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Mapping technological causality : A visual exploration into processes of technological and informational overload

Leary, JT 2013 , 'Mapping technological causality : A visual exploration into processes of technological and informational overload', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This research focuses on a visual exploration of technological and informational overload. It places emphasis on the encoding and modelling of technology utilising a range of theoretical
sources and understandings to explain this. This conceptualisation of encoding as integral to our subjective relationship with technology is also coupled with an understanding that
technology progresses at an exponential rate.
The artwork that creates a dialogue across these ideas is constructed using systems, codes and formulas to create a sprawling installation. The various component parts of the installation
can be viewed both as discreet elements and as sections which combine to form a unified whole. The larger installation (whole) will be organised through the dynamic of exponential
growth and is made up of painting, drawing, sculpture and video and contains a limited number of visual motifs which evolve and mutate through each medium. These visual motifs or
elements are chosen based on rules and categories that are encoded within a series of charts (akin to a Table of Elements). The use of map-like charts, tables and diagrams plays a vital role
in the installation and exegesis as they function both as a 'part' of the whole and as indicators of how to navigate its complex circuitry.
The exegesis which supports the gallery work has in certain ways moved away from the standard model of reflection and support and takes inspiration from both Alfred Jarry's fictional
science'pataphysics' and Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the rhizome. The exegesis creates a fluid link to the gallery work, utilising the accompanying maps and charts to create a circuit
of information that moves between the two. It uses an organisational framework, borrowed from the rhizome, that makes horizontal or lateral connections between otherwise unrelated
facts and disciplines; and sidesteps the more standard linear and vertical relation to context or contribution.
The project will draw artist's work into the rhizomatic structure of the paper, discussing conceptual approaches and methodologies in relation to the overall structure of the paper and
installation, creating a nuanced network of ideas and relationships that deepen and extend the reach of artwork and thereby creating a refined sense of the work's significance both
within its localised, physical and conceptual para meters and within the larger contexts that it draws on. The domino effect video piece titled The Way Things Go (1987) by Peter Fischli and
David Weiss coupled with Paul Virlio's writing on the interconnectedness of the global technological systems is an example of this. As is a discussion of Matthew Ritchie's work The
Propositional Player through Jean Baudrilla rd's analysis of the masses from the text In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities.
The project, by becoming or inhabiting the processes of exponential growth and change and by suggesting a web of complex associations and pathways, visualises new ways of
understanding our multi-faceted relationship to these issues.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Leary, JT
Keywords: technology, rhizome, installation,visualising information, cartography, exponential, contemporary art
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