<em>Smoke</em> (still)

Mark Napier
Smoke (still), 2007
Custom software (color, silent), computer
Dimensions variable, landscape orientation

A symbol of the human desire to monumentalize ideas in physical form, the Empire State Building is a subject of Mark Napier’s artwork in the past four years. This icon of American hegemony is key to exploring shifting structures of power, specifically the transition from steel to software as the medium of power in our time.

The free-floating virtual skyscraper appearing in Mark Napier’s recent work is governed by rules that do not apply to the natural world, a signal of our transition as a civilization. In Smoke, a generative software installation projected on the gallery wall, the Empire State Building appears to soften and melt, writhing almost organically, then struggle to return to it’s original form.

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