Click here to see the video artist statement for this project.
Increasingly we live in two worlds; the outside world of nature, and the digital world of cyberspace. These seem like separate realms, able to refer to each other, but not to connect. In reality the place they connect is within us.
Over 2000 years ago the Taoists presented a philosophy that even today gives us insight bridging this gap. The binary system of yin and yang from which all of the natural world springs is a model that we can use to understand our place within these two seemingly different lives.
My work seeks to connect the digital and the natural. Natural materials presenting digital concepts, digital techniques that present natural themes. By mixing the yin and the yang, the results are unpredictable.
Encoded : Wisdom is a project that uses such traditional materials; simple ink paintings on long sheets of rice paper hung in a traditional Chinese scroll format and smaller works mounted to panels. The subject is the text of the Tao Te Ching, the oldest collection of Taoist Wisdom, translated into the digital language of QR codes. QR codes have often been described as a piece of the internet that has reached out into the World of Things (as the Taoists would call it).
By translating the poems of the Tao Te Ching into QR codes, viewers can experience this ancient text in two ways, as a visual binary pattern of black and white squares, and as a translated poem stored digitally in their smartphone.