Canadian Art - - Spotlight -

Hal­i­fax artist Anne Macmil­lan uses tech­nolo­gies of vi­sion and map­ping to ex­plore the nat­u­ral world, work­ing to com­pli­cate our un­der­stand­ing of both na­ture and the tools we use to ob­serve it. In her on­go­ing se­ries Lit­tle Lake (2012–), Macmil­lan swims the perime­ter of each of 20 lakes named “Lit­tle Lake” in the Hal­i­fax area, track­ing her swims with photographs and GPS. In the re­sult­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion, Macmil­lan uses the points of the GPS record­ing to struc­ture and spa­tially map her writ­ings on the swim, while also con­trast­ing the of­fi­cial perime­ter of the lake de­fined by govern­ment doc­u­ments and satel­lite images with the perime­ter as it can be ex­pe­ri­enced by a body—with edges al­tered by fallen branches, chang­ing wa­ter lev­els, ero­sion and veg­e­ta­tion. Many of her works use 3-D mod­el­ling and an­i­ma­tion to ex­am­ine the dis­tant or mi­cro­scopic: “I’m in­ter­ested in think­ing about ideas of prox­im­ity,” she says. “The space be­tween a thing and my­self can be­come col­lapsed dig­i­tally—there’s a loss of in­for­ma­tion in this process, and there’s an asym­met­ri­cal re­la­tion­ship.” In her video works Walk­ing with Worms (2014) and For the Trees (2013), the act of mod­el­ling takes on meta­phoric value as a form of forced struc­tur­ing—fore­ground­ing the dis­tanc­ing ef­fects of tech­nol­ogy and era­sure of bod­ily pres­ence. De­spite the hy­per­real images pre­sented, this en­hanced vi­sion leaves only a hol­low shell, and her sub­jects van­ish upon close ob­ser­va­tion.

Anne Macmil­lan Lures (still) 2015 Dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tion 6 min 21 sec

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