Scene 1: White Sands
An expansive ivory-white blanket of gypsum dunes through which undulating ripples and forms emerge, and over which an impressive sky can sometimes move at fast speeds. This tranquil scenery was once home to high grade weapons testing, but now within this artwork the movement and changes happen gracefully through the interaction of the viewer.
All elements within the postcard-like scene succumb to the interaction of the viewer, including complete control over sand dune forms, and the passage of time.
Scene 2: Joshua National Tree Park
Giant branching yuccas, commonly known as Joshua Trees, inhabit the sandy plains of the magnificent Joshua Tree National Park which is sandwiched between the Mojave and Colorado desert systems. The landscape is also studded with the massive granite monoliths and rock piles. These fascinating photogenic and geological phenomena are combined within the artwork to create a surreal landscape in which unexpected events, wildlife, and weather conditions respond to the playful touch of the viewer.
Scene 3: Monument Valley
Monument Valley has for the past century stood as a symbol of the American West. Within this third scene of the series, the landscape is centred on the rock pillars, including the most iconic spire of all named ‘the totem’. This landscape will bear witness to awe-inspiring weather conditions that are influences by the behaviour of the viewer standing before the artwork.
In a play on scale and power, the viewer is able to orchestrate the awesome power of nature’s sun, wind, and storms, and interact with floral growths an wind swept tumbleweeds.
Scene 4: A Concpiracy Unfolds
The fourth and final scene of Deserted is somewhat embroiled in controversy. On first appearance, the scenery seems to be a fourth American desert location. However, as the interaction within the scene is explored it becomes clear that the landscape is in fact the lunar landscape of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Upon closer inspection, one will discover a number of anomalous artifices that leads one to question the depicted scene. Playing upon the moon landing conspiracy theory of whether NASA really did land on the moon, a number of key ‘pieces of evidence ‘ from the conspiracy theorists can be uncovered within the otherwise hyper-realistic scene.
Series: Surreal, alluring, unattainable; just a few ways to describe the world’s deserts. Their charm and complexity are one of the planets truly unique natural creations. Dominic Harris has taken his characteristic play on reality, depicting scenes that at first might appear to be windows into the truly remarkable eco-systems, wildlife and natural occurrences within the desert. Through exploration of the artwork the viewer will become drawn into Harris’ romanticised surrealness, interrogating what lies below the seemingly pictorial study of these fascinating landscapes. Interaction is central to this artwork, and with the touch or movement of the viewer, the elements within each landscape respond and interact — from the smallest creatures to the largest of weather systems. ‘Deserted’ is composed of four distinct scenes portraying three very different deserts in North America: White Sands New Mexico, Joshua Tree National Park, and Monument Valley. In the fourth scene challenges Harris plays upon the NASA lunar landing conspiracy theories in a landscape that could be either on earth or on the moon.
Signature: Signed certificate by artist
Image rights: Priveekollektie & Dominic Harris
PAD London 2016; The Salon Art + Design New York 2016; Art Miami 2016
About Dominic Harris
Since establishing Cinimod Studio, a multi-disciplinary, London-based practice in 2007, artist and designer Dominic Harris has gained international attention for his digitally-driven works of interactive art. Harris has devoted recent years to seamlessly blending natural phenomena with complex code through integrated electronics and innovative fabrication techniques. Inspired by the architectural interventions of James Turrell and Dan Flavin, Dominic offers viewers a sublime experience of their surrounding environment in his surreal installations that wryly illuminate the effect of digital culture on human perception in the information age. One of the artist’s most ambitious pieces invited participants to wildly gesture or attempt to change their own heart rate, which would in turn light up the London Eye.
British, b. 1976, based in London, United Kingdom