26TH SEPTEMBER - 12TH OCTOBER 2019
“There is beauty in the silent forces that move our existence, and there is a lot to learn about ourselves from exploring how we impact the space around us” – Andrew Yip
Cloud Chamber is a body of work that uses immersive environments to visualise the unseen forces and networks that bind us and our actions to the natural world. Yip exposes these complex systems to viewers through his work and invites the audience to engage with them, wherever they may lead. The exhibition was originally inspired by a cloud chamber, a 19th century scientific instrument originally devised to study the formation of clouds and atmospheric events. From this, the exhibition has evolved to focus on nature’s ever-changing environment and our relationship to it through the experience of the viewer physically approaching and observing the body of work.
Clouds have been a subject of fascination to artists for centuries for the way they change the character of a landscape, not only in their beauty, but by prefiguring the weather and through it, the daily patterns of our lives. With this in mind, Cloud Chamber also nods to the traditions of sublime 19th century landscape painting, in which individuals were confronted by the majesty and awe of nature and were changed by it. In keeping with the sublime, Yip has situated the body of work within forest environments and evoked the sense of magnificence and wonder often felt when in the presence of ancient trees. Through these digital realms of Cloud Chamber, Yip explores the meaningful connections between art and science by taking our fascination with clouds as a visual form and using them to reveal the complicity between our actions and the world we live in.
The exhibition includes two immersive, interactive environments, six photo media works, and two 3D printed sculptures which together engage in dialogue steeped in nature and data. The interactive digital works, Cloud Chamber I and Cloud Chamber II, depict an imagined world that is constructed from natural elements—trees, plants, creeks, rocks, flowers, fog—that are deeply familiar to us but are governed by atmospheric properties that are slightly unnerving. It is every environment and no environment, all at once. The artist has created the world in a video game engine that uses simulated physics to make it respond to the viewer’s actions. All of the data is rendered in real time, meaning that no two views of Cloud Chamber can ever be the same. The appearance of the artwork, the way the clouds form and the wind blows, are all determined by the actions of the viewers in the space.
Yip’s photo media works (Network I-VI) are whimsical, ghostly scanned x-ray views of Morton Bay fig trees, which expose their complex 3D data networks. They visualise the organic, rhizomatic root and branch networks of trees as a metaphor for the hidden forces that govern our lives. The 3D printed sculptures (Algorithmic Organisms I-III) are physical manifestations of natural forces. Sculpted by Yip through applying mathematical algorithms derived from natural patterns—including wood bark, floral motifs and cloud formations—to cubes in a CGI program. They are algorithmic organisms that have risen to life through processes that are a combination of unseen physical properties.
12TH OF APRIL - 28TH OF APRIL 2018
In 'Tessera' new media artist Andrew Yip presents digital relics and artefacts from an archaeological dig in a virtually constructed world. The works in the exhibition form an archaeology of images, where familiar symbols and motifs from the history of art become data objects that are arranged and rearranged in virtual space. These objects are uncanny, unreal, science fictive.
While the works borrow from the traditions of 17th-century Dutch still life painting, they can exist only within the virtual technologies of the 21st century. Even so, these objects are no less vessels for cultural data that convey meanings about life and death across time and place.
Dr Andrew Yip works in experimental new media ranging from computer-generated imagery to large scale virtual reality environments. His artistic practice reflects on histories of art and images. Andrew is a researcher and resident 3D artist at the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, UNSW, where he creates immersive works at the forefront of interactive design. Yip creates virtual reality installations for artists and museums. 'Tessera' was the artists' first solo exhibition. The artist currently lives and works in Sydney, Australia.