Terra Recognita

Digital technologies are shaping our physical landscapes in ways that we are not fully aware of. As cryptocurrencies gain popularity, many are raising the question of the environmental impact of producing the energy required to satisfy a growing network of computers mining currencies like Bitcoin. Bitcoin miners use hardware mining rigs that utilize Graphics Processing Units or GPUs like those used in high end VFX and video production studios to process and generate content. Rendering realistic, high-quality 4K moving image content requires a lot of computation and energy. This work was rendered using a free community render farm where users contribute their machines' computing power to render each other's frames. Render farms similar to this one, but much larger in scope are constantly churning out frames for today's media industry. This work draws a parallel between the role of GPU technologies giving shape to virtual landscapes and their role in physically altering our environment in less visible ways.

Phillip David Stearns

Born in Austin TX. Studied Audio Engineering and the University of Colorado in Denver and Music Composition at Cal Arts. Living in NYC since 2009. Working as an artist, designer, artistic director, creative technologist, and more.

Has exhibited internationally at TATE Britain, The Photographer's Gallery (London), NYU Art Gallery (Abu Dhabi, UAE), Diagonale Gallery (Montreal), Transfer Gallery (NYC), Fridman Gallery (NYC), The Park Avenue Armory (NYC), and more.

Other artworks by this artist