Fine Art Photography Daily

Patrick Millard

Patrick Millard thinks about photography in totally unique ways. Growing up in Michigan, and now living and teaching in Pittsburgh, Patrick is making photographic work, new media, and sound projects that address ideas about media, digital culture, technology and the interactions that human beings have within their own synthetic environment. He writes an interesting blog, Formatting Gaia, where a recent post explored the idea of web based creativity: Can working in virtual communities be more effective than face to face cooperation? Patrick has a host of exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe this year and next, in addition to an artist-in-residence at Syneria Ranch in Santa Fe in January.

I thought it best to let you read Patrick’s biography directly from his site:
In 2008, Patrick began to show his work inside the virtual simulation world Second Life; exhibitions that advance beyond two-dimension work and expand his ideas of simulation, virtual reality, and the synthetic future where the physical object gives way to its virtual counterpart and its presence is valued entirely for its idea rather than its place in space.

This transition toward a more prominent virtual presence as an artist eventually led to the inevitable. In 2009, shortly after becoming a regular exhibitor in the virtual environment, Patrick embarked upon his first photographic series that used the environment and society of Second Life as its subject matter and conceptual theme. Virtual Lens is an artistic and anthropological investigation into the life of the avatar, landscape of the sim environment, and experience of the virtual world. Patrick continues to photograph and exhibit his portfolios as well as spend time with fellow avatars in Second Life.

2010 brought a new role for Patrick as the curator of several exhibitions. He has curated exhibitions for The VASA Project’s Online Gallery and Turing Gallery in Second Life that reflect upon digital culture in the world today. Topics such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, renewable energies, gene therapy, cyber culture, and other posthuman and transhuman philosophies are the focus of these exhibitions.

During the month of June, 2010 Patrick was artist in residence at the Biosphere 2. During his time in residence he began work on photographic, sound, and digital media portfolios. These efforts have yielded a fully developed photographic portfolio of the Biosphere 2 structure and an album to be released on Innova Recordings in 2011. The unique condition of Biosphere 2 attracted Patrick to the residency. As a natural environment that was hermetically sealed and self-sustaining while simultaneously being powered by more than two acres of machinery, the B2 environment played on Patrick’s continuing theme of organic and synthetic mergers.

Images from Formatting Gaia, Stage l

Formatting Gaia: The cycle between human beings and the natural world has been transformed into a new formation that inspires intricate modes of transmitting and receiving information. Through the development of modern technologies human beings have begun to unfold the possibilities of telematic and cybernetic systems of communication. Earth is no longer a simple exchange of biological entities, but a more complex system that employs digital signal to mediate our existence within it. These images explore an alternate version of the human existence than what we have know it to be in our short history.

Images from Formatting Gaia, Stage II

Images from Formatting Gaia, Stage III

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