OTHER / Ploys & Decoys

Larry Thomas: Ploys & Decoys

(1/17/10 - 2/28/10 Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art, Epsten Gallery)

A Trail of Pixels in the Forest

One of the defining aspects of the 21st century is the ever-growing visual relationship between the physical and virtual world. As new digital imaging technologies and environments evolve toward the organic structure of the human user, their application allows us to peer deeper into distant realms, both real and theoretical, from the cellular to the celestial.

In an age of body scans, virtual-reality avatars, cloning, microchip implantation, and genetic engineering, popular culture and the media bombard us with conflicting messages of the positive and negative impact of technology upon our society. The entertainment industry gives us overblown, hyperbolic extrapolations, graphically rendered in films and video games, while rational and irrational fears drive the application of stealth technology within our nation’s armed forces at home and abroad.

With greater frequency, we reference the natural world as a place outside humanity’s endeavor to bring order, rationale, and civility to its existence. Beyond the margins of our urbane existence, however, lies a wooly and undiscovered wilderness of cells, pixels, particles, and the imagination.

This space between the natural and material world is a field that remains ripe for exploration and exploitation. It is a natural state of disorder, where hard drives crash, images fragment, batteries die, viruses cause cascading system failures, and order and chaos find embrace.

Dwelling within this wilderness, Larry Thomas uses the visual language of simulation and camouflage to communicate with....

Marcus Cain, Curator

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