“Remnants of Digital Ephemerality” is a layered digital landscape painting, and a series of engraved marble fragments by Linda van Houtum, displaying the transience of the digital image. Through the use of a technique, programmed to compare compressed imagery and extract the generated loss, the scenery transforms into a reversed painting, using compression as the paintbrush.
The colourful landscape of transience exists out of multiple layers compiled from a collection of different compressions from various platforms, showing the unique depiction of visual elements. By transforming compression into a tool of creation, the remnants of the images are morphed into a landscape, and therefore become lossless and everlasting.
The Alchemical arts, technology and the historical art of memory are connected in more ways that one could possibly imagine. Daily, we store and recollect information and imagery inside the architecture of our minds and transform the worth according to our inner hierarchical file system. The structure in which we store memory has been explored by many throughout history, especially by those interested in the occult. Combining the alchemy of the mind and computing terms, I wish to explore the space in which memory is stored through the eyes of the contemporary artist. The exploration dives both in the physical and the digital, for many of the memory system, such as ‘The Theatre of the World’ by Robert Fludd, are based on an architectural structure surrounding logic and order, very much like the modern algorithm. In this thesis, I will research the deeper connection between the transmutation of value within the Alchemical arts in correlation to memory and the methods of archiving and data storage in the digital realm, questioning if modern tools such as the algorithm and the hard drive could be the contemporary alchemical ingredients that together create the recipe for the transmutation of data.