Dr. John Antoine Labadie selected digital artworks: 2006-2010
John Antoine Labadie Artworks: 2006 - 2010 Dr. John Antoine Labadie holds the rank of Professor in the Art Department at the University ofNorth Carolina at Pembroke, USA. He is the founder of the Digital Arts program there. Labadie is theco-founder and Director of the UNC Pembroke Digital Academy (DA), a multi-departmental, cross-disciplinary, collaborative group focused on research in new media and which also offers new mediacourses. The DA is also involved with a wide range of creative projects and digital media services. Dr. Labadie was a 2005-2006 Fulbright Senior Scholar in digital art for the Center for Creativityand Innovation Studies at National Chengchi University and also at the Taipei National University ofthe Arts in Taipei,Taiwan. Labadie has served as artist-in-residence/visiting artist nationally with theUnited States National Park Service in Del Rio, Texas (2002); the University of North CarolinaGreensboro in Greensboro North Carolina (2004); and Troy University in Troy, Alabama (2005); andinternationally at Nanjing Normal University in Nanjing, China (2006); the Beijing Film Academy inBeijing, China (2006); the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India (2007); BanasthaliUniversity in Jaipur, India (2007); and National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan (2008). Labadie’s artwork is most often focused on contemporary research in the sciences andmathematics. His artwork has been exhibited in more than 300 national and international exhibitionsand is held in numerous private and museum collections nationally and internationally. Labadie haspublished more than 150 refereed/juried articles on a wide range of subjects including: digital art,digital resources management, digital art-making processes, digital printmaking, Native Americanrock art, and high performance American automobiles of the 1960’s.
“Geomorphology v.12”Geomorphology is the science that describesand classifies the topographic features (preciseplaces or regions) of the Earth. There arenumerous systems of classifying landforms.Some group topographic features according tothe processes that shaped or modified them.Other systems take myriad factors intoconsideration (examples: character of thesurface rocks, and climatic variations) and alsoinclude the various stages of geologic time. Inthis work I am considering the variety of thepossible answers to how our planet came to beas it is in the time we live on it. I have definedpossible explanations in terms of multi-dimensional forms that are frozen in time, waitingto be examined and understood. I see this workas a map of maps of our understanding of ourphysical world and that landforms that make itup. As with the landforms themselves, ourexplanations for the history of our world vary asour knowledge grows through the developmentand employment of new tools and methods ofanalysis. This artwork was used as cover forthe Institute of Electrical & ElectronicsEngineers journal “Computer Graphics,Imaging & Visualization” published in 2008.
“Hearing Now”Our senses are what they are for each of us:sharp, clear, muddled, challenged, orwhatever they may be. What if one were tryemploy visual art as a means of describing achallenged sensoryexperience? This piecedeals with the problematic situation faced bymy wife Margie Labadie (my collaborator inthis work) as she coped with a seriousmedical situation with her vocal chords, andher inability to speak. This piece, “HearingNow” is record of our healing focusedcollaboration. In our artwork we have utilizedvisual, aesthetic means to describe andinterpret Margie’s medical situation, accuratediagnosis, radical surgery, voice therapy,and successful recovery from a seriousdisease. We present the viewer with thecomplexity and the nuances of this processthough the use of data gleaned from thedigital instruments utilized by the medicalteam at the University of North Carolinahospitals over a period of nearly three years.This artwork was last exhibited in the“Sguardi Sonori: Arte Contemporanea diIntenazionale 2008” International JuriedExhibition at the Casoria Contemporary ArtMuseum Naples, Italy.
