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If in virtual environments during the first years of Virtual Art one often witnessed the use of gateways that caused abrupt crossovers, what one experiences in the image spaces of «Osmose» are osmotic crossovers from one sphere of images to the next, always aware of how an old sphere deteriorates and then amalgamates with a newer one. This, of course, entails calculating both image spaces at exactly the same time. [...] Two worlds of text parenthetically accompany this simulacrum of nature: on the one side, the 20,000 lines of the programming code that produces the work, which in the artificial world arranges itself to an enormous column awaiting inspection. On the other side, there is a room filled with fragments of texts, focussed on expressions that appear in the study of nature, technology and the body. The huge programming code fails to substantially lessen the overwhelming impression. But, at times, the binary fundament of the image space is exposed, and one consciously perceives the roots of the illusion in this way.
The inconsistency between technology and nature that Char Davies seems to develop as the theme in the work «Osmose» (osmosis), and in the succeeding work «Ephémère,» is explained only in part by an interest in economy. The work’s exceptional quality lies more so in experiencing time aesthetically—a time repeatedly brought to a halt through the process-like shifting and intermingling of transparent and (only in the approach) concrete visual elements that exist in a conceptual balance with the acoustic elements and a specific way of moving through the data space. The attempted standstill in data space is nevertheless laborious, since the breathing interface continually collects data that causes a change of position. This constant need for repositioning within the dimensions of time and space creates an aesthetic experience that irritates the ideas of time and space as experienced in reality. In the data worlds of Char Davies, light and speed are the only parameters used for drawing references – so our practiced sense of orientation, normally used to lead us along a wall or through a door, no longer applies here.
Susanne Ackers (also the author of all the following descriptions of Char Davies’ works)
(cf. Susanne Ackers, «Consciousness, Art and Media – Reflections on Mediated Experience,» in: Paavo Pylkkänen / Vadén Tere [eds.], «Dimensions of Conscious Experience,» Amsterdam / Philadelphia, 2001, pp. 179–189. Printed copy of a workshop article for the University of Skövde, Sweden, October 1997.)