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DIGITAL TRANSITIONS

12/13/2009
left and right: Matthew Swarts, Untitled, 2004

left and right: Matthew Swarts, Untitled, 2004

Tonight recent Corocoran grad and top-ten shooting DC art star Will Knipscher talked briefly about cell phone photography and the ‘problem” of production of such small, low-res images. As we’ve discussed before, the use of cell pictures and internet-based images calls for a new discourse on what is valuable, marketable and even acceptable within our medium and how such images should be output and shared.  I was reminded of the work of Matthew Swarts, who makes digital collages from images culled from Google image search (much like yours truly), and has an interesting means of process and production. As many of you are working with collage, I thought it would be relevant to our current assignment.  Check out this excerpt from Digital Transitions/Selections from the Light Work Permanent Collection by John Mannion and then wade through Swarts randomly sequenced site.  Interesting stuff…

Matthew Swarts creates “works that really challenge our understanding of the photograph, (and) push the ways people think of the image… Simple internet searches for keywords such as “sex,” “love,” and “death” bring forth a visual language that Swarts reconstitutes into his work. In the process, he manipulates and prints his images onto media ranging from towels to paper bags using cheap desktop printers. High quality scans are made of the finished low-tech inkjet printouts, and then printed with the best printer and paper possible. This work questions ownership of the images and focuses on the process of printing digitally, embracing the imperfections in the low-tech prints by painstakingly reproducing them in the large exhibition prints…”

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