In 1981 I was reading a National Geographic at my mother-in-laws house. The computer chip was just beginning to make its mark on our everyday lives, but the average person didn’t yet own a computer. I was fascinated by the article, and all that it implied for our future.
Sometime around 1981 I was at my mother-in-law’s house reading National Geographic, when I came across an article on the microchip. The chip was just beginning to make its mark on our everyday lives, but the average person didn’t yet own a computer, and few knew what a chip was, or had any familiarity with such terms as ram, bite, or bit. I was fascinated by the article, and all that it implied for our future.
One of the things that intrigued me was the microscopic images of chip technology that accompanied the article. The micro compressor patterns on the chips were described as being like tiny cities, but they struck me more like microscopic abstract designs, or at least metaphorical modernist blueprints for Le Corbusier’s city of tomorrow.
Technology was not only changing the way we live, it was introducing a new visual language to accompany recently coined vocabulary on an international scale. This technological revolution seemed like the industrial revolution of a hundred years earlier. The atmosphere of discovery paralleled early modernism, or at least I felt the sort of excitement for the promise of the future that modernists once felt. For me the gap between art and science narrowed as I read that article. Just as modernists responded to and sometimes led the industrial revolution, so it seemed that art must now respond to and comment on, or even lead the changes that were occurring to society in the 1980s.
Many artists adopted new technology into their art. I was interested in using established methods of design and illustration as a way of bridging past and future. I was wary of the potential downfalls of technology, as previous innovations had often been put to destructive use. I was also wary of the affect of technological globalization on world cultures. This mix of anticipation and apprehension informed this series.