Andrew Folan



5th September – 28th September, 2013




In this recent exhibition of work, Andrew Folan plants a virtual garden and propagates a sequence of new species. Working in a generative manner he establishes organic forms and enables their growth within the weightless and frictionless space of the computer. In this rarefied “hot house” environment the original digital species may be grown. Using animation software and rapid prototyping these creations occupy a virtual space.  In these productions Andrew Folan references botanical forms while inventing new ones, by bending natural rules and creating “bio-virtual” manifestations. 

Prometheus was a Greek mythological figure associated with creation, fire and regeneration, who created the first man from clay and stole fire from the gods to give to humankind. As punishment he was chained to a rock where an eagle comes each day to feed on his liver.  Prometheus survived, as his liver continues to regenerate, keeping him alive, but subjected to a renewed torture every day.

The actual form of The Prometheus (a virtual sculpture made actual) in this exhibition is formed from powder fused by heat, and has the ability (through its virtual origin) to regenerate and become physically manifest. In its transformation, from information to material, it moves between the timeless (virtual) and timed (actual) instances of reality. 

There is no sense of finality to any of the creative steps.  This makes it a wonderful and infuriating proposition at the same time. It is this in-betweenness that makes it analogous to the plight of Prometheus, in which he is caught in an ever generative state between life and death.