PAN/PAN (2018)

2018 Winner Anna Eyler PAN/PAN (2018) Video Animation, 3:53

Through computer-generated video, PAN/PAN probes the connections between exploration, wilderness, and technology in a contemporary context. Drawing on the visual vocabularies of landscape painting and NASA live-streams, PAN/PAN presents a series of relics from a distant future. Hovering between motion and stillness, virtual scenes are devoid of human presence, yet biomorphic apparatuses function as technological stand-ins for embodied experience. Their unexpected presence in the landscape calls into question violent, colonial notions of the uninhabited wilderness pre-contact and masculinist narratives of discovery so deeply embedded in early twentieth-century landscape painting. By conflating categories of artificial/natural and virtual/actual, PAN/PAN generates a playful yet uncanny vision of our technologized future.

As more and more of our experiences become mediated through technology, how do we re-negotiate our embodied subjectivities? Can virtual environments function as sites for the troubling of distinctions between technological, aesthetic, and artificial categories? And how can we develop a critical intimacy with our technologies without reducing them to mere reflections of our own values and beliefs? PAN/PAN speaks to these questions and concerns surrounding contemporary discussions of art and technology.

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