COUNTER

Installation, 2013

Anthony Murphy (IE)

Counter is a video-mapped structure designed to trick the viewer’s perception as a modern, animated version of the technique of trompe l’oeil, which translates from French as “deceive the eye”. Trompe l’oeil is an art technique that uses realistic imagery in order to create the illusion that the object exists in three dimensions. Through the projection of digital imagery onto physical objects, static structures are given the illusion of moving light sources, transformed geometry, reflection, and transparency—before reconfiguring and reconstructing themselves in a variety of new possibilities and permutations. The work aims to temporarily suspend the viewer’s reality by forging relationships between the digital and physical elements of the piece that are at once symbiotic and contradictory. As the work evolves it carries out a number of alterations, the purpose of which is to encourage the viewer to question their experience of the work by attempting to blur the line between a physical and digital definition. The nature of three-dimensional video mapping has led to research into anamorphosis in painting, Gestalt principles of perception, as well as trompe l’oeil and forced perspective. All of this research feeds into Counter in a bid to upset the viewer’s visual experience, putting what is seen against what is known and not revealing any way as to how to reconcile the two. The digital and the physical elements of the work represent two ends of the spectrum but as the work progresses the dependence of each of these elements upon the other becomes apparent and the two enter into a symbiotic relationship, with the surfaces of the physical being explored, in depth and detail, by the digital.

Artist's Statement

Inspired as much by paranoia as by paradox, my work investigates the potential of structures to create false experiences of non-existent objects by layering illusion upon the real. In attempting to draw the viewer into questioning their perception, I employ trick perspective and fake lighting created in 2D and 3D animation packages. Using in-silico light-sources and geometry, it is my aim to challenge the audience’s experience of real world objects, presenting them with a variety of alternative structures instead of just one static, material object. Video mapping is an animated progression from painting techniques such as trompe l’oeil and anamorphism—both of which are techniques which rely heavily on the viewer’s position in relation to the work, as well as the viewer’s willingness to be deceived.