SUBLIME TIMESCAPES, 2016 – ongoing, film photography. Working with photography to look at vision and structures of flow in nature, the series looks at the ways human understandings in embodied cognition differ from algorithmic learning in artificial intelligence.
The ability to extract and invent new forms in visual flow through turbulence are well documented throughout histories in painting. Painters have used water to depict visible and etherial flows, spanning Katsushika Hokusai, Gai Wang, DaVinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Pollack, and today’s machine translated representations from NASA’s imaging technology, geological terrain mapping, and medical imaging processes. Within the technocratic time, use of digitally modelled stories rendered by machine contribute to Artificial Intelligence’s attempts to work processes painters and technicians depicted through samples of copies. In an attempt to access direct experience through flow and turbulence representation, the analogue camera offers a tool easier to get one’s hands on.
Working to gain more direct understanding, the images in Sublime Timescapes employ the biological connection analogue photography has, instead of programming and datasets. The translation of those chemistry made images into digital spaces through imaging technology, is another focus in the series. Working with traditions in sublime painting through a lens, the film does the looking while the photographer works time adjusting aperture and shutter. A rangefinder performs as an apparatus to imprint 1:1 what was a priori (already there). By working with what was already there instead of sampling representations, Sublime Timescapes mediates on what time is. As often as phenomena in plain sight goes unnoticed, the series aims to more discreetly connect flow and turbulence within landscapes of the viewer and environment.
Surreal Timescapes make these structures sensible to viewers through the materiality of imaging. By fusing histories of the sublime in painting through analogue mechanisms of the camera, sensual and textural abstractions become ghost images, refractions and remnants, mirrored in the viewers psyche. Through visual literacy, the images write towards sublime understandings. In these aesthetic relationships, the vision (eyes) and the conception (sacrum) invite ethical conversations and meditations on internal/external relationships between humans and nature.
Sublime Timescapes makes use of film, once used for everyday picture making, to connect the sublime of historical paintings with the presence of these abstract beauty in the everyday. Colours in the series are heavy with magenta and amber due to the enhancement of the pigments in the film itself. Magenta is understood as a unique facet to human vision, created with embodied cognition and not on objective frequency wavelengths. amber is a resin with a relationship to the electron, in that the material of amber can be negatively charged. In ancient folk medicine, amber (Chasmal), was understood as an electrical conductor. Formed by the accumulated sap hardened over time, amber protects the body from subtle harmful energies and revives benevolent energies from the heart and circulatory systems. In the way these material properties of physical matter are mirrored in the reflexivity of the photographic process, the resulting frames invites concentration on the proposed divide between imagination and subject depicted. The structure of these connections to materiality and imaging are created to foster a benevolent flow for the viewer.