Aly Ogasian attempts to re-orient herself in a contemporary world dominated by data and technology, where the romantic and adventurous spirit of discovery has been lost or forgotten. In these zones, science and technology give rise to the nebulous, the enigmatic, the mysterious -- the primary goal is to “make sense” rather than to objectively know.
Rather than grapple with the “polarity” between the arts and sciences, her work argues that both fields operate in a territory of wonder that exists at the border between sensation and thought. Within this context, wonder is connected to an instance of “new knowing”, a re-encountering of familiar terrain.
It stands to reason that technology is inherently part of this process of exploring, allowing us to extend our bodies, senses, and thoughts across greater and greater distances whether deep within or far away. And so she is often inspired by the technologies and systems (both contemporary and historic) that we create to navigate and understand both the world at hand and remote, seemingly unfathomable landscapes.
Her installations incorporate a variety of media including drawing, video, sculpture, writing and performance and a range of processes such as casting, scanning, 3D printing, and frottage. Within each installation, a two-dimensional image becomes three-dimensional, an object shifts to image, material to information, digital to analog. By illuminating the process or ‘history’ of each element in relation to the installation as a whole, each component – drawing, projection, sculpture - functions as a single point in a larger constellation.
Ogasian is a frequent collaborator, and has worked with Vivian Charlesworth, Shona Kitchen, and Claudia O'Steen, amongst others. Through a robust research practice she develops systems that fuse historic, contemporary, and imagined versions of marine navigation, nautical surveying, astronomy, geology, and cartography. Often she resurrects “dead” or analog technologies and uses them alongside contemporary tools in order to understand how technological progress has impacted human perception over time. Her projects frequently include fieldwork in remote or unusual locations such as restricted aerospace facilities and extreme landscapes.
She is currently an Assistant Professor at Rhode Island School of Design.
Photo courtesy of Greg Lock.