[ISEA97] Artists Statement: Jamy Sheridan & John Dunn – GARDEN OF INITIAL CONDITIONS

Artists Statement

For the past five years, I have focused my artistic efforts on my Magic Sandbox. To experience this dreamlike environment, visitors enter into a darkened space, where they are enveloped in a meditative stream of sound. As their eyes adjust to the dark, visitors begin to see a richly colored emagic carpet / floating mysteriously in the center of an indeterminate space. Constantly evolving waves of color and form appear to flow through the carpet in harmony with the sound, inviting the visitor to approach.Visitors soon distinguish images of sacred gardens, elemental forms, natural processes, and cosmological events, at once archaic and contemporary, all floating on a bed of soft and rumpled sand. Children immediately move into the center of the carpet where they push and pour the sand, the satu-rated light, and the animated images. Older visitors line the edge of the image zone where they stroke the sand and bath in the reflected light and soothing sound.Visitor response has been so positive that I am creating a new generation of work for the Magic Sandbox. At a formal level, this collaborative artwork is actually a system of concepts, maps, images, data, and sounds, put into motion on computers using multiple layers of custom-built computer software. The output of this system includes stereophonic, data-driven music coupled to animated images projected onto a edimensionalizingi floor surface. The work is presented in a human-scale, shared, immersive environment designed to empower each visitoris personal virtual reality, i.e., her imagination.

  • Jamy Sheridan (USA)┬áis on the Faculty of the University of Michigan School of Art and Design where he is also System Project Coordinator responsible for integrating computing and emerging technologies into all aspects of the School’s activities. His computer-based artwork transforms conceptual maps into meditative off-the-screen immersive experiences. Jamy has conducted workshops and exhibited his work in the U.S.A. and Europe.
  • John Dunn (U.S.A.), University of Michigan