Joan fontcuberta landscapes without memory

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joan fontcuberta landscapes without memory

Joan Fontcuberta: Landscapes Without Memory by Lesley A. Martin

Joan Fontcuberta tries to put the real into Dalís Surrealism. In this first major monograph to be published in the United States by one of Spains most prominent and innovative artists, Fontcuberta subjects various imaginative landscapes--among them ones by Cézanne, Turner and Weston in addition to Dalí, as well as photographs of his own body--to the manipulation of landscape-rendering software originally designed for the military and scientific communities. The limited visual vocabulary of the programs translates contours (like floppy clocks) into natural elements such as hills, rivers, clouds and the like. The result, actually, looks far from real. As Fontcuberta says, In a typically surrealistic caper, introducing the critical-paranoid method in the technological heart of the computer, Dalís dreams become equally impossible landscapes. And, he might have added, gorgeous black-and-white ones.
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Published 21.01.2019

FE2015_intervista a Joan Fontcuberta // interview with Joan Fontcuberta

New York Photography Diary

Landscapes derived from representations of landscapes, Orogenesis — , is a series of digitally constructed landscapes created using software designed for scientific and military purposes by Spanish visual artist and academic Joan Fontcuberta. Fontcuberta uses software called Terragen to create photorealistic visualisations of landscapes, but instead of using cartographic data as this software is designed to use, Fontcuberta has replaced it with canonical images of landscapes taken from the history of art. The title, meaning mountain building or formation, derives from a field of physical geography and an early indication of a multidisciplinary practice that borrows from diverse critical disciplines. Discourse around the time of the introduction of digital photography in the late s was fearful of the death of the photographic medium; a mirroring of reactions to other changes in photographic culture historically, such as the introduction of colour film. Colour photography was only initially accepted as a commercial or a vernacular type of photography and the digital medium has followed that same path to acceptance. Joan Fontcuberta began his career in advertising, which may explain his willingness to utilise new representational tools. With Orogenesis, Joan Fontcuberta is taking this one step further and posing a challenge to what is now accepted about digital image representation by using visualisation software.

One of Spain's most prominent and innovative artists, Joan Fontcuberta is best known for exploring the interstices between art, science, and illusion. Where science reaches its limits in his works, the imagination frequently finds a creative space in which to flourish. In Landscapes without Memory, Fontcuberta has co-opted a piece of computer software originally designed for military or scientific use in rendering three-dimensional images of landscapes. The software enables the user to build photo-realistic models based on information scanned from two-dimensional sources - usually satellite surveys or cartographic data. The result gives the user the illusion of navigating in three dimensions what had previously been visualized only as a flat image. With this widely available "freeware" as his starting point, Fontcuberta has created the two series that constitute his Landscapes without Memory.

It translates two-dimensional cartographic data into a simulated three-dimensional image. Instead of feeding maps into the software, in Landscapes without Memory Fontcuberta inserts painted landscapes: from Gauguin to Van Gogh, from Cezanne to Turner and Constable. Far more than a medium such as paint, photography was supposed to have a certain level of truth. In recent decades in particular the idea has taken root that truth and reality are ambiguous concepts in photography. The unprecedented digital revolution has brought the potential for manipulation into focus. How much more reliable is the photographic image of the real world? Who and what can we still believe?

One of Spain's most prominent artists, Joan Fontcuberta is best-known for his exploration of the intersection between art, science, and illusion. In Landscapes.
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One of Spain's most prominent and innovative artists, Joan Fontcuberta is best known for exploring the interstices between art, science, and illusion. Where science reaches its limits in his works, the imagination frequently finds a creative space in which to flourish. In Landscapes without Memory, Fontcuberta has co-opted a piece of computer software originally designed for military or scientific use in rendering three-dimensional images of landscapes. The software enables the user to build photo-realistic models based on information scanned from two-dimensional sources—usually satellite surveys or cartographic data. The result gives the user the illusion of navigating in three dimensions which had previously been visualized only as a flat image.

The series is deceptive; these aren't photographs but computer-generated images created by software renderers that are designed to produce 3D images based on cartographical data. Fontcuberta decided to explore the possibilities of the technology by feeding it misinformation: instead of giving it a map to read, he fed it the visual data contained in famous paintings or pictures of different parts of his anatomy. The results are these "landscapes without memory. The thing I like the most about Fontcuberta is his ability to explore philosophical questions on the nature and contemporary practice of photography while remaining engaging and frequently hilarious. I did this interview with him for the Landscapes without memory exhibition which has just opened at Foam in Amsterdam until 27 February Marc Feustel : How did you first encounter photography and what was it that attracted you to the medium in particular?

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