Exhibited in conjunction with Hybridity: The New Frontier, artist Chris Doyle’s Waste_Generation is currently on view in the Video Lounge.
The parallel evolution of economic and ecological conditions in the post-industrial age is the subject of Doyle’s Waste_Generation. The second in a series of digital animations inspired by 19th-century painter Thomas Cole’s allegorical Course of Empire, Doyle’s vividly rendered trash heaps and dying factories spewing smoke and money lay bare the legacy of commercial manufacture, while scrolls of leaves and rapidly sprouting flora and fauna herald nature’s resurgence.
“The landscape is completely stylized through design,” says the artist, “specifically the influence of William Morris and the presentation of the acanthus, the plant on the dollar bill. I am interested not just in natural elements, but the way we interpret them through design and the way we control the natural world through designing it into submission.”
The lifecycle of paper currency playing on the screen mirrors the artist’s “nostalgia for the moment when our industrialized culture [gave] way to information technology,” and yet Doyle’s digital course of empire is cyclical, not linear, transformative, not apocalyptic. Waste generates change in a digital, hybrid world that is both both organic and artificial.