2018-2020 > Sideroads in Stereoscope (Animation)

Sideroads in Stereoscope
Sideroads in Stereoscope

Project Synopsis:

Sideroads in Stereoscope (looping animated gif, duration variable, 2020) combines imagery of Iceland and Sicily in side-by-side landscapes. The title borrows from the book of poetry “Sideroads” by the late Icelandic poet Jonas Thorbjarnarson who died in Italy in 2012. The looping gif consists of close to 200 postage-stamp sized toned cyanotypes of the Icelandic and Sicilian landscape that bear uncanny resemblances to one another. Often shot by the artist through the windows of moving cars or while walking in remote areas like lava tubes, basalt caves and rocky beaches, these quickly-framed images are presented side-by side as if they were two views of the same scene from slightly different perspectives, as would be done to create a stereoscope, a photographic effect that fools the eye into superimposing two scenes, resulting in the sensation of seeing an image in 3-D. The flickering pace, distortion and small scale assist in putting the focus on the similarity of the forms rather than the details of the two landscapes, which, devoid of their natural colors, could be confused one for the other. This mimics the sensations of dislocation experienced by the artist during an intense sequence of consecutive trips between the two volcanic island terrains in a single year.

She held the persistent question in mind: how much do these mediated landscapes overlap - are they even remotely contiguous? The two landscapes represent an elemental life cycle. Iceland is nascent terrain while the Sicilian landscape is anciently volcanic. Iceland reveals what Sicily may have looked like at its birth, and Sicily hints what Iceland may become. In the artist’s attempt to transit from her intimately familiar landscape to what could be perceived as an unknown and alien landscape, she found that, in the aggregate, they were uncannily the same. In "Sideroads in Stereoscope", she invites the viewer to suspend disbelief and be transported from one place to another.