Monday, January 25, 2016

Distortion gifs

Since I clearly had not put much thought into directly connecting this project to Simulations when I presented it, I don't feel too bad about choosing a part of the text that I read after I made these images. I'd like to think I predicted the text, rather than applying it retroactively, but I'll leave the moral judgements to you. 

I think this work addresses ideas of the panopticon, feedback loops, turning the camera back on itself, and all other ideas relating to meta-cognition which is, after all, what makes us human. This self-reflection and self-analysis is I think the ideological subject of my work, while the digital realm is the setting and the medium.

"The whole traditional mode of causality is brought into question: the perspective, deterministic mode, the "active," critical mode, the analytical mode - the distinction between cause and effect, between active and passive, between subject and object, between ends and means. It is in this mode that it can be said: TV watches us, TV alienates us, TV manipulates us, TV informs us . . ."

When viewers see these images, they may feel like they are watching television, or an amateur vlogger, or traces of someone left on a computer in the Apple store, or a mirror, or any number of other associations. What it is to me is me watching myself, exploring both my physical and personal identity by distorting it, making it flase, flat, truncated or grotesque. I think Baudrillard's ideas of the TV watching the subject are interesting, and I want to take it further and create a private conversation between the TV and the subject, in which each can see and affect the other, and both are changed because of it, upon which the audience are merely intruding. The audience should feel like they are me, but also like they've been mistaken for me, and they should feel vaguely guilty about it. They are not a part of this interaction, but they're watching it anyway.

"In this "truth" experiment, it is neither a question of secrecy nor of perversion, but of a kind of thrill of the real, or of an aesthetics of the hyperreal, a thrill of vertiginous and phony exactitude, a thrill of alienation and of magnification, of distortion in scale, of excessive transparency all at the same time."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

H. Schenck Response

While H. Schenck was here, he spent quite a bit of time with my printmaking class as we helped him complete a print he was working on. So I had a chance to spend a fair amount of time working and talking with him about our art, and I saw a lot of similarities between his interests, my interests, and Baudrillard's. His digital prints of artifacts and drawings are forms of simulation that are just a little too self-aware to really be simulations in the true, exact sense that Baudrillard is talking about, but they definitely evoke ideas of realness, reproduction and simulation. H. makes an artistic statement about these ideas without trying to actually replace or represent every aspect of the objects he depicts.

"It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it."

Clearly these ideas, even some of the visual techniques H. uses in his work (see above), are closely related to what I want to pursue in my work for this class. These layers of representation, transitioning from 3 dimensions to 2 and back, visible deterioration and emphasis on the physical quality of the subject and the process– these are the ideas that I want to lose myself in this term.

H.'s work squishes 3-dimensional objects that were once seen as 2-dimensional but, in capturing and their physical forms and suspending them arbitrarily in white space, wrinkles and all, H. both flattens them and reinforces their former 3-dimensionality. Then, in posting images of these works on his website, he takes another digital image of a paper print of a digital image of a physical object. These layers of simulation are everywhere, they are endless, and they are self-perpetuating. H. and I are explorers who like to plunge into the mundane pools and puddles that may be meaningless in themselves, but may lead to something worthwhile.

"It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody. It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself, that is, an operation to deter every real process by its operational double, a metastable, programmatic, perfect descriptive machine which provides all the signs of the real and short-circuits all its vicissitudes."

It'll be hard for me to move past my infatuation with simply the idea of simulation in all its complexity, but I'll try to do more with my work this term!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


For this project, I pretty much continued the work I have been doing on instagram surrounding texture and virtual dimensions. This is currently my primary interest in my digital art, and it related so well to Baudrillard's ideas that it felt almost too serendipitous. I wanted to ramp up the small texture studies I've been doing through editing and do more complex, multilayered images. In these images, I've tried to create pathways for the viewer to follow that make them think about all the different layers of removal between them and the subject matter. Screenshots of selfies of photobooth pictures, zooming in and out and constantly finding new focal points- I want the viewer's eyes to have a lot to do, and I know my audience is trained at darting around a screen to absorb all the information it offers.

"It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory - PRECESSION OF SIMULACRA"

The process of image compression, reposting, screenshotting, etc. deteriorated and decays images in exactly the same was that Baudrillard is talking about. This decay makes things undesirable in our eyes, if we notice it at all. I think it's beautiful and I want to make stories with it. The plotlines will go like this:

"This would be the successive phases of the image:
 - it is the reflection of a basic reality
 - it masks and perverts a basic reality
 - it masks the absence of a basic reality
 - it bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum."

You can view these images in their original location at my newhive page, along with the last project I did because it doesn't want to let me collect my pages in the same place...