My work develops from an interest in exploring the degradation and decay of digital data and media. That investigation drew me to the digital image and specifically the pixel. It is the basis of every digital image through which all imagery is constructed. It is taken for granted but has become my pallet. The skills that I developed to explore degradation translate into the tools I use for the construction of new images.
Today, we transmit, alter, and receive information with less effort than ever before. We create professional quality images, edit videos, and layout publications with ease – formerly only the realm of the professional. Technology democratizes the ability to create; yet this comes at the sacrifice of understanding the medium and tools we are using. As we become users of the technology, a disconnect grows between the process and the result.
As an image-maker, I choose to take back the process. Rather than moving to traditional means of image making, I wish to engage the computer image at its level – the pixel – rigidly organized column-by-column, line-by-line. This grid becomes my canvas. The photograph, no longer an image, presents itself as a mosaic of pixels, any of which can be altered or removed. Images can be planned out, captured, altered, or just left to chance. With control of the grid, pixels can be filled automatically, through new modes of capture.
As the viewer interacts with my installations, his or her awareness of the process of constructing an image grows, whether by emerging as the noise within the system – engaging in the process of degradation – or by witnessing and manipulating the visual matrix as it fills in a rigid and organized fashion – engaging in the process of construction. These installations educate, as tools allowing the viewer to become the chance operation within a rigidly planned system. Through extended image making experiences and deliberate disclosures of the pixel, the viewer becomes aware of the constructive / deconstructive process inherent in imaging technologies. Resulting images are then easier to understand as the viewer discovers their structure.