In thinking about the trace of an act, philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty recognized that our experience of the world has an inescapably ‘embodied’ quality, not reducible to mental accounts, which can be vicariously extended through specific instrumentation. If one maps or explores the spatial configurations and artifacts in a subconscious or dream space, is it something in which one is embodied? How do we go about constructing, or simulating this unmappable “reality” or our perception of it? Do industry and technology affect our memory style, and do cities or human-made items influence the architecture of our dreams?
By exploring these ideas through imagery, Close’s work takes a sardonic perspective on industrial thrust into nature while exploring how images can mutate through mediation, perception and memory. The artist explores the intersection between the cinematic eye, the reintroduction of narrative in painting, industrial fossilization, as well as metaphysics and atomic territories. They think about how an object might perceive a situation or what the world would look like from its perspective, or through a cinematic eye. By thinking about industrial fossilization Close contemplates what the new role of manufacturing is, since many countries (even at the developing level) are jumping into smart manufacturing, holistic approaches and eco-friendly energy alternatives instead of the 20th century’s main focus on mechanical engineering. What will become of the exoskeleton of this industrial era, and in what ways will it continue to present itself?
To navigate this virtual/subconscious, and imagined future world, the artist creates snapshots of ideas and dream-like memories by building spaces through macquettes, digital and physical collage, automatic drawing, and observational painting. These macquettes or images often include reflections and distortions as well as industrial iconography/fossils in spaces that are suspiciously void of humans. Items of technology are seen as “wild things” – things to be discovered in the wild and made use of, or things that develop further without human intervention. In this vein, Close thinks about the relationship between technology and mythology, and then mythology and metaphysics. They begin to develop a lexicon of artifacts including photos, automatic drawings and found relics to explore these ideas.