland that there are more dimensions outside of his narrow acknowledgement: “You see, how little your words have done. So far as the Monarch understands them at all, he accepts them as his own – for he cannot conceive of any other except himself – and plumes himself upon the variety of Its Thought as an instance of creative Power. Let us leave this god of Pointland to the ignorant fruition of his omnipresence and omniscience: nothing that you or I can do can rescue him from his self-satisfaction.”
Flatland is a materialized idealism. Through its examination of the view of multiple dimensions, it offers an insightful metaphor towards human being’s existential relationship to the larger world. Extending out from the pictorial and expand into the land of virtual reality, my projections and installations becomes a necessary physical metaphor for the discourse of human physical perception, by which the quality of the lager greatness (which referred historically as the sublime) is framed, inviting the viewer to physically and mentally enter into a liminal Gorden Matta Clark like interior within a digitally constructed space, where the viewers’ body is motivated and their perception exploited. Each piece functions as a window into a parallel dimension that stimulates both consciousness and space.
Snow Yunxue Fu (b. 1987) is an artist who lives and works in Chicago. Her work approaches the subject of the Sublime using topographical computer rendered animation installation. Fu is teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in both the Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department and the Continuing Studies Department, as well as working as a faculty portfolio reviewer for Admissions at SAIC. She obtained a M.F.A. degree from SAIC.
Fu has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including Hong Kong Arts Center, Expo Chicago, Digital Culture Center in Mexico City, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago Filmmakers, Kunsthalle Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, MoMA PopRally Online Screening, NURTUREart Gallery and TEMP Art Space in New York, Currents: Santa Fe International New Media Festival, Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, West Village Art Gallery in Chengdu China, SIMULTAN Festival in Romania, and 9:16 Film Festival in Australia.
My work engages in a Kantian quest to capture the experience of the sublime through the limited means of human consciousness. It is a question that transcends cultural boundaries and one that opens onto fundamental inquiries into the nature of human existence: who are we and what is our significance in the material cosmos?
My work began with traditional media and materials, but has evolved into an engagement with computer-rendered abstractions. Modeling my animations on the allegorical paintings of Casper David Fredrich, I discovered that his aspiration to explore the nature of physical and metaphysical limits mirrored a fundamental aspect of Chinese Traditional Landscape Painting. Extending out from the pictorial, my installation work engages in a metaphoric relationship with physical perception, by which the sublime is framed and the viewer is invited to enter into a liminal interior within a digitally constructed realm.
- Snow Yunxue Fu
Luke Hampton (b. 1984) is a private art educator in the Chicago area. He founded the up and coming private art school, HamptonArts – a single instructor private art school focusing on developing in its students a genuine art practice and critical assessment of art and their world. Hampton has gained instructional and cultural experience in the US and China, from kindergarten to college level, through instructing art, technology, and ESL courses, and through various administrative roles. He is active as an art handler for his wife, Snow Yunxue Fu, a practicing internationally shown new media artist, whose work involves various media in contemporary art practice.