Rick Silva’s ongoing project Antler’s Wifi depicts a series of animations that combine geometric glitch aesthetic with serene landscapes and natural iconography. The weekly updates to this blog project vary in complexity and density, but all the images share an acute aesthetic that Silva has been developing over the past several years. The visual elements that comprise the animations in Antler’s Wifi – a telling name – often juxtapose vistas of the icy surrounding of Silva’s current Calgary home with diagrams that appear to be algorithmic interpretations of geological structures found beneath the soil. These images not only appear to hold secret mathematical equations, but also appear to be pseudo-scientific data visualizations of some hidden incalculable source.
The crystalline patterns and undulating shapes that appear in the more recent iterations of this work – “an aesthetic that was rebooted” according to Silva at the beginning of 2011 – create a tranquil yet playful reinterpretation of the landscape image. It appears as though the line drawings and artificial peaks that mirror the mountain ranges and remote lakes hold resonant frequencies that generate their rhythms and patterns. The short gif cycles appear as though they contain sonic qualities that never actually manifest through playback. This lack of an aural link to the repetition and rhythm of the animations accentuates the remoteness of the imagery providing viewers with hypnotic and haunting micro-scenarios.
The directness of the pairings made by Silva throughout this work symbolize a need for understanding and contemplation of the visual world outside out windows and away from our screens. The meandering presence that dictates the visual paths and pace of the aesthetic that Silva captures within this work is akin to the wanderings of an amateur cartographer mapping the foothills of his backyard. In some images the false sense of simplicity that landscapes embody is paired with similar elementary geometric spaces for deviations and abnormalities to occur. Silva compares the hidden ecology of any environment to the abstract complexity of euclidian geometry throughout many iterations of the work. Observers of this project can see how the lo-fi superimposition of data-projection highlights the correlations that Silva wishes to explore in these diaristic and delicate renderings.– Nicholas O’Brien