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Shelf Life – Nov. 15

Interzone002: images and animation created with code by Laura De Decker @SPL: 776 DeD  

There is only one book in the library of the new campus of the University of Waterloo in Stratford, and this is it. (Or, this was it, at the time of this review.) Published in 2010, it is a collection of abstract prints that artist Laura de Decker created with computer software, Visual Basic 6.0, and these colourful, almost sculptural images are currently decorating the interior of the new campus.

The artists’ theory is that there is no real difference between the arts as vocational or practical, and she works with what are traditionally opposing things, like spherical and Cartesian coordinates (see her “Target Sphere,” for instance). She uses 16,777,216 different shades of colour in her works – some are lost in the reproducing process of book printing and other shade differences are nearly impossible to discern, but each work is a marvel in which to get lost for a time.

Some images may remind one of Mondrian, others of Warhol, and most have elements of optical illusion, like Escher. Many would not be out of place in a psychedelic club, especially when viewed in a series, they are that hypnotic. To satisfy your inner computer-programmer, the code used to create the art accompanies each image, like the context notes one would find under paintings in a gallery.

Go visit the campus to enjoy the full-scale renditions at the new campus, and if you find them too intense at that size (or want a sneak peek before you go) check them out in the book, which can be found at http://spl.blibliocommons.ca under the tag Shelf Life Reviewed.

Robyn Godfrey librarian

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