What’s the Boundary that Divides Human Beings from Animals and from Robots?
Donald Hanson, San Francisco, California/USA — Okt 24, 2016
The setting is an alternate reality- it looks just like our own and could be far future, it could be today. The dilapidated remains of a grocery store stand before you, hardly recognizable. But you can make out a bronze plaque at your feet, covered in dirt but still remaining. “Grand Opening Soon! Wednesday September 14th.”
Temporarily Permanent is a series of webpages that alter the typical time-based expectations of the objects depicted. Embedded in a public walkway an engraved brick reads “Garage Sale Saturday Sunday →”, a sticky note hanging crooked on the window: “Here Lies an Old Friend, 1968-2017.”
The pieces draw comparisons between the very permanent and the very momentary. How is a tombstone the same as a Snapchat message? How is a graffiti scratch tag the same as a hardcover book? The pieces examine the human nature of leaving a mark on the world and asks the viewer to consider the implications of this desire. In an increasingly digital world how do we decide what we want to leave behind? Can the temporary mementos we create become permanent? Do the monuments that we traditionally leave behind still work in the way they once did?
Each webpage in this series will depict a matchup of item and message with some form of interactivity native to the web. The concept is exploratory, and I hope to draw further connections upon starting the project.
Donald Hanson is a digital artist and creative coder interested in making interactive tools for new media. He has a degree in Visual Communication Design from SFSU and created the VJ software gifSlap. Some of his recent projects include making a sequencer for minimalist electronic music, coding a web browser that only crawls Tumblr for images, and creating a bookmarklet that scrambles website layouts. He has released over 10 albums of electronic music, and cofounded the netlabel Gridwalk Media.