Arnold Koroshegyi


Portfolio published in ArchivoZine 19 - New Media, In the Age of Visual Culture.

Electroscapes

"… A new world was spread at our feet: to the westward stretched a vast ice-field probably never before seen by the human eye, and surrounded by entirely unknown, unnamed and unclimbed peaks."

J. Norman Collie, 1898

"Explorer and Scientist"

The photographic series "Electroscapes" is a visual and aesthetic expression of the ubiquitous, invisible wireless activity in and on nature. The technology we use to situate ourselves in geographic space, and the ways in which those digital processes leave a trace on landscape—in this case, the Columbia Ice Fields in the Canadian Rocky Mountains—form the thematic cornerstones of "Electroscapes". The works meld “datascapes” with natural scenery, and they reinterpret landscape by rendering visible the flow of electromagnetic frequencies that moves within, and around, remote geographic environments.

The experimental images of the Columbia Ice Fields were generated using a modified digital process that incorporates photography, surveillance software and locative media. Koroshegyi’s choice of landscape for the photographs was deliberate: the Columbia Ice Fields, (an extensive area of interconnected valley glaciers that feed into the Arctic, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans) are receding at an unprecedented rate. As such these massive, majestic ice forms are a visual metaphor for significant, imperceptible change in our world—a change we may not be able to see but one we know is nonetheless occurring.

The images in "Electroscapes" were created through a multistep process. The artist photographed the Columbia Ice Fields through a series of coloured gels while simultaneously recording radio-frequency radiation circulating around the landscape. Using FBI packet-sniffing surveillance software and an electro-smog meter, Koroshegyi recorded Internet Protocol tracking addresses, threshold readings and GPS data emitted from local wireless devices (tourists smartphones, workers radio transmissions, etc.). The data collected was then altered through a programming language to create cartographic linear drawings. These drawings were then combined with the actual tri-colour photographs exposed during the original data-gathering process to create the final works.

The frequency of the data collected, the variable, random and erratic use of wireless devices around these majestic landscapes are what affected the image-making process and thus, they shaped, in part, the aesthetic outcome of the works.

A blending of abstract digital foreground, and picturesque, scenic background, the images in "Electroscapes" offer a new visual topography: they question the conceptual basis of how we perceive and engage with the “natural” world around us.

www.arnoldkoroshegyi.com

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