Seeing Machine, 2016
Canvas, webcams, and projectors
5'x8' canvas, room size variable
Conversation Starter, 2016
Plastic glasses and reflective tape
Monitor, tablet, webcam
11" tablet, small webcam, 17" monitot
My recent work has focused on exposing the subjectivity of perception through visual mediation. As many artists before me have observed, reality cannot be objective. Whenever we observe, we are making assumptions and following conventions unconsciously. By observing something one way, we are not observing it another way. In my work, I try to demonstrate how we unconsciously decide how to perceive things, and offer alternatives to exemplify how limited our everyday experiences are.
My work is inspired by artists like Bruce Nauman, Michael Snow, and Dan Graham, all of whom present their surroundings in a new way with their art. One aspect I admire from their work is that the method of mediation is obvious. It is clear to the viewer how the image is being generated. Although the actual implementation may be difficult, the idea is easy to understand. I try to capture this same simplicity of concept in my work. In a lot of digital media, the artist tries to hide the mechanics of the piece in order to create a sense of wonder. However, in my work, I want the viewer to be aware of how the art is mediating their experiences. Drawing attention to the mechanics in turn draws attention to the fact that the viewer cannot (or has not) had this perception on their own.
Much of my work this year has been digital. I think this medium is particularly well-suited to exposing limited perceptions because it can distort images in real time, or project a live stream far away from where the footage was actually taken. It can be independent of location, and I can have greater temporal control. It can also incorporate input from the viewer, allowing them to have more agency in their discovery of their perceptions. However, this semester, I have also created an analog piece, Conversation Starter, as an exercise in translating my ideas to a new medium.