The engine is a metaphor that surrounds us, as present in the bodies of airplanes and cars as in the search engines used to access information daily, to the relentless grind of the systems of capital, the realities generated by these forces, and the possibility of the emergence of new realities when these systems fail. ‘the engine’ exposes the connections between how the virtual world informs material reality, the ways in which ideas formally explored through acts of simulation and modeling in gaming. The exhibition’s title alludes to ‘game engines’ which create the internal architecture of video games - are also applied to real-world circumstances. This solo show by Yuri Pattison at The Douglas Hyde Gallery comprises a series of newly commissioned artworks in an altering and immersive installation that spans across the two levels of Gallery.
At the centre is sun_set pro_vision (2020- 2021), an ongoing work which generates a sun simulation against an abstracted seascape in real time presented across five large video wall screens positioned on dexion1 support structures. The central screen is a top down view of the ocean, while the four surrounding screens present views from the angles “true” north, south, east, and west. The sun simulation recalls the multiple associations of sunsets and sunrises across histories - from longstanding pagan or religious rituals, to the dawning of a new age, often heralded in marketing campaigns. The seascape is illuminated by an accelerated version that matches the sun’s movement in Dublin. The image on each screen is rendered live by a game engine, with variations of every aspect - colours, waves, movement and atmospheric thickness - influenced by data fed from an environmental air quality monitor, called the uRADMonitor.
This altering seascape is a modelled reality; mirroring, abstracting and heightening unseen aspects of the physical world. The greater the volume of carbon dioxide, micro-particles, radiation and other pollutants recorded within the uRADMonitor, the more spectacular a scene is rendered.
The everchanging rich violets and piercing yellows that can be displayed at any given moment recall the mesmerising and multi-instagrammed sunsets seen in heavily polluted metropolises around the world in recent years; the “beauty” of how polluted our world is becoming and how the infatuation with the new creates a collective blindness. Significantly, the title of the work, sun_set pro_vision refers to a known legal clause that specifies a particular law will cease to have effect on a specific date. ‘Sunsetting’ is a term often used in professional technology circles when a feature or website is phased out in software lifecycles. Both of these denominations lead us to envisage time as being ‘up’, and, in turn, towards the unsustainability of our modern world.