Joshua McGowan, MFA 2019

March 20 - 23, 2019

Opening Reception March 22, 6-8pm

Artist Statement

Over the past several years I have been invested in the study of structures of time and my perception of reality. This investigation has left visual artifacts of many forms and functions, evidence of my adherence to a rigorously logical process. This line of inquiry was derived from my ambition to not simply track the effects that time can inflict upon material objects, but rather to provide time itself with an immersive, physical quality that is distinctly separate of its associated experiential quality.

My visual explorations focus on compositions that are devoid of a horizon line. The sky was my starting point, as this ethereal canvas is one where time has no clear beginning and end. My process utilized technologies that worked in a seemingly complementary fashion to my perception of time functioning in a linear progression. The visual artifacts of Firmament were created using a combination of video and flatbed scanning devices. Video is used to capture a scene in it’s perceived entirety, and a method of flatbed scanning is used to encode these visual image streams into singular, static images.

The results of this encoded data contained the physical qualities I was seeking. However, to construct a sense of immersion required another technological progression in the continuing chain of my explorations. Projectors were the next technology employed. Their ability to create a more immersive environment from the utilization of still images was something that I wished to harness. The ensuing apparatus utilizes a culmination of all of these previously mentioned technologies to alter my static images into delicate forms of seemingly immersive auroras.

Through my exploration of various technological processes, I question my belief that as technology has improved, humanities’ capability to understand time and reality has ameliorated as well. Before the creation of logical structures to understand time, the passing of a day, the transition of the sky from light to dark was something of phenomenal wonder and mystery. Technology, science, and empirical information has eroded the foundations of this mysticism and has placed humanity on a path of perceived, eventual technological omniscience. However, the results continue to manifest themselves in truly unexpected, ephemeral forms that seem contradictory to the processes through which they were manifested. Every logical path I pursued created a new form of question to be answered and another step unexplored. This adherence and exploration to a progression of technology has now seemingly ramified itself as a never-ending pursuit. One, which seems to suggest something beyond the achievable threshold of technology.