(I think it’s real even though I know it’s not): Response to Hyperobjects | Jessica Mairena

Bryan Meador’s Hyperobjects are a collection of mutated representations of nature specifically designed to play with viewer perception. It absolutely succeeds. When viewing these images, my eyes and brain are immediately displaced by what I see – though I know these images are digital, I have to fight the urge to touch them. I can’t help but think they have a physical presence. The “hyperobject” in Still Life 8e.27. is such an example – despite understanding that this acutely crisp edged leaf has been manufactured and then smeared with digital color from a not quite homogeneously mixed color palette, its suspension in the digital space as if it was the final leaf on a twig, only being held by a gentle billow of wind, makes me want to pluck it. Yes. Just through placement and shadow alone, the artist has evoked a gratuitously decadent narrative in this leaf that has made me want to pluck it like I’ve never seen a leaf before.

And in a way, I haven’t. Within the world of this series of objects, they are not simply objects, but are “hyper” objects; they are mutated to be their most intense version. We do not see this kind of lushness in everyday nature. There is a richness and vibrancy to these works that makes them oddly satisfying to visually consume. But even that isn’t enough. They are so tantalizing that I desperately want the whole sensory experience – to pluck the leaf, crush it with my hand to hear that crinkle of fall, then let the residue gently fall away from my hand. What this artist has in effect done is a kind of magic – he has created the longing of the three dimensional from just two dimensional manipulation. He has changed my view of the capacity of digital objects.

When looking at these objects, I cannot help but feel a sense of wonder. If I were a digital explorer, I would go looking for Meador’s landscapes.

 

See Meador’s piece here.

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Jessica Mairena is a mixed media artist who currently attends the University of Richmond. Their work primarily focuses on the exploratory integration of conceptual texts, painting, and sculpture.

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