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SMD #9, 2018




Multi-Media scanned collage w/human interaction. The inventors of photography were scientists, trying to find ways to capture the world as they saw it. Before them however, painting or drawing was how people recorded the world around them. One tool that was used to aid in the accurate portrayal of one's surroundings was the camera obscura or what is essentially a darkened room with a small hole in one wall. The term was coined in 1604 but appears in text as early 500 BCE in the Mozi from China. Eventually the aforementioned scientists invented various forms of fixing the images that their camera obscura-like devices gazed upon, creating what we know today as photography. The invention of photography as it was translated from “light drawing” in latin could be what disrupted painters and their attempts at translating their visual reality. Much like the creators of photography, Niepce, Daguerre, and Fox-Talbot, Ray Kurzweil is an inventor. In 1974 he led development of the first omni-font OCR or optical character recognition system. Previously scanners had been able to read text in only a few fonts. After a conversation with a blind man on a flight, Kurzweil understood that his technology would be of great help to the blind, as that passenger on the flight expressed that reading printed text was the only real aspect of his life that his lack of sight impacted. Kurzweil then decided to use his OCR technology to create a reading machine for the blind. In order to do this he needed to create the text-to-speech synthesizer and the CCD flatbed scanner. Flatbed scanners became commonplace in offices and even homes around the 1990’s when their resolution went up and their prices came down. As Kurzweil’s reading machine did, I am exploring the use of technology to make the imperceptible perceptible in my work as well as finding out what happens when that technology inevitably fails. The common flatbed CCD scanner is used to scan flat objects (sheets of paper, photographs, film), but what happens when it is turned to the real world, to translate or convert one’s surroundings, creations, movement? Is the scanner an adequate tool to base the dialectic of translation vs. representation? Generally people view photography as a representational medium. However many do not realize that it is a process of invisible translation. I prefer a term that Gottfried Jager coined, “concrete photography.” As he describes it “Concrete Photography as a form of nonrepresentational photography in which the medium itself moves away from its classical role of representing the external world to take on a strict self-referential role, in between both traditional light-images and images of the digital world.” Long ago, I grew bored with using the camera as a tool to represent, I prefer to use it as a tool to focus on specifics, kind of like cropping out the rest of the world. Using photography technologies as a tool to transform objects from real world things into other/ethereal/incorporeal entities. Editions of 5 +2AP @ 50x40 inches and 30x24 inches Custom Sizes available in editions of 2

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painting | collage | photography | mixed media


50.00 x 40.00 x 2.00 in | 127.00 x 101.60 x 5.08 cm

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Studio Mitch Paster

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