Indepth Arts News: |
"Imaging New England: Installation by John Craig Freeman, Lisa Link, and Margaret Wagner"
2001-04-25 until 2001-05-12
Imaging New England, like its parent project Imaging North America, is an interdisciplinary collaborative research
initiative, conducted across institutions and over distances. It uses new technology to bring disparate bodies of
knowledge together through the investigation of place. Our method attempts to bridge the gaps between esoteric
understanding, which has developed as a result of rigid industrial specialization, and more experiential interactions.
We recognize that the tools now exist, in the form of interactive hypermedia, for converging the work of experts
without sacrificing the depth and dimension of specialized knowledge.
The method we used in creating this work began with organizational meetings to identify a site or place of
investigation. Although this choice was somewhat arbitrary, it was driven by a sense of ambivalence. We investigated
places that are simultaneously attractive and repulsive. The only qualification we attached to the choosing of a site was
that it must have earned the status of contestation.
Once a site was identified, John Craig Freeman conducted a search of satellite and aerial image archives. The satellite
images are drawn from a variety of national and local sources, including the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, the United States Geological Survey, the United States Department of Agriculture, state Geologic
Information Systems, and county Tax Appraisal offices. The frame of the images determined the area and the
boundary of the investigation, which we refer to as the divination zone. Everything that fell within the zone was a
potential subject. Anything falling outside the zone was off limits.
We mapped the zone into denizens, based on the research and the geometry of the zone. We then visited the site and
documented the denizens in what ever form was appropriate.
This project takes on many forms, including interactive virtual reality, installation, video and public media art. In
addition to providing a form for the dissemination and storage of this work, the Imaging New England method
provides a model for the generation of interdisciplinary work and a strategy for collaboration.
The artists currently involved in this collaboration are John Craig Freeman, Lisa Link, and Margaret Wagner. All three
artists have worked with the issues and politics of place before in their own work. John Craig Freeman is currently a
professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Lisa Link is an independent artist, and Margaret Wagner is a
professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.