Jacquelyn Martino: Travel Stones

  • ©2011, Jacquelyn A. Martino

  • ©2011, Jacquelyn A. Martino

  • ©2011, Jacquelyn A. Martino



    Travel Stones


Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    For the last decade, Jacquelyn Martino has focused her artistic practice on the design of a rule-based computational language to generate works in the visual design language of her evolving style. Travel Stones is an installation that applies this computational language to the
    creation of a collection of cultural artifacts from a fictitious ancient culture. Martino makes use of her rule system to generate a series of realistic cultural artifacts made plausible by the combination of their consistent design language and their grounding in a number of historical references. In the installation, the viewer reads a museum-style exhibition text detailing the origins of the artifacts. The imagined culture derives from an ancient people who carry their travel stones – much as house keys – as a way to access their home center, which is ultimately more spiritual than physical. The text leads the viewer to believe that the four accompanying paintings document a first-hand exposure to the stones by someone external to the culture. Passed from generation to generation, the stones further serve as resonant objects in the tracing of the people’s history. Prompted by the drawings on the stones, the ancients recount tales of their origins to the next generations as well as to those they meet in travel. Through their stories, they maintain their sense of identity and place while simultaneously transferring fragments of their culture to others. In this piece, the enabling algorithmic production system is integral to Martino’s process, but not particularly apparent to the viewer. The visual separation of high-tech process from pseudo-historic product calls into question any easy distinction between technology and culture in our own place and time.