Foundations

videogame installation
2012

Arrow keys move, space bar jumps.

This terrain is based on a digital elevation model of the Willamette Valley. When exhibited, the controls consist of a trackball for looking and steering, buttons for moving and leaping, and a dial to change the field of view. Here online, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move, click the mouse to jump, and zoom in and out with the mouse scroll wheel. Without clear goals or objectives, it functions as an imaginary space inviting exploration of questions embedded in distinctions between map and territory or real and virtual. As in much of my work, the landscape image is performed through movement and vision, placing central importance on a mobile observer as co-creator of experience.

Foundations is a site-specific videogame; it was at its most meaningful within the context of the 2011/2012 Western Oregon University Art Faculty Biennial exhibition in the Cannon Gallery of Art. The title refers to both the concept of “foundations” in art education (the pattern surfacing the ground and sky is derived from an assignment in the department’s Beginning Design: 2D course) and my reflections on recently returning to the region. I was born and raised in western Oregon. This place and many of the people here have shaped and informed fundamental aspects of my being.