After seeing Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion World Map, a projection of the earth on a flattened icosahedron, we began working on the idea of using computer technology to transfer the details of our physical bodies onto two-dimensional surfaces. Representing three-dimensional objects on two-dimension surfaces has been a concern for artists through the centuries and the concept of simultaneity, where all views of an object are experienced at once was a major theme of the Cubists and Futurists. We conceived selfportrait.map to explore this in a contemporary way using new digital imaging tools.
The earliest map projections were produced by first visually and later mathematically projecting three-dimensional details onto two-dimensional surfaces and with the advent of computers ever more complex objects could be electronically recorded and transformed. As artists accustomed to working with physical materials like clay, stone or steel we considered the manipulation of three-dimensional forms in virtual space, like map projections, as a non-traditional extension of the sculptural process.
selfportrait.map looks at the digital reordering of three-dimensional forms through a reshaping of the digitized body and offers an alternate way of representing the human figure by remapping its surface onto a set of simple shapes. The fragility and tenuous nature of our existence is a reoccurring theme in our work and, in the process of unfolding the scans, the computer generated a complex network of jagged seams and torn edges. Although stitching utilities exist that allow the projections to be repaired, we considered the holes and gaps to be evocative of both the landmasses of maps and the vulnerability of life.
selfportrait.map is a suite of 18 chromogentic prints mounted on aluminum. A series of pigment prints was also produced.