Misinterpreting the landscape | Leonardo/ISAST

Misinterpreting the landscape

By Alan Bogana

"What if we cultivated ignorance instead of fearing it, what if we controlled neglect instead of feeling guilty about it, what if we understood the power of not knowing in a world dominated by information? As the first philosopher, Socrates, said, “I know one thing, that I know nothing.”"

 “Ignorance - How it drives science” by Stuart Firestein


This quote has been in my notes, and in the back of my mind, for a good while now and I felt the urge to share it, but I am not sure yet if it’s connected to the topic of this post.

This year I started to use computer fluid dynamics software, or maybe better said misuse, in my art practice. So far, I have been feeding data from specific environments in technical CFD software, creating a series of simulation situations and then projecting the results back on the very same physical environment (here link to a previous work). The idea of this process was to evoke a transcendental, psychedelic and poetic relationship to the environment by means of technical and quantified imagery.

Fascinated by the “Light and Space” and “Finish Fetish” art styles originated in California in the ‘60s and myself being on the West Coast for the first time at Djerassi, I started to imagine how this unique environment might have influenced a generation of artists.

The apparition, blending and disappearance of the ocean view by means of regular summer fog from the residency standpoint has been one of the most compelling visual phenomena during my stay. I decided, therefore, to further explore this very stimulating “trouble of perception” by feeding a photographic sketch of the landscape into CFD software, and the first results are a series of dynamic heat maps of sorts. I won’t be sharing for the moment, or never, the parameters generating them. Here is a preliminary selection.