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En Plein Air, commonly translated as outdoors or painting outside, explores a kind of virtual sublime. While the sublime as an experience may be impossible to replicate the human desire to recreate speechless awe or wonder remain intact as an artistic goal. Penny experiments with a hybridized practice inspired by painting but leaving no digital stone unturned. Yet, recognizing that a search for the sublime or a deepening experience with the act of perception is a journey rather than a finish line, the artist states: “I have no assertions to make.” His practice, rathering than professing, intuits the importance of questioning, of research and development, all as part of an experimental studio dynamic.
Emerging from the premise that we can translate the experience of natural phenomena and physical immersion into digital forms, a number of mediums have been incorporated: 3D scanning, industrial spray-guns, digital fabrication, animation, magnetics, projection mapping, and 3D printing of levitating sculptures. The work seeks to translate the sensation of a fragmented and disembodied sense of natural wonder within our surrounding landscape. Using photogrammetry (surveying and mapping distances) of the city and natural settings of Savannah, snapshot-like fragments are synthesized into digital works that emulate the sensations of a place. Rather than a fixed image, Penny looks for a flexible use of images, a warming up of our experience with digital media.