New York, NY- Dia Art Foundation announces the launch of FOXGLOVE: digitalis purpurea, a project for the web by Irish artist Dorothy Cross, the latest in Dia's ongoing series of online artworks. The project can be seen at www.diaart.org/cross beginning December 5. An opening party will be held on Monday, December 5, 2005, from 6 to 8 pm on the fifth floor at 535 West 22nd Street, New York City.
For Foxglove: digitalis purpurea, Cross considers the condition of altered sight that can be a side-effect of the drug digitalis, derived from the wild foxglove flower found commonly in Ireland and Europe. When children pluck the bell-shaped blooms to wear on their fingers like thimbles, as Cross did as a child, they are cautioned against licking their fingers afterwards lest they go blind. The flower itself can be lethal if ingested, but digitalis, most commonly prescribed as a heart stimulant, can have the side effect of making people see in blue. For Cross, the notion of blindness, or altered vision, is an apt subject of investigation for the medium of the web, where one is reliant on technology to generate images. Vulnerable to failure, the internet is rapidly becoming a central interface to every kind of information, a kind of "meta-vision" as fragile as sight.
Cross lives in Connemara, a beautiful rocky coast in the West of Ireland. For Foxglove: digitalis purpurea she videotaped a young girl who lives nearby as she interacted with the flowers, mixing footage of the girl with images of the flowers in a format that allows the viewer to navigate the stages of altered vision. The images, which are randomly generated by the website and are controlled by the navigator via mouse-clicks and rollovers, are accompanied by an audio soundtrack of the girl reading about foxgloves from a botanical book written in 1931.
Dorothy Cross was born in 1956 in Cork, Ireland. She studied at the Crawford Municipal School of Art in Cork, then at Leicester Polytechnic in England, and she received and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Cross has participated in numerous group shows internationally including the 1993 Venice Biennial where she represented Ireland; the 1997 Istanbul Biennial and the 1998 Liverpool Biennial. Earlier this year a large-scale survey of her work, which ranges from sculpture to video to large-scale public projects, was held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. She's been showing on a regular basis with Kerlin Gallery in Dublin since 1990 and Frith Street Gallery in London since 1994.
Artists' Projects for the Web
Dia initiated a series of web-based works in early 1995, becoming one of the first arts organizations to foster the use of the world wide web as an artistic and conceptual medium. Dia's collection of web projects currently numbers twenty-three. Previous projects include Ana Torfs' Approximations/Contradictions, Allen Ruppersberg's The New Five Foot Shelf (2004); Marijke van Warmerdam's And then the chimney smokes (2003); Glenn Ligon's Annotations (2003); Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied's Zombie and Mummy (2002); Jeanne Dunning's Tom Thumb: Notes Towards A Case History (2002); James Buckhouse and Holly Brubach's Tap (2002); Shimabuku's Moon Rabbit (2001); Feng Mengbo's Phantom Tales (2001); Stephen Vitiello's Tetrasomia (2000); Diller + Scofidio's Refresh (1998); and Komar and Melamid's The Most Wanted Paintings (1995). All may be visited at Dia's website, www.diaart.org.
Funding for this project has been provided the New York State Council on the Arts. Complimentary Belgian beer at the launch party will be courtesy of Duvel.
Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. A nonprofit institution, Dia is internationally renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects. Dia presents public programs and its permanent collection of works from the 1960s through the present at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, in Beacon, New York, within a 300,000 square-foot former printing facility on the Hudson River. Dia plans to relocate its acclaimed contemporary exhibition program in New York City to the future entrance to the High Line park in Lower Manhattan. The Foundation also maintains long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island.
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