UBC | Digital Visions
Digital Visions
Isabel Saij
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State of Confusion

Born in France, Isabel Saij currently resides and works in Cologne, Germany and Vienna, Austria. In the past several years, Saij began work using the computer as a medium. Initially producing two-dimensional work, Saij progressed into creating three-dimensional pieces. Saij then discovered Net art while designing her first web site. Since then, she has exhibited in numerous online exhibitions based in various countries around the world including the United States, Russia, Brazil and Thailand.

“State of Confusion” is an animated series of staircases, in a three by four unit grid, where the viewer moves along and through the staircases. The animation stops when the viewer rolls their cursor over each individual staircase, or, eventually, the animation stops independently and loops. When initialized, each frame is staggered, but as the viewer interacts with the piece, the pattern changes for an infinite number of combinations. Each staircase is black and white, much like it was created for design purposes using AutoCAD. The viewer assumes an almost bee-like perspective as the frame moves around, flying amongst the stairs. Overall, “State of Confusion” is a visually intriguing piece but also leaves the viewer with a question, which I will examine later in this essay.

Like many art pieces, “State of Confusion” is inspired by an intense personal experience. After moving out of her native country, Saij experienced difficulties having to adapt to her new environment. Her experience was doubly complicated by her frequent travels between the social and cultural differences of Germany and Austria. In my correspondence with Isabel Saij, she describes how “new symbols and new archetypes appeared” before her and “State of Confusion” is her expression of this experience. As Saij reiterates in her artist statement, “every single movement leads to a loss of reference points, to a growing disorientation, to a topographic fragmentation…to chaos”. The viewer starts with a clear image of the staircase, but as each animated frame moves through its timeline, the staircases warp and fragment, eventually breaking down into a nonsensical image. I am sure that any viewer can relate to the feeling of being thrust into a situation where the environment is alien and our control over our own situation is lost. The final statement accompanying “State of Confusion” is Saij’s self-imposed query of “where does it go?” The answer to where the staircases lead can be fleshed out when we exam Net art, as a whole, beyond the personal experience.

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Site: http://www.saij-netart.de/01-state-of-confusion.html