Monday, March 24, 2014

Daniel Leivick

Daniel Leivick is an American photographer and digital artist from Santa Cruz, CA whose work focuses on human interaction with the environment, modernity and emergent phenomena. He received a BA in studio art from Stanford University in 2009 and and MFA in photography from Arizona State University in 2013. His work has been published and displayed internationally.

Heliopolis Statement

This is what they say this bird (the Phoenix) does, but I do not believe them. --Herodotus in Histories Vol. 2 Heliopolis is the city to which the Phoenix of myth periodically travels in order to experience fiery death and be reborn from the ashes. It is the name of my effort to conjure a desert city where the contrasts of our age: annihilation and transcendence, determinism and agency, rationality and madness are called into question. It is a place where destruction and rebirth are one and the same, were the gap between reality and simulation is ever narrowing. These large scale photographs, 40 generally inches on the short side, are created using collages of imagery appropriated from Google Maps to create a fictional terrain and landscape for this city. Online mapping projects like Google are rapidly changing the nature of visual discourse. No longer are we tied to the fixed perspective of a single camera; today we have access to a view akin to that of a compound-eyed god who simultaneously views all points at once. By appropriating content from these sources and transforming it into large scale imagery, I intend, at once to highlight this shift in perspective and to call into question the implications of what we are witnessing as we see a landscape that is reflective of ourselves and culture at large. The symbols which emerge here, created with ambiguous agency and meaning, echo the struggle of the individual to transcend their role in a seemingly agent-less social machine.

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