Maps of Placelessness uses multimedia to represent the intersection of landscape, technology, culture, and history. The depiction of placelessness is mapped through the continual overlap of landscape imagery and digitally-manipulated forms. In result, these maps relate to the way a technology of a particular time and culture informs the way humans navigate place. While places are vessels of both personal and collective experience, placelessness is the homogenization of place, or the separation of culture and place. Places lose their sense of place through time-space compression, or rather, the internet, increased communication, and travel.
Through multimedia, objects can exist in between media, and do not necessarily need to be placed within the categories of a particular media, such as photography, print, or video. Information from particular places is accessible on different levels. For instance, a found object from a specific place may be presented, in addition to a projection of a video of a digital scan of a that object. Thus, the original place can never be experienced directly. The history of technology and media is referenced in the work through the use of materials and processes which link to important developments since the late 19th century. Multimedia is informed by the rhizome, a non-hierarchical structure based on complex root systems in plants. All points, or nodes, in the structure are connected so that there is no fixed beginning nor end. Rhizomes, like maps, are continually changing to represent new information.
A prominent aspect of multimedia in the work is the translation of visual media to sound, or more broadly, the relationship between music and art. The merging of these two realms is of particular importance to my personal history in music. Learning to play the cello at a very young age has influenced the way I perceive the world, allowing synesthetic responses to the environment. The musical compositions in the work rely on colors, shapes, and textures in a particular location which then are translated to notes and rhythms.
On a larger scale, the importance of multimedia and the rhizome relate to the breaking down of categorizations and hierarchies. Both socially and politically, these systems attempt to classify, to filter, and to simplify, despite the increasing complexity of our world. Although the relationship between humans and technology has existed since the invention of tools, rapid increase of technology since the Industrial Revolution and into the 21st century has complicated these categorizations. The distinctions between humans and tools, natural and artificial, and real and representational are blurred. Collectively, the work presents personal and cultural experiences of place to model complex systems.