New York-based Chris Doyle makes the cycle of consumption and transformation the subject of Waste_Generation—a hand-drawn, digital animation that is loosely based on The Course of Empire by 19th-century Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole. Also included in the exhibition are three lightboxes of drawings and a small group of 30 digital prints of dollar-size patterns taken from the animation.
Like Cole’s epic, five-part series of paintings, Doyle’s Waste_Generation—the second planned series of five animations—depicts the collapse of an imaginary city that resulted from exhaustive industrial and capital exploits. To create this particular animation, Doyle draws from Cole’s 5th painting, The Course of Empire – Desolation, by focusing on the aftermath of a worn civilization and the reclamation of nature. Waste_Generation, inspired by the 9/11 attacks, comments on the relationship between the natural world and our cultural conceptions of it.
The animation—accompanied by a haunting soundscape by Doyle's longtime collaborator Joe Arcidiacono—is set in a wasteland filled with expired machines. In the background, an abandoned paper mill with an imposing smokestack creates and explodes paper currency into a field where a jungle of flora emerges. This forest begins to fade and intersects with a kaleidoscope of ornate and geometric patterns, thus combining architectural blueprints, Victorian wallpaper and oriental rug designs into a seamless whole.Waste_Generation is a detailed and metaphorical narrative that explores a world in which everything, be it human or material, must adapt and evolve.
Chris Doyle was born in Easton, Pennsylvania and educated at Boston College and at Harvard University, where he earned a graduate degree in architecture. In addition to making sculpture, animations and watercolors, Doyle has created many public art works. They include Commutable, 1996, for which he gilded the steps of the Manhattan Bridge; large-scale video projections on buildings such asLeap (2000), made for 2 Columbus Circle; The Moons, a permanent LED installation for the gardens of the Sprint Arena in Kansas City, MO, and Showershade (2010), a permanent installation at the Police and Fire Training Academy in Austin, TX. In 2007, Doyle also produced 50,000 Beds, a collaboration with 45 other artists in an installation presented simultaneously at three Connecticut locations: the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, Artspace in New Haven, and Real Art Ways in Hartford.