Over the last year, Melbourne-based visual artist Joe Hamilton has been building out a digital work called Indirect Flights, which grew out of a three-month residency with The Moving Museum, a roving art residency and group exhibition platform. The project, which fashions parallels between geographical and digital topographies, began in 2014 when Hamilton spent several months criss-crossing various landscapes in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Hamilton recorded his own visual material during his travels and combined it with collected found imagery he discovered online. Working from these raw materials, he began crafting various digital collage works, shown both at The Moving Museum’s group exhibition in Istanbul and in his first solo exhibition at Melbourne art space Fort Delta.
For the latest iteration of Indirect Flights, Hamilton takes his meticulously layered collage work online as an interactive artwork. Similar to his Hyper Geography (2011) and Regular Division (2014) videos, Hamilton fashions a digital layer cake of satellite images, photographs, organic textures such as brushstrokes, and raw materials like rocks and chain link fence, forming it into an endless, navigable loop with something close to three-dimensionality.
This illusion of depth is helped along because Hamilton makes the layers move at different speeds through the parallax scrolling effect. All of this is then set to J.G. Biberkopf’s sound design, which features sonic textures from jet engines to in-flight announcement bells, footsteps, rain, fire and what sound like video games and various analog and digital machines.
“This shifting composition is an attempt to depict contemporary landscape, in a moment defined by the proliferation of digital technologies and the global transportation of bodies, commodities, and goods,” Hamilton writes on the Indirect Flights website.
While people can visit the site on their laptop, using a trackpad or mouse to navigate through Hamilton’s topography of the imagination, it’s probably best experienced on a smartphone or tablet; preferably one with a big screen and great resolution. On a mobile device, Indirect Flight’s three-dimensional illusion and endless loop become something much more tactile than the average new media artwork.
See more of Joe Hamilton’s artwork at his website.