Combining custom software, video projection, and a sculptural element, Landslide addresses geography, contested borders, and political power.
Landslide (2004) is a colorful real-time animation of a shape-shifting map projected on a sandbox. For Israeli-born artist Shirley Shor, Landslide is a metaphor for territorial conflicts in the Middle East and beyond.
Combining custom software, video projection, and a sculptural element, Landslide is a new media installation that addresses geography, contested borders, and political power. Landslide consists of a square grid of blinking color cells generated by code. Beginning each sequence with a palette of sixteen colors and thousands of color cells, the map gradually transforms as cells “conquer” neighboring areas. When two colors ultimately dominate the grid, the program stops and resumes. Landslide operates on an infinite loop in which each cycle produces a different map and a different visual experience.
As a native of Israel, Shor is conscious of how quickly and easily borders change, and Landslide refers specifically to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The sandbox mimics the contours of the Middle Eastern terrain and alludes to the notion that children learn the rules of war in the playground. Shor states, “For me, space (or ‘to make a place’) is a political act. To draw a line is to divide; to include and to exclude. In my recent work I’m shifting from the idea of line as a limit, and from the act of transgression to the idea of liquid architecture that consists of lines in motion.”
Shirley Shor (b. 1971) is part of an emerging generation of new-media artists who are redefining how computers can be utilized as vehicles for artistic production. Her work has been exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum, Orange County Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (California), Ars Electronica (Austria), and Herzliya Museum of Art (Israel). She is represented in New York by Moti Hasson Gallery.
Landslide is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Dateline Israel: New Photography and Video Art.