Pixel graphic of sun setting behind a mountain
Michael Bell-Smith
American, b. East Corinth, Maine, 1978
Up and Away
Single-channel video; color; sound; 6:40 min.
Museum purchase through the contributions of members of the Contemporary Acquisitions Council and the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2007 (07.24)

Up and Away leads viewers on a soaring journey through cityscapes, landscapes, and moonscapes, all downloaded and assembled from an archive of video game backgrounds. Through this endless scroll of pastel panoramas, Michael Bell-Smith raises questions about how digital technologies construct and represent space and depth. Can a 16-bit landscape truly capture a sense of place? Or do digital renderings simply pixilate, flatten and homogenize?

Listen to Michael Bell-Smith in conversation with former Hirshhorn curatorial assistant Al Miner in 2008.