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Create Your Own Composite Paradise With The Paradiseator

This device lets you collage 486 clichéd escapist images into one surreal vision of paradise.
August 7, 2014, 7:00pm

The allure of paradise has always been impossible to resist— the symbolic pina colada, sabal palm tree, and silhouetted aeroplane are almost sacred at this point— but as artist Ralph Kistler notices, this vacation vocabulary has become part of a collective, synthetic vision of paradise.

Kistler has created the Paradiseator, a custom image-mixing console that allows users to collage their own over-saturated pictures of paradise. Featuring over 486 clichéd clippings that can be rotated, enlarged and shifted around the screen, categories such as ‘lovers,’ 'skyscrapers,' ‘temples,' 'fast n furious,' 'nature and ice cream,’ users can composite everything from tents, to lobsters, to mansions, Mt. Rushmore, and more.

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In the project's documentation, Kistler is critical of vacation culture for the artificiality it presents: Contemporary leisure sites have created an environment to stimulate an universal lifestyle experience. Shopping Malls, Hotel Resorts and Tourist Cities are the Heterotopias of the late modernity: artificial places full of copy-and-paste stereotypes. The yearning associated with this allegory of a happy and carefree life is the ideal background to promote consumerism. The Paradiseator invites the user to interact with these patterns and create his own surreal version of paradise.

Satirizing our contemporary landscape, Kistler holds true to the activist opinions of the original collage artists. Citing Dada and Fluxus as influences, and the copy-paste aesthetics of John Heartfield, with the utilization of open source technology, 49 buttons, 4 image controllers, some multiplexers, and a microcontroller, Kistler has turned collaging into an automatized process wherein the viewer can dissect their own visions of paradise. Could reassembling this sort of 'meta-life' one day relieve the tensions surrounding these semiotic objects? We'll think about it on our next vacation.

Make sure to check out Ralph Kistler's past work, including his kinetic light installations, and the projection sculpture where he jumps off of his own hands.

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