Does unadulterated nature exist any more? Can we access it without technology? These are the questions artist Mark Dorf asks us to consider with his new series of photographs called //_PATH. Using digital photography, collage, 3D rendering, and “primitive 3D scanning technology,” Dorf argues that “digital technology has been integrated into nearly every part of our lives and will only continue to become more present in our daily routines.”
Based in Brooklyn, Dorf purposefully seeks out “new landscapes and environments to immerse himself within.” But he really photographs these new landscapes in order to demonstrate how “we have become dependent upon technology to help aid us in our navigation of our every day, and how it affects our perception of the world around us all — socially, emotionally, and physically.”
Dorf uses “strict geometric and synthetic forms,” contrasting them against natural landscapes.
He sees this a “comparison of languages.” The natural landscape is the “most ancient of symbolic languages: it is the original set of symbols that birthed all of modern language; it is the original text,” while the digital forms layered on top are those used to create “meaning and manipulation in mass media.” Through his pictures, he seems to say the Internet-based language is now ever-present in the ancient natural one.
In the end, Dorf seems to believe the integration of nature and technology is inevitable. After all, technology really is a human and, therefore, natural enterprise. He says it’s “not about logging on or off, but rather living within and creating harmony with the realms and constructs of the Internet.”
Image credit: Mark Dorf