p a r a : / / a database of wonders

From Rhizome Artbase

P a r a : / / revolves around the notion of pareidolia, a type of illusion or misperception involving the capacity of people to see, with blind certainty, patterns in unstructured data. Examples of pareidolia include the famous NASA image of the Face on Mars, visions of Mary in a foggy window, or the Shroud of Turin. Vernacular and mythical examples might include constellations, the man in the moon, cloud shapes, etc.
Modeled upon database architecture and drawing on the art traditions of bricolage and the found object, p a r a : / / collects data gathered from the web, and reconfigures, reclusters, reorders these datachains and infobytes into new patterns.
In p a r a : / /, the form of a database is interwoven with its antithesis, varying and diverging narrative structures. Search engines, keyword assemblages, narrative collections all result in momentary groupings of data that create images, stories, journeys.
Like the early wunderkammer or cabinet of curiosities, p a r a : / / draws together data based on desire or wonder. Images that for various reasons are ambiguous, seemingly meaningless, read in alternative ways, are manipulated for certain meanings, or translated in speculative or theoretical methodologies form p a r a : / /'s core.
The images are culled primarily from the web and created in a number of different photographic methodologies. They are both historical and contemporary from the first photographs in the 1840s to 3D visualizations of cosmic strings in theoretical physics. They represent the gamut of our desire to see the world around us, to see matter, from seeing the farthest out (images from the Galileo mission to Jupiter's moons) to seeing the farthest within (atomic particles in a bubble chamber). They gather together effort and imagination; science and art; illusion and representation; and, finally, desire.

Jane Marsching
7 January 2002
Legacy descriptive tags
Jane D. Marsching, p a r a : / / a database of wonders
Attribution: Jane Marsching
Narrative, Database, Conceptual, space, marginality, interact, digital, desire, archive, QuickTime, Javascript, HTML, Flash, email, Visual
Attribution: Rhizome staff
Variant History
outside link
static files
7 January 2002
Rhizome staff