Note — Feb 21, 2021

Tim Portlock on Software Cities and the New American Sublime

Seen in → No.161

Source → artforum.com/interviews/tim-portlock-on-sof...

Very short piece at Artforum, which I’m sharing because it’s an artist’s practice that touches on topics we’ve looked at before; gaming engines used for other applications, hints of the Metaverse, speaking the futures we want, and another “sublime.” (See: The sublime, new models of the sublime, systemic sublime, logistical sublime.)

I wanted to address that through the landscape genre, and show how landscape painting is a kind of mapmaking—demarcating the qualities of familiar and unfamiliar places, inventing ways of characterizing the unknown. […]

I definitely took this idea from computer culture, but I’m also trying to draw a parallel between the way data is understood and how artists who made landscape images in the nineteenth century were selective—and omissive—in order to propagandize notions of progress and “greatness. […]

I think that seeing prismatic skies in the reflections of those buildings says something about how we’re now experiencing the sublime.

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