We are living in a digital age. Every media outlet heralding the benefits of this technological revolution is so busy looking forward it often forgets how their new shining status evolved. In the arts we are not so different. My practice has always questioned the nature of contemporary photography. To me the digital photograph is not an advancement that is to be accepted as the norm simply because it is new, shiny, scientifically superior and technologically more than previous practices.
Our futures are built on the shoulders of the giants of our past. Not so long ago the norm was chemical photography and before that, painting. Seeing in the Digital Age is not simply a construction of digital photograph on card. It is an acknowledgement that any present we perceive is built upon layers of past practices. We do well to look back just as much as we look forward. Edgar Degas famously said “Conversation in real life is full of half-finished sentences and overlapping talk. Why shouldn’t painting be too?” My philosophy is that photography too should also have layers of overlapping talk. Not at a Photoshop level but after the so-called finished product. Here I have painted an image and subverted it through conversion into photography. I have consequently deconstructed and rebuilt the image as a recognition of the past and a nod to the contemporary age we find ourselves in.
Our towns are layered upon history. Our personalities are layers of our past. We are not one thing, one being, one discipline. We are layers of experiences and complex decisions. We are not flat and dimensionless. We are not a quick fix or a fast emotion or one quick technological advancement after another. We are built slowly over time. To truly see in this digital age we should be reflecting on our own existence, considering how we have built ourselves up from different influences to become what we are today.
Seeing in the Digital Age will be shown for the first time at Commensalis: The Body as part of the Fringe Arts Bath festival. The show opens tonight at 6:30pm and runs daily until June 8th