Lilah Fowler’s work examines the common, mutable languages that inform how we interpret our surroundings. Sculptures, images and other elements draw on sources that include the planning of natural and urban environments and their architectural design values, combining into responsive and intricate installations. The aesthetics and reinterpretations of modern architecture, highway-side infrastructure, the iconography and syntax of road travel and the politics of contemporary society’s increasing proliferation of ‘non-places’ are brought into consideration. These non-places can be viewed as ambiguous, but productive and critical, gaps within contemporary society, and as a deliberate contrast to the pervasive accessibility and certainty of an increasingly digitised society.
These ideas have evolved in Fowler’s work towards the consideration of technology and the contemporary landscape as inherently combined, within the sense of space that is created by our emerging digital culture: the cross-sections of car culture, the aesthetics of new power systems, and the visible and hidden infrastructures that underwrite our current technologies. The artworks that fall out of these research interests contemplate the often contradictory understanding we have of contemporary landscape, when it is shadowed or paired with technology and virtual tools that are designed to aid our experience and navigation of our physical world. For instance, the mind and physical balance that occurs from the transformed global perspective that satellite maps give to our occupation of the space the under our feet. Such a balance hovers over a vast system of infrastructure, miles of cabling and data centres, often placed in remote desert locations. The core feature of this research is of finding new shapes in looking at how the digital and physical collide. Within this theme, these architectural structures are compared with the materiality of the digital world; examining code as language and equating this to ‘real’-space, suggesting an analogy where space can be read both as text and passage.
A research summary can be found at: iris.ucl.ac.uk
Lilah Fowler is represented by Galerie Gisela Clement
The Shape of Things by Jonathan Griffin
‘Maps were made that showed places that still did not exist. There were paintings of the world as people wished it could be, and then there were photographs that did the same thing. Later, there were pictures made by satellites many hundreds of miles above the earth. Some didn’t look like pictures at all, but like graphs of data that had to be unscrambled into three-dimensional topographies.’
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Commonplace by Orit Gat
‘What traces does the past leave on a city? The architecture, street names, conservation areas and landmarks are all visible marks of time on the urban environment. But there’s another thing, not as visible, more personal, possibly even harder to shake: memory….At first, it looks simple—an exacting placement of neon lights in rows alongside the windows of One Bedford Avenue—but it’s actually a complex data channel: the straight lights and square windows form a binary code of 0s and 1s, representing an encrypted text.’
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