In making this work the artist followed a theme that had continually been intriguing, that theme being of mental disorders, or more specifically, the hearing of voices in ones head.This disorder is usually most closely associated with schizophrenia.It was a book entitled “The Eden Express” by Mark Vonnegut, in which he autobiographically tells his life story as he is becoming schizophrenic, that inspired the artist to continue working within the theme of schizophrenia.
This work is a fictional narrative told through the “voice” one may here in their head.The story or “voice” forms only after having seen the negatives or contact prints, and is written literally, image-by-image.The negatives were made with a Rolleiflex tlr and printed on gelatin silver, fiber based paper.The resulting images where then toned and split-toned in both a copper and cyan toner.
The imagery used is there to create a sense of place and time, to act as the setting.The scratching, toning, burning and manipulation of the physical object throughout the process create the darker mood of the narrative, and tie back to the mal-intended, narrating “voice.” These works represent the mind in a fragile and vulnerable state; therefore, they themselves are fragile and vulnerable. The artists’ intrigue in both literature and photography led to the development of this work, in which elements from both came together to create what is now a single, sculptural piece.
“What is seen and called a picture is what remains—an evidence.”
It was in a slideshow during an intermediate photography class that the artist was first introduced to the work of Joel-Peter Witkin.Seeing his work for the first time was an awakening.The marks left from his scratching on the negative and other manipulations done during the printing process became the genesis for where this work would come from.Witkin combined with, Man Ray, the Pictorialist movement, Andreas Rentsch, and Ilan Wolff, among others, have pushed this work to where it is now in each their own way.The work is a celebration and exploration into the creative process of the artist.The work is created intuitively using a torch, varying types of metal sheets, also experimentation with darkroom chemicals and the order and methods in which they are applied, use of toners, and a “slow-burn” technique involving the paper being exposed for multiple days in the elements.The work truly is about “what remains—an evidence.”
“An Evidence: Fault Lines”
Continuing in an exploration of abstract, camera-less imagery this work was born from the artist’s intrigue in a newly introduced method of image making involving the use of smoked glass. The artist is also continually interested in mark making and sees it as completely raw and intuitive and therefore the most pure and true-to-self form of visual communication an artist can give to an audience.
The images produced in this series began as a continuation of the previous body of work “an evidence.”They were to be treated with the same burning and darkroom manipulations only this time imagery from the smoked glass would be present. While experimenting with this new process, however, it became evident that the prints had a voice of their own and the thought of burning or other manipulation began to feel forced and unnecessary.The ensuing body of work contains images from the four separate stages of its creation.
Displaying it by the four separate stages celebrates the whole of the creative process including the ‘faults’ along with the more finished works.
An Evidence: Revisit
An Evidence: The Revisit
Photography has, even before its invention, always been divided into two parts, the optics and the chemistry.It was not until the chemistry could permanently fix the image that photography, as we know it was invented in 1839.This dual-nature inherent in photography cried out to be separated.The artist had just been introduced to printmaking techniques and felt the similarities between that medium and the printing / chemistry side of photography needed to be explored.
This work is the second incarnation of the fore-mentioned method.The process starts with the photo paper being cut down to size(40x40”). The entire sheet of paper is then exposed to the ambient light surrounding it while the images are selectively burned by a torch or heated piece of metal.From that point they are taken into the darkroom to be completed through hand application of the developer and sometimes fixer.The normal chemical bath process was purposefully shortened to allow the images to change over time due to either the lack of time fixing or the lack of removing of fix from the print through the final washes.This eventual deterioration of the image serves to further separate it from the other traditional 2-D mediums like painting, or printmaking that it may resemble.
This work began as an interest in merging two opposing abstract techniques; a hand manipulated process and a digital manipulated process.The intention being to play the abstracted digital pixilation off the more chaotic and expressive hand manipulation. The digitally manipulated imagery comes from Call of Duty: Black Ops, a massively popular first person shooter game.This inclusion of the digital, or false, body into a medium based so much in reality is the underpinning of this project.The interest is in the role video games are playing in helping to bring about the seemingly inevitable notion of ‘the singularity’.That is, a time when we as mankind create our own end through artificial intelligence, as it will quickly surpass our own and be left with no need for us.The enlarged faces, despite the pixilation, became hauntingly real and powerful, also the hand manipulation began to speak not only to the importance of the gesture and hand of the artist but to the violence associated with war-related imagery and the bleak future of ‘the singularity’.
