James Duncan’s numerous watercolors and sketches of urban landscapes shaped the vision that outsiders carried about Montreal, sculpting their minds with mental images of the city.
What would the world look like through the eyes of someone whose only reality is molded by an artist’s visual representation? Inspired by this thought, we compiled many of James Duncan’s pieces from the McCord Museum collection and fed them to an artificial intelligence. We then visualized how that AI envisioned the world after solely being exposed to the artist’s work.
The result is MENTAL MAPS: an immersive video installation of a mind’s interpretation of reality.
Layers of landforms and topographies make up this imagined universe, where visitors find themselves entering the mind of the machine and becoming a part of the scenery. As they move through the space, their shadows hide and reveal new realities, continually building on each person’s unique experience.