Link in the heading above to an article on Rhizome.com about the video works of the late Jeremy Blake and younger, current participants in the genre (Chris Coy, Jeff Baij, Rafaël Rozendaal, Sara Ludy, Travess Smalley).
Blake saw himself not as a new media artist, but as a painter. The article suggests that Blake and these contemporaries are working with successfully with qualities in the work that should be incongruous. These contrasting aspects include: organic yet digital; intense yet sterile; flat yet holding depth.
Comments from John Stezaker about his work and practice:
- Digital culture depressing – lack of materiality. This creates universal amnesia.
- World is super saturated with images. We are obsessed with images. “There were too many images in the world already…more interesting to look at images that already existed.”
- Filtering out practice. Focuses on the consumer and not the producer of the images.
- “Betrayal” are images that are pulling apart.
- Works when he is tired and late at night. Removes filters. He thinks less about the images. Works more instinctively. Fatigue as a creative constraint.
- Thinks the word “marriage” is relevant for his work. Trying to marry on image to another either to bring them together or to create a “betrayal”.
Reflections for my practice:
- I think I have a consumerist approach to using imagery (and multiple mediums) regardless of the imagery being found (made by another) or made by me. My process of taking photographs and paintings and compositing them into moving image, 2-d or installation work treats even images made by my own hand in a found object, consumerist manner.
- I have some guilt around creating new things when there are some many that exist already.
- I have some guilt around borrowing from other peoples work. At times I have a series of tricks I do to purposefully obscure the discovery of any obvious connection.
Notes, and comments from the group about my mini-portfolio work:
– My “language” is starting to develop.
– Connection between my works to date and this work feels strong to me, but is not obvious to those looking at this work without knowing my history to date.
– For me feels like the most “integrated” and realized this ambition has become.
– In these three works there is a connection via colour palette, the grid, the combination of photo-based imagery and painterly imagery.
– My moving image work has it’s genesis in stills. The moving image comes first from a still which is kind of like a single frame storyboard. I suspect this is a different impulse from a filmmakers approach in that their impulse might come from an entire story arc or the vision of an entire “shot” (a scene with a moving camera – something that exists in time, not in a single frame).
– It feels like I am developing my aesthetic language (developing through the constraints, struggles and challenges in developing my practice along with ambitions and things I “don’t want to let go of”).
– I am definitely working with a dialogue about art history. For my content, especially the history of painting. For my methods, the history of the moving image and lens-based storytelling coming out of early film and Muybridge’s first sequential motion frames.
– Dada (collage, pastiche, chance and participation, the absurd but as a way to access the surreal, the
– In working with different medium and combing different mediums I’m also interested in the way an image in repetition changes through both remaking (photographing a painting, painting a photograph etc.) and re-positioning. The repetition has a relationship also to moving image…the sequential frame. The single frame repeated.
– There was a comment that there is a kind of humour in these works and images also which is positive. I want there to be some levity or amusement in the work.
– The best response was that some of my colleagues didn’t know what to say about the work. I take this as sign that the work is successful in not being so literal so as to be easily read. I’m interested in there being layers of complexity.
– Gesture continues to dominate my content. Hands touching objects, hands displaying object. Gesture can also be a “gesturing”, a nod or a suggestion. I like the relationship I feel there is to a dialogue about commodification and consumerism. Objects, touching objects, desiring objects, being sold images in the media that make us desire objects.
– Gesture also has a relationship to “hand” as in the hand of the artist. Working with digital imagery causes me to pine for the tactical, hand and sensuality of real media (in particular painting and the experience and evidence of the brush strokes in the paint created by then artists physical actions and decisions).
A study for a pastoral landscape animation. The green grid glitch was accidental, but I’ve decided to keep it in this “study”.
Study for an animation on the theme of a figure in a landscape (2014). Medium: digital photography, oil, canvas, magazine collage.
Multiple screen installations for Issac Julien’s work “10,000 Waves”. Installation at Bass Musuem of Art, Art Basel Miami (2010).
- Julien commissioned a Chinese poet Wang Ping to create a new poem “Small Birds” as the genesis for this project.
- Work was shot in China.
- Did extensive onsite research.
- Collaborations with other artists and artisans very important for Julien.
Reflections on my practice:
The multiple screens serve to create an immersive environment and the repetition of the imagery is something in which I’m also interested. However, Julien’s work seems to be more like a linear film than that kind of story I’m developing. I’m also thinking that for The Healing Room projections will be more powerful and connect my work better with my desire to explore the use of expanded painting concepts as a way to experience moving image. I’m still not comfortable calling my work moving image, and certainly not comfortable calling my work experimental film, although that might be the most succinct description.
Kinetic sculpture in vitrine.
- A book opening
- A pop-up book
- A fractal
- A binary
- Two parts
- A reflection
- One trick pony
The “hinged” form is taking on relevance for me with The Healing Room especially with reflected sides as with a Claud Glass.
How to hide from machines:
- disrupt symmetry in facial features (disrupt mathematical patterns)
- create confusing patterns that cannot easily be recognized (multiple readings)
- hide distinguishing, unique features (mask individuality)
- create spacial confusion (2-d or 3-d)
- create masking repetition (camouflage)
- simulate the generic (thwart unique readings)
Reflections on my practice: I’m realizing the portraiture is perhaps the underpinning genre in all of my work. When I work with still life or landscape I believe it is always about a character study or a portrait. Even my narratives and storytelling have their root in portraiture. I don’t think I’m capable of making pure abstraction, nor non-subjective work. Experiences are always tied back to some subject, some individual experience, even if that experience is more “universal” in that it is shared. I also think that for me, landscape is about the experience of the individual in the landscape, not the mere shapes, colours and forms, and thus landscape is connected to the person. I think also about the idea of “psychological landscapes”. The inner experience of a person. The reason for investigating the inner landscape of a person is to, like portraiture, getting a better sense of their motivation and their experience – who they are.
I like the idea that obscuring the face is a way to stop machines from being able to get an accurate portrait (some recognition) of the identity of a person. The tricks used above to obscure identity would confound technology whilst the human eye could still discern features through the camouflage.