The Center for Ongoing Research & Projects

Victoria Fu

Novial Gold Over Green

October 24th - November 21st, 2015

  • Victoria Fu: Novial Gold Over Green
  • Victoria Fu: Novial Gold Over Green


Roadrunner pauses in front of Coyote’s carefully laid trap: a bottomless hole in the middle of the road.

Assume that we only need to model surfaces that form the boundaries of objects. “Object” is a subjective term; a surface is technically the interface between volumes with homogeneous physical properties. Some of these objects are what everyday language recognizes as such, like a block of wood or the water in a pool. Others are not what we are accustomed to considering as objects, such as air or a vacuum.
Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, James D. Foley, Andries van Dam, Steven K. Feiner, John Hughes


He bends down and plucks up the empty, black void by its edge with his beak. Behold, nothing but the gray surface of the road is lies beneath. The hole is revealed to be an opaque drooping material that can be touched, peeled, and carried around with ease. It has become as of much of a thing as any other object in the world.

This method for solving the hidden-surface problem is often referred to as the painter’s algorithm. In creating an oil painting, an artist first paints the background colors. Next, the most distant objects are added, then the nearer objects, and so forth. At the final step, the foreground objects are painted on the canvas over the background and other objects that have been painted on the canvas. Each layer of paint covers up the previous layer. Using a similar technique, we first sort surfaces according their distance from the view plane. The intensity values for the farthest surfaces are then entered in the refresh buffer. Taking each succeeding surface in turn, we “paint” the surface intensities onto the frame buffer over the intensities of the processed surfaces.
Computer Graphics (C Version), Donald Hearn, M. Pauline Baker


With a rapid about-face, Roadrunner takes off with the hole. Wile E. Coyote follows in angry pursuit. Midway across the bridge, Roadrunner tosses the flat, black hole on the ground. A moment later, Coyote speeds into frame and plummets through the dark circle.

Finally, remember that a portable hole is not a container but a space. As such, the owner should protect it like any room in a castle or dungeon. Undead or magically animated guardians could be placed inside. A lethal glyph might be cast on the opening.
— “101 Uses for a Portable Hole,” Dragon Magazine #221


In a close up, we see that the hole is no longer a thing, but a nothing— the coyote disappears downwards towards the canyon stream below. Per usual, Coyote’s boobytrap has backfired: its surface oscillates between substance and absence, out of his control.

About the Artist

Victoria Fu is a visual artist who received her MFA from CalArts, MA in Art History/Museum Studies from University of Southern California, and BA from Stanford University. She attended the Whitney Independent Study Program and was in residence at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Her art installations have been exhibited in recent solos at Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; The Contemporary, Baltimore, MD; Simon Preston Gallery, New York, NY; and University Art Gallery at UC Irvine, CA. Recent group venues include the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA; 52nd New York Film Festival, New York, NY; IX Nicaragua Biennial, Managua, Nicaragua; among others. Fu is a 2013-14 Art Matters Foundation Grantee and 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, and co-organized the 2015 conference Touching the Screen at the University of Oslo. She lives and works in Los Angeles and San Diego, where she is Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at the University of San Diego.

This project is made possible with support from The Ohio Arts Council and Greater Columbus Arts Council.