This series of images looks to comment on our societies seemingly blind faith in technology and it’s praise of the latest and greatest technological advancement all the while ignoring the obvious and underlying motto of our technological movement ‘just because we can, we should’.Once again using images pulled from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a game utilizing the ‘latest and greatest’ technology I am interested in capturing the inaccuracies (glitches) that are very present throughout the game.This is important as it forces us to look more critically at those notions of blind faith in technology and doing things for no other reason than because we now have the capabilities to do so.These are notions that if left unchecked could eventually result in a future catastrophe for our society.
The Night I...
This handmade artist book looks at the statements Mark David Chapman made on Oct. 3, 2000 at his first parole hearing since being arrested on Dec.8, 1980.I have chosen to manipulate the statement by leaving out the questions asked to Mr. Chapman by the parole board, and eliminating any form of punctuation or grammatical correctness, this is to help put the viewer directly into Chapman’s “head” and allow them to experience life, if even for a brief moment, in his shoes.I also chose to include Mr. Chapman’s apologies that he made during his closing statement.
This book is about the internal conflicts that take place within our minds that show the true duality in us all. That is to say, we are all by nature humans and as such we are sublime creatures, capable of the most amazing and wonderful and at the same time capable of the most devastating and despicable actions.
This book was made in the Spring of 2010 under the guidance of Susan K. Grant at Texas Woman’s University.The text was taken from the statements Mark David Chapman made during his first parole hearing on October 3, 2000.The image on this page is continuing from the front, it was taken by Paul Goresh, and depicts Lennon signing Chapmans Double Fantasy album outside the Dakota at around 4:15 p.m., December 8th, 1980, just hours before Chapman would turn from fan to assassin.
“The enemy of photography is the convention, the fixed rules of 'how to do'. The salvation of photography comes from the experiment.” - Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
This series of works focuses on the darkroom and printing aspect of photography as a means for pure expression, as the camera and act of photographing takes backstage, or a supporting role. This is accomplished by tearing down the physical surface of the print and thus creating a new and equal focal point with the artists’ hand visible along with a printed image. The selection of camera produced images are not meant to be cohesive from piece to piece, but instead the images contain elements such as human figures, natural landscapes, and a deck of cards. These diverse elements relate to the human experience, and in particular that of the artist, for whom nature, and it’s routine, has a calming effect and chance is equal to the sublime, both terrifying and beautiful at the same time.
In Search of the Uncanny Valley
Growing up when the console wars between Nintendo, Sega, Sony and later Microsoft made me keenly aware that I was seeking out not the most entertaining system but the most ‘realistic.’ I became aware of the term “The Uncanny Valley”, originally described in 1970 by Dr. Masahiro Mori. He proposed that as robotics moved closer and closer in their abilities to replicate humans in all ways, we would see a drop in their acceptance immediately before and surrounding the crossing this reality threshold, before eventually becoming acceptable again. He termed this phenomenon the “uncanny valley.”
Utilizing a Sony PS4 and the game Grand Theft Auto V, I submersed myself into the uncanny valley of Los Santos. These images are captured in a documentary style throughout the large ‘sandbox’ style gameplay with the characters’ phone camera. I have printed them with archival methods in the darkroom to add permanence to an image originating from what is normally an impermanent medium. The interplay between this analog output of a digital source by means of the documentary photo style are key in this work. Although this game is not the most realistic in terms of graphics currently available, it is close enough to be confused with our reality upon first glance. In that way the images serve as markers, but to what at this point isn’t clear. Maybe it’s just the beginning of the trip through the valley, or the turning point, when we begin to accept what was once maybe too ‘uncanny’ because at this moment we still create and control it.