“The Passage of Time”Every day we see vibrant colors, hear oftenunidentifiable sounds and feel hundreds oftextures. Our senses daily present us with a richarray of perceptual information as we passthrough the hours by which we measure eachday. As we have realized from our childhood, itseems that some aspects of the world arerevealed to us only through a particular sense.Certain sensations, such as shapes, may beperceived through a pairing or combining ofsenses. Perceptual psychology can tell us muchabout how such things work. But what about thepassage of time? Through what sense or sensesdo we perceive time? It is certainly does notseem associated with any particular sense.Maybe we possess a certain ability, different fromthe five known (physical) senses, for detectingthe passage of time. Attempting to clarify ourperception of time offers many puzzles, includingwhat exactly it means to say we can perceivetime. Perhaps it is useful to attempt to artisticallyportray our senses in terms of the cycles bywhich we measure time. Perhaps we mightdenote each sense as a color, or as a shape andmake sense of experiencing the passage of timeas a composition. Whatever the result of such anexperiment, this is exactly what I have attemptedto do in the work “The Passage of Time.” Thisartwork was last exhibited in the “Galeria Arteira2009” in the Amsterdam, Netherlands.
“Big Red”The color (or term) “red” is associated withnumerous phenomena, everything from physics,to human behavior, and pigments to astronomy.Let us take this use of the word from a discussionabout astrophysics: “Sooner or later, a mainsequence stars core starts to run out ofhydrogen. This makes the star expand toperhaps 1000 times the volume of the Sun.Indeed, in another five billion years, the Sun itselfwill expand and consume both Mercury andVenus and maybe even the Earth. Being biggerbut with fewer core reactions means that thatstars surface cools to about 3000 kelvin andtherefore turns to a deep red color. The star alsoproduces silicon, oxygen, carbon and iron. Themain sequence star has become a red giant.”That is a lot to take in. After reading more abouthow “big” such an event would be, relative tohuman kind anyway, I began work on the piecethat became “Big Red.” Here I have developed akind of system, like our solar system; one with anunderstandable set of relationships. In the workas it is presented here we are about toexperience that critical moment when the“sooner or later” becomes the “now.” The work“Big Red” is about the end of everything weknow ... and the beginning of somethingelse.This artwork was last exhibited in “CarpeDiem 2009” in the Contemporary Art Museum ofZulia Maczul in Maricaibo, Venezuela in 2009.
“It’s About Hearing”Hearing is about many things. Certainly it has aphysical domain and the sense that allows us tounderstand the sounds in our environment,primarily via our ears. The opposite of hearing isdeafness. We hear literally when we are awareof a siren, music, or someone shouting ourname. We might hear metaphorically in thesense that we can “understand” a plea, ametaphor, or an inference conveyed throughspoken or visual language. Research hasproven that not all sounds are normally audibleto all species of animals. Each animal speciesthat hears has a range of normal hearing for bothloudness and pitch. Many animals use sounds tocommunicate. In many species hearing isparticularly important for survival and forreproduction. Up until the introduction of writinghuman species had, for millennia, used sound asthe primary means of communication. With theintroduction of electronic media, the role ofsound may have been forever altered. Thisartwork is one of a series of six worksfocused on human senses. This piece wasmost recently exhibited in Chapel Hill, NorthCarolina at the “Invited Artists Exhibition”series in 2009.
“Hexane Lenses 2010”How do manufactured chemicals change theworld around us in unforeseen ways? Takehexanes for example. Hexanes are chieflyobtained through refining crude oil. In industry,hexanes are used in the formulation of glues formany products including shoes and roofingmaterials. Hexanes are significant constituents ofgasoline. They are all colorless liquids at roomtemperature, with relatively low boiling pointsand with gasoline-like odor. They are widelyused as cheap, relatively safe, solvents.However, long term inhalation of highconcentrations of hexane produces first a state ofmild euphoria, followed by drowsiness oftencombined with the onset of headaches and oftennausea. Chronic abuse of hexane has beenobserved in solvent abusers and in workers inthe shoe manufacturing, furniture andautomobile construction industries. Hexanepoisoning has been observed in situationswhere individuals have had relatively long termcontact with hexane fumes or liquid hexane. Inmany industrial settings where safety regulationsare lax (or nonexistent) many cases of hexanepoisoning and some deaths have beenobserved. This artwork was most recentlyexhibited by the “2010 Digital Fringe”international project in Melbourne, Australia.
