Mark Fingerhut

custom software

In collaboration with Peter Burr, Bridget DeFranco, and Matthew Gantt

“NATURAL CONTACTS” is a piece of malware designed to arrest control over its host machine for twenty-four hours, transforming it into a dynamic virtual garden. The piece plays with notions of time as understood by software, probing viewers’ attention and encouraging us to reimagine the possibilities of administrative technology beyond its traditional work-centric confines.

Every component of the imposed malware was designed for a slow collective drama unfolding around a quietly rotting corpse. As the piece progresses, the once verdant landscape transforms into a barren, snow laden field, only later to become overgrowth. Seasonal birds, appearing from offscreen, come to rest on the branches while flies disappear behind the movement of the cursor. As days become nights and the seasons pass, remnants of the landscape's prior states reappear as wind-swept images strewn across the desktop.

Taken as a whole, the work presents a world where technology and nature coexist in a strange balance that doesn’t take into account the wishes of its user. This software effectively transforms them into a powerless observer who must not only watch their computer carry on without their involvement, but forces them confront their non-digital lives for an extended period of time.

2024 Onassis Foundation, New York, NY