Through the Large Glass The Basic Premise of this project is to use the Work of Marcel Duchamp (Specifically , The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even - a.k.a. The Large Glass) as a framework from which to base a series of computer generated works. The significance of this project is to continue his intentions (or collaborate) in ways that would not have been possible before the introduction of high end computer image manipulation.
The intention of this project is not to explain or (didactically) interpret the enigmatic work of this artist (this is attempted in countless volumes), but rather to build off the work and let the viewers derive their own meanings based on their own knowledge of the work. Duchamp felt that the essence of an art work superseded that of the beauty of the art work. With this project, I am providing the viewers with works that have several layers of meaning, including the historical meaning that the original Duchamp work provided.
The scope of Duchamp's work was quite extensive in his experiments concerning visual space, representation, and established notions of ART in general. According to Duchamp, representation in art had become far too "retinal" and the intellectual was neglected. Some of his apparently aggressive acts against art (such as painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa and inscribing a rude pun underneath) were more of an attempt to challenge established cannons of art and the relationship between the artist, the art, and the viewer. I share many of Duchamps attitudes, and I am continually intrigued at the many levels in which his work operates.
The intention of this project is to try to use some of Duchamps ideas and extend them using technologies and media that were not available until after Duchamps death in 1968. Because of the unfinished nature and historical significance of Duchamps work, this continuation will satisfy a personal interest and display a culmination of various media explorations of my own over the past several years. The Large Glass was Duchamp's "sum of experiments" in searching for a new medium of expression. My take on this new medium anticipated by Duchamp is, as I see it, the computer. The rooms of the installation will present this idea and imply the intentions to the audience . The interpretations of the viewers will not be "directed", however, their observations will be directed by the very nature of the installation, which requires participation and specific view points to fully take in the images.
Duchamps experiments concerning visual space deal with the relationship between and the representation of 2, 3, and 4 dimensional space. In The Large Glass, Duchamp uses a two-dimensional plane (The glass) as "an infinitely thin slice" of space. On the lower pane of the glass (The bachelors), he meticulously renders "objects" in renaissance perspective (a two dimensional projection of 3-dimensions). With the upper section of the glass (The bride) an attempt is made at a two dimensional projection of a three dimensional representation of a 4 dimensional object (see Room A.)
This idea of the fourth dimension, (while somewhat difficult to grasp since we can only perceive the world in 3 dimensions) has parallels to the notion of "cyberspace" that annoying term for the nebulous universe of computer interaction. "The glass as 'ground' has a function and status anticipating that of the computer monitor as a screen of operations - of transformations - and the site of interaction and negotiation of meaning" . By using 3-D animation software, The Large Glass will be rendered with movements suggested by Duchamp in his notes. The representation of 3-D space on a 2-D plane ( the computer screen) fits in well with Duchamps intention of the lower section of the Large Glass.
3-D computer modelers simulate 3-D through a 2-D representation on a screen while maintaining in virtual space information about the objects represented. To view objects with 3-D depth, they have to either exist in actual 3-D space or be re-presented with a device which simulates stereoscopic perception. The hundred and fifty year old technique of side - by - side stereo viewing will be used along with the fairly recent development of 3-D computer animation to give multiple interpretations of the concept of 3-D.
All of the elements of this installation will contain appropriated imagery, computer manipulations, and nods to Duchamp's work in varying degree. This multi-media presentation will also address the issue of representation with the fact that the work of Duchamp is never actually present, only reproductions of reproductions of facsimiles, etc. These computer works will be Digital Analogies to Duchamp.
The installation space is a room approximately 20 ft x 20 ft which contains 4 smaller rooms each approximately 5ft square. Each of the rooms contain a separate approach to Duchampian Digital Analogies. I have chosen this non-traditional space, a room intended for utilitarian machinery, as an alternative to the atmosphere of the art gallery - a space which often distances the art and the people.
While the various aspects of this installation may appear to be disparate and occasionally unrelated, they all remain within the framework of Duchamp's explorations of multi-dimensional space and corresponding similarities and extensions of some of his ideas inherent in the nature of computer graphics.