“Stardust”At the most literal level the term “stardust”denotes “dust composed of particles fromspace ... places beyond the earth.” Even morethan that the word denotes many types of thingsof human construction: music, films, books,television, comics, artworks, architecture, design,play production, National Atmospheric andSpace Administration missions, an album byDavid Bowie, and a popular name for morebusiness ventures than could ever be counted.Another, more scientific, definition suggests thefollowing: “Stardust is the really the heavyelements that comprise the Earth-such as iron,silicon, oxygen, and carbon-originally formed indistant stars that exploded, sending their heavyelements into space. The Earth and all life on itare, in fact, recycled stellar debris.” No matterwhich definition one accepts as apt it wouldappear that the term “stardust” is indicative ofsomething of great, perhaps seminal, importanceas it is used in the English language. Thisartwork is about such essentials, about thebasics of our existence, and about the ideas,patterns and possibilities that are a part of us all.This artwork was most recently exhibited atthe “Peace Project” in Culver City, CaliforniaUSA in 2010.
“Time Study”The term “time study” is borrowed from thediscipline of industrial engineering. A time studyis a work measurement technique, generallyaccomplished using a timing device to record theactual elapsed time for performance of a task,which is adjusted for any observed variance fromnormal effort or pace, any unavoidable ormachine delays, any rest periods, and anypersonal needs. The term “time study” can alsobe used to define and construct a metaphorencompassing one’s views of a period of time, aset of activities, or an event of defined limitations.In this artwork I have attempted to visually definea time study of several conversations about theuse of computers in the making of creative works.In this work I have included numerous words,sentences and terms that were a part of an actualconversation on this subject at a conference inMonterey, California in 2008. The conversationwas captured as an audio file and thenconverted to a text file. It is my hope that thisconversation, in all its colors, nuances, andshades has been captured in this visual work.This artwork was most recently published inthe national, refereed journal “Sanctuary 2009– 2010.” “Sanctuary” is a publication for theSouthern Regional Honors Council at theUniversity of Alabama Birmingham inBirmingham, Alabama USA.
“Set Theory”We live in a world filled with “sets” and “subsets”.(A set is a finite or infinite collection of objects inwhich order has no significance, and multiplicityis generally also ignored. Members of a set areoften referred to as elements. A set that containsno elements is called a null set or an empty set.The study of sets and their properties is theobject of set theory. A subset is a portion of aset.) Humans define and redefine myriad setsourselves each day. Through the use ofelectronic device scientists and otherprofessionals in the world at large are dailydefining sets and subsets at a dizzying pace. Nosingle person can absorb the massive amountsof new data defined each day. Even so, withoutsuch data and the definitions derived from themwe might well be lost in the world altogether.Much of the work and theory about about setsand subsets is also a part of the discipline ofmathematics. It is the area of “set theory” inmathematics that is the focus of this piece. Inparticular I am visually investigating some of theways in which set theory has been used to studystructures at the molecular level in biology. Thisartwork was most recently exhibited at the“FutureEverything 2010 International ArtistExhibition” in Manchester, England at theFutureEverything Urban Festival of Art, Music &Ideas and the Social Technologies Summit.
“A Set of Assumptions”Each new work begins with a certain set ofideas, conditions and possibilities. Wenecessarily work with certain sets ofassumptions about what a work is, what itmight be, how it might be accomplished andwhat can be done to successfully bring it intoa form that can be experienced by others.This piece is one of a series where I haveattempted to carefully examine my ownworking processes with respect to mychosen way of working: with a digital toolset.More speciﬁcally, “A Set of Assumptions”considers the phenomena of space, shape,and color within the framework of certaincontemporary digital tools. Each of the morethan 30 works in this series examinesanother set of assumptions about how Imight go about beginning, managing andcompleting a work to the point where it canbe shared with others. I have found thismethod of investigating my own ways ofworking very useful in helping to evolveworks in very systematic and structuredways. This artwork was most recentlyexhibited at the “The 2010 Gozo InternationalContemporary Arts Festival” in the Republic ofMalta.
“Big Blue 2010” These two images are stills from a time based work entitled “Big Blue” ... an experimental videothat examines the idea of aesthetically recording the processes involved in making an artwork while an artworkis in the process of being made. Running time for the video is 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
Dr. John Antoine Labadie 2006 - 2010 www.steppingstonearts.net email@example.com