Alice XR: A Machine For Thinking, 2022
|RESOLUTION:||570 x 1080 px|
|FORMAT:||3 video files for three channel video, in both MP4 and high resolution archival QuickTime versions|
Work also comes with a video master archival file with all three channels stretched into one as a .mov and another video display file as a .mp4, both 10 min 20 sec, 570 x 1080 px
|MATERIAL:||Augmented Reality Wallpaper with custom Alice XR augmented reality app for android tablet|
|FORMAT:||.jpg (AR Wall paper) + .apk (custom AR App)|
|SIZE:||24 in. wide wallpaper|
|MATERIAL:||Virtual Reality Experience for Vive VR Headset|
|FORMAT:||(Alice).exe (custom VR App with supporting digital utilities)|
|EDITION:||This work is unique.|
Alice XR: A Machine For Thinking, 2022
“Alice XR: A Machine For Thinking” by Claudia Hart is her third work loosely inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
Conceived as “a machine for thinking,” an hallucinatory chamber for repose and contemplation, the work features an androgenous avatar dancing a live performance digitally captured by ballerina Kristina Isabelle and embedded in a virtual character that is staged inside of Hart’s fantastical world.
Built as a Mixed Reality (MR) experience, that combines the elements of projected animation with AR and VR, the realistic motions of the dancer and improvised music by the cellist Danielle DeGrutolla respond directly to their artificial world. The walls of the real-world installation space are covered with augmented-reality wallpaper, its decorative motifs aesthetically related to those also found in the Alice virtual world. Together these elements create an other-worldly yet visceral work at monumental scale. Viewers are transported into this “magic mirror” environment where different versions of illusionism deriving from different historical eras come together to form a new kind of post-digital picture-making. Its multiple illusions transform Alice XR into a halfway space, one that is truly liminal.
Conceptually, this installation combines different perceptual models in a single exhibition space. The first is the “flat” three-channel high-definition movie projection. The second takes place within what has been mathematically and therefore perceptually constructed as a spherical dome: the Vive VR world. The third is the flat decorative animations covering the wallpaper revealed through its custom augmented app. These three kinds of representational space coexist simultaneously to create a fantastical uncanny environment. Like the original Alice in Wonderland, Hart’s version is also a world of inverted logic capable of confounding the mind and its perceptions, mixing realities in the truest sense.
Pioneering American digital artist and Professor in the Department of Film, Video, New Media, Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was educated in art and architectural history in the late seventies and early eighties at NYU and Columbia University. Hart produces bodies of work that track her art-historical research, setting herself up as both its subject and its object.
As a feminist artist, Hart speaks in the voices of patriarchs. She expands on tropes borrowed from canonical philosophers, poets, painters. In her first analog exhibitions, she impersonated Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Lord Byron and Niccolo Machiavelli. In the late nineties, she reinvented herself as a digital artist but one concerned only with the virtual simulations that she thought of as “post-photography.” Hart then continued to channel history but thinking of her animations, experimental theater, VR and AR work as simulated historical “enactments” in an artificial world. As a digital artist, she appropriated the artistic styles of Renaissance and Baroque painters, Impressionist and Modernist masters, and in her audio work, the literary voices of Lewis Carroll, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Ford and Walter Gropius. Using historical references, Hart still embraces only emerging technologies, thinking of her translations of canonical art into digital form as part of an historical process that is also its meaning. In addition, Hart inverts the rationalist voice and esthetic language of canonical male patriarchs, turning them into something playful and fantastical. She appropriates sober historical aesthetics, reinventing them as theatrical decor and liminal environments.
Hart is a SuperRare artist. She was one of 12 new media artists included in “Sea Change”, a physical NFT exhibition that was part of a special section at the LA Art Show in July 2021 dedicated to Vellum LA in partnership with SuperRare. She was also part of Transfer’s gallery “Pieces of Me;” Christie’s “Proof of Sovereignty,” a curated NFT sale by Lady PheOnix; the Russian State Hermitage Museum’s “The Ethereal Aether: An Exhibition of Digital Art,” “ArtNFT: Beginnings,” Artnet’s first NFT auction centered around the historical trajectory of early computer art, media art, video art and digital art over the past six decades, and Honor Fraser gallery’s “Digital Combines.” She is represented by bitforms gallery, in New York.
Hart’s work has been collected by The Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum; the National Gallery, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; the Albertina Museum, Vienna; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; the Vera List Center Collection; the Goetz Collection; the Borusan Contemporary Collection; the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation Collection; the Lutz Teutloff Photo and Video Collection, the Anne and Michael Spalter Digital Art Collection; the Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection; the New York Public Library, the Addison Gallery of American Arts, Andover, MA; and various other private collections.