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New Image Based Media :: Empirical

Over the summer I worked on a new body of work. Normally, my type A personality likes to over-plan my bodies of work, so I decided with this body of work I would at least try to loosen up a bit and just start making images and let what happened happen. This body of work really is about how I operate as a photograhper, some of the characteristics I see that are inherent in image based media and about how I choose to interact with my subject matter. The images shown below are the images before the final process. I chose to use the White Marble Fresco Image Transfer technique. I will be photographing the final works and will display those images in a future post along with more information about the process. Two of the images below were¬† transferred to a grid of used tea bags, I will have those images up shortly as well. If you are interested in the complete artist statement read on….

Artist Statement :: Empirical

By definition empirical evidence is evidence based on observation and experience. These evidences come from sources such as the senses, memory and testimony. This body of image based media compares the image making process to gathering empirical evidence. In this case, the images are evidence of how I experience my nearby environment, particularly the home, family and the objects connected to them that are both man made and organic. I believe a defining characteristic of photography is that the image-maker, in many instances, has to physically be in a space to expose the image, which requires observing what to include and exclude in the viewfinder as well actually experiencing the space (through the senses and direct or indirect interaction with the subject). Another characteristic that defines photography is a desire to create environments that exist only in ones mind. This desire existed even in the early days of photography. The establishment and influx of digital photography has aided in the creation of surreal or partially real environments through the use of photo manipulation. This body of work connects the above characteristics. The process of gathering objects and scanning them aided in creating a new environment for objects while the images from the camera allowed me to directly experience certain places, spaces or people.

Many images from this series are placed in groups of two of three. Placing images together, whether related or seemingly random, allows the viewer to make their own narrative connections. Even though the images represent personal memories of places and people, the viewer can still be connected to them by filling in the gaps. When we see something non-distinct, whether it be an abstract work of art, or a patch of clouds, it is our natural desire to want to see something concrete. The process of layering images and varied materials lends itself to how memories exist, sometimes futile, sometimes clear, and more often that not, incomplete.

Collectively, my work centers around symbolic objects, the spaces they inhabit and the people connected to them. Most often these spaces and objects are re-contextualized by taking them out of their original environment and re-building a new space for them to inhabit. I have always been drawn to natural objects but have never really been drawn to photographing them in their original environment or in documenting them in a realistic manner. The act of collecting things from nature and joining them with other elements such as papers or found objects has been a fascination and a practice since childhood. My childhood practice of this process included finding leaves and flowers and gluing them to a piece of paper to make a formal design. This practice resurfaced in my artwork but has grown to utilize a flatbed scanner and image manipulation software.