Cave To Cloud: the entropy of image 
In the last decade, the nature of image has mutated in ways more profound than when it shifted from paintings to photographs. One could argue that the emergence of networked mobile social media has irreversibly changed the meaning and value of image. It is no longer just pictorial but has environmental attributes, as it can appear like a passing snowflake or a meme of tsunamic proportions. Image has both imploded and exploded. Overwhelmingly abundant, it is less valuable than ever before, but has nonetheless blended into a universal iconic language.
Three axioms come to mind when considering the ontology of today's image:
1. The power base of image has shifted away from the makers toward the viewers, and from images as discrete objects to organic and networked ones. 
2. From a designer’s perspective, the production, distribution and function of image has grown beyond creative concerns and now must be reconsidered through its interdependency with economy, culture and technology. 
3. The ‘smart image’ is among us with its apparatus of surveillance cameras, scanners, filters, bots and triggers.  It is autonomic and metabolic in the sense that it can self manage and dictate its own functions without human interventions. 
In this research, Rome is both a historical and conceptual framework. It appears as a cradle of imagery, manifesting both imperial expansion, and its extinction, decay and burials. Three creations in particular stand for the shifting yet eternal notions of empire, cosmos and faith: the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel.
There are 13,000 Colosseum visitors a day, most taking photos that are often disseminated and demultiplied on social networks.
We have never seen, made, owned, edited, published, appeared in and shared so many images, in so many modes, types, media and places. These images often blend into people, places and things as well as into each other, hence collectively turning into new sorts of swarm-like patterns. This latter phenomenon calls for a new term in the lexicon of ‘image’. One could call such a metabolism a ‘simage’—with “sim” referring to “simultaneous’ and ‘similar’. Simage combines archetypal, indexing and relational aspects. It stands for the merger of many images into a singular typology or paradigm, e.g. “Annunciations”, “wall clocks”, “human skulls”, etc. Within these groups, each image can stand for any of the others while encompassing the scope of the whole. 
Simages are fundamentally fluid, scalable, physical as well as digital, fragmentable, diffused and ambiguous. Simages reflect an evolution toward the plural, atmospheric and continuous, but they may in some ways be considered as meta images in their own right when the photos of 13,000 visitors are combined into one “simage”.

Erik Adigard and Jesse Jones, Scala Cupola, 2013.

Installation, mixed media. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Scala Cupola is a site-specific installation exploring the dynamics between image and architecture (Sistine Chapel ceiling and a staircase at AAR): their meanings, temporalities, motions and placements. 

Erik Adigard, Simagi Porticus, 2013.

Installation, mixed media. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Simagi Porticus is a site-specific installation planned for Trustees Week. It will stage the idea of "simagi", combined with the mixed topologies of urban portals and portraits—300 images projected over the bricks of Cryptoporticus. Sound will include image-related quotes. 
This piece comment on today's technologically “augmented” relationship with the physical world turns all things into spontaneous images and by doing so hatters the world of “image” into a “realtime metabolic image” 

Erik Adigard, The Cave, 2013.

Video still: : courtesy of the artist.

The Cave: this video sketch relates Plato's theory to modern day living where one's sense of reality is defined by the spectacles and realities of fire (usually electronic), our fleeting sense of the self, our obsession with possessions and our latent state of sleep.

Erik Adigard and Ross Altheimer, Dinner Conversation, 2013.

Dinner Conversation: Using the modality of mealtime conversations, this project explores the use of images vs. words when one must quickly convey a topic.
In the context of the new image phenomenon, our sensory engagement with life is being channeled in new digital ways. Can we still experience the world as purely physical sensorium? Dinner Conversation explores modes of expressions that inherently visceral, physical and sensual.

Erik Adigard, Facsimile, 2013.

Installation, mixed media. Photo: courtesy of the artist.
Facsimile: A site-theme specific installation to express the notion of noise-silence in image. It is here framed by the interior space of a building on the theme of John Cage.

Erik Adigard, Marc Bowditch and Valerio Sannicandro, 8 Second Bull, 2013

Video still: courtesy of the artist.
8 Second Bull: Early version of a video exploration of image and temporality.

Cinque Mostre

Poster. Courtesy of the artist.
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