Madge Gleeson: Rocking Circle C

  • ©,



    Rocking Circle C



    Digital artifact


    32" x 28"


Artist Statement:

    This piece is from a series of works created around the theme of open source as applied to nature and culture. In this piece, the copyright symbol is prominently displayed on the surrogate leaf. The title draws a connection to cattle branding; the copyright brand in a similar way constrains the free movement of the leaf and defines the basis of its valuation.

    The series examines the associated ideas of ownership, authorship, and branding of nature using botanical subject matter as surrogates to investigate human intervention in nature. It supposes a legal sys­tem built around protecting and promoting privatization of our natural endowment in its many meanings. The work is presented with a pseudo-scientific voice, in specimen-box frames showcasing images with falsely objective microscopic detail. The viewer is pushed into the role of principle investigator.

    The work is fake nature branded with the signs and symbols of com­mercially recognized systems of valuation. Subtexts of the work are authenticity and privacy. The work investigates the myriad questions surrounding the notion of what should belong to the “commons” and what should not; it might be seen as a variant on the issues raised by the “creative commons” movement.

Technical Information:

    The medium of this work is defined as digital artifact, instead of the generic term, mixed media. Each piece consists of a printed image and a more sculptural presentation concept. The images themselves are collages created through scans of physical objects composited as layers from multiple data sources. In short, they are typically fictional, and no camera is used. They are output as paintjet prints on archival paper.

    Once printed, the image is incorporated into a specimen-box presentation format with sculptural elements conceptually tied to the image. Digital artifact as medium description suggest the contradiction of dual genesis, dependent on both the digital and the analog. It is an artifact in the anthropological sense (made by humans) and artifact in the electronic sense. In the end, they are not exactly photos, not exactly prints, not completely digital, and not exactly sculpture. They are digital artifacts.