Since the advent of motion pictures in the 19th century, screens have offered a dynamic interface between lived human experience and a lifelike illusion of reality. These two-dimensional planes have given us access to objects and experiences far beyond the limits of time and space. In doing so, they have simultaneously dematerialized the world and framed the boundaries of our imagination.
The division between the “real” and “virtual”—that is, tangible things and the spectral images we encounter on screens—has always seemed relatively clear. In the 21st century, however, this distinction has begun to erode; screens and their seductive images have proven to be transformative to our perception of environments, objects and ourselves, while taking on a presence and palpability akin to “solid” objects.
Since at least the 1960s, artists have mined this unsteady relationship between object and illusion—between sculpture and screen—though never more so than in recent years. Depth of Perception brings together the work of fifteen contemporary artists to explore how visual perception and physical existence have been impacted by the screen. Whether acting as frames , mirrors or interfaces for the world, the works in Depth of Perception suggest a state of material flux, one where surface and depth blur, and the tangible and the illusory move ever closer together.
Installation shots by Toni Hafkenscheid.