INVERSE by Stephanie Luong is a 3D typo-graphic sculptural art object that can be handheld and viewed in a 360 degree manner. INVERSE portrays our society’s fascination with augmentative experiences, digitalization, technology and sleekness by playing with optical illusions, sewing threads to represent data/pixels/networks and lo-tech or hand labour methods. This perspective is shown through viewing INVERSE in a landscape orientation to experience the illusion of three-dimensional depth. As the title suggests, the opposite or alternative to technology, the parallel “universe” would be nature. When observed in a portrait orientation, this dueling tension between man and nature is revealed with an organic form resembling a tree.
Handmade, lo-tech, nature, man-made, technology, box, parallel, universe, optical illusion, art object, graphic, sculpture, graphic design, typography, sewing, data visualization, 360 Artist Statement: The world is a two-sided coin, full of contradictories, looping constraints, dueling ideas, parallels, and balance all at once. One that always attracted me is the conversation between analogue and new technology combined with the continuous conflict between man and nature. The objective was to comment on this with no use of technology and in a form of a sculpture. With selected materials being crucial to any sculpture, I decided on some unusual but simple ones after some exploring and experimenting. For such a minimalist art work, I thought an emphasis on detail would continue my concept of duality. With this in mind, all decisions made were in the name of strengthening my concept. From example, purple sewing threads were used instead of simply black to represent hope, magic, mystery, imagination and importantly Crown Chakra (link between individual and universal). Or, another example, the small scale of the piece allowed handheld ability, like the small electronic devices of today. Or, carefully documenting my work against specific backdrops to give it context.
References to Relate Works: 1. Soapbox (2009) by Stephanie Luong – an interactive art object that embodies the ignorant and racist soap advertisements of the 1900’s. The simple, clean-cut white box lit with a pulsating glow in its opening slit, invites participates to place their hands into the box to have soap automatically disposed. To the participates dismay, the exaggerated amount of soap received depends on the colour of their skin, read by a sensor and calculated through an Arduino micro-controller board.
2. Bottled Lightning (2010) by Stephanie Luong – is a sound object that fantasizes technology’s unlimited possibilities and the continue tension between humans and nature. In the form of a black canteen bottle, as if lightning was captured and contained in the very palm of your hand, an 3D accelerometer sensor that collects data of your interactions with it, can allow you to “play god” with its behaviors, quality and characteristics. Similar to the notion of a bottle full of soda, depending on the intensity of tilts and shakes the participate performs, an Arduino micro-controller board with a wave-shield attached will playback the appropriate intensity and types of lightning bolts, rain droppings to thunders rolls or rumbles.
3. The Paradise Institute (2001) by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
4. Flight Patterns by Aaron Koblin
Technical/Equipment Summary: sewing threads + sewing skills, transparency sheets, clear acrylic box, glue, Adobe Photoshop.
Photoshop was helpful in calculating and visualizing the scale of my type design to aid me in the sewing process. If you look closely you can see I’ve graphed the points on each transparency. I realized it was impossible to free hand the perspective element.