These pieces follow a similar sort of line, I’ve experimented with how this contemporary anxiety of meaning meats with a naive, low quality, childlike aesthetic. It’s reminiscent for me of mine (and from people’s reactions, I gather many others) initial visual response to the exposure of online software allowing you to create visual effects. I am really interested in how the wealth of information and the profound nature suggested by the content is crudely represented with such a throwaway and superficial aesthetic. Again, these are pretty early experiments, and I’m interested in how I can really push these pieces to the limit – both physically and digitally.
I have been considering the way that we can, in contemporary society, that the sorts of profound questions that have been discussed for centuries have almost become out-sourced to ‘artificial intelligence’. The contemporary anxiety of meaning meets a vast source of information, but is not satisfied completely – there is a sort of throwaway, flippant and superficial exploration into this question of meaning, something that I have attempted to begin to explore through a series of repeated questions given to Siri.
I am enjoying the playful video work of Richie Moment, particularly his excessive and over the top aesthetic. His tongue in cheek investigation into the culture of contemporary art is both critical, and also embracing. He uses text to string through a narrative, whilst playing with an excess of video footage both appropriated and of himself. This sort of use of video has encouraged me to consider pushing the limits with the playfulness of the videos that I am producing. At the moment I am feeling a bit stagnant in what I am producing – but seeing this sort of work makes me want to be more playful and excessive in what I am doing. I am also looking at the way he uses both authorship and appropriation, considering this combination and how in my own practice I can own and use the material I am collecting.
I have been playing with the use of digitalised textures and how they look and work alongside images of the textures they are supposed to mimic. These images are really experimental, and pretty rough – I’m not particularly pleased with them but consider them quite an interesting first step into this exploration of digital representation. These sets of image are specifically focused on nature and the translation of natural forms taken from stills of videos, into quite immature and childlike digital imagery, I have been considering these alongside Jon Raffman’s ‘Paint FX’ series.
Last year I worked quite a lot with archived footage, and it is this large body of footage that I have collected that I am now beginning to revisit. I
have begun to play around with video editing, exploring the different ways in which I can manipulate and intercept existing archived footage. I am currently adopting quite a playful approach to this work and am enjoying the experimentation process, ultimately however I am concerned with the vulnerability of digital archiving that allows me to intercept this material – and particularly this disintegration of the boundary between private and public space. I am also concerned with exploring the mundane yet excessive nature of arguably quite narcissistic body of online material.
Still Life (Betamale), 2013
If I’m honest about Jon Rafmans work – I hate watching his videos and they make me feel incredibly uncomfortable, but I think this is because of how well they highlight certain areas of the internet and the darker side of our relationship with the internet. Particularly, in this video there is a reflection on the overwhelming, disorientating and nauseating world that can envelop an internet user. The parallel between the apathy and laziness of the user, and the obscene, excessive and fast paced online experience is highlighted. There is an onslaught and exorbitant amalgamation of pornography, gaming, animation, childlike characters, animals and costumed figures, edited along with images of the result of a grotesque laziness that can be seen to be resultant of the fixation on this over the top world of arousing images. Rafman highlights this loss of interest in reality as the internet grabs our attention and draws us into a world of obscene voyeurism and fetish, in which the physical limitations of reality dissolve.
This work is quite illustrative of what I have read about the nature of a society enhanced by digital technology, in Jean Baudrillard’s ‘Ecstasy of Communication’:
“Inversely, the entire universe comes to unfold arbitrarily on your domestic screen (all the useless information that comes to you from the entire world, like a microscopic pornography of the universe, useless, excessive, just like the sexual close-up in a porno film): all this explodes the scene formerly preserved by the minimal separation of public and private, the scene that was played out in a restricted space, according to a secret ritual known only by the actors.”
“Unlike this organic, visceral, carnal promiscuity, the promiscuity that reigns over the communication networks is one of superficial saturation, of an incessant solicitation, of an extermination of interstitial and protective spaces.“
“There is in effect a state of fascination and vertigo linked to this obscene delirium of communication. A singular form of pleasure perhaps, but aleatory and dizzying.”
– Jean Baudrillard, Ecstasy of Communication, 1988
Rafmans ‘Paint FX’ series explores the interesting relationship between paint, form and materiality within the digital space. His work draws attention to the false sense of physical presence that digital technology can create – Rafman juxtaposes multiple textures that draw attention to a strange presence that we can recognise materially but also are forced to acknowledge its completely synthetic nature.
Again I’m interested in this combination of painting techniques and digital space – Cortrights use of photo manipulation, and the presence of digital motifs and imagery is a dynamic exploration of this crossover between 3D and 2D, and reality as digitally modifiable files. Cortrights work also explores perhaps a more subtle notion of beauty available in the digital, developing a style that exists as both organic and natural but at the same time adhering to a digital structure and style.