Why jpegs Don’t Always Suffice

Of late, a few artists in the World of the Glowing Hoodies have been making pictures that will present a (welcome) challenge when the time comes to upload them to the College Board. They (the physical images) remind us that form is at least as important as content (cf. Winogrand), if not moreso to the point of total dominance (cf. Groover).

Here is a statement from Laura Plageman that addresses an aspect of this in her series Response:

“In this series I am responding to photographs both as representations and tangible objects. Through physically altering enlarged prints and then re-photographing the results, I create works that oscillate between image and object, photography and sculpture, landscape and still life. While they may appear illusory, the resulting pictures are documents of actual events and are thus as authentic as the original representational images contained within.

“My process unfolds through observation and experimentation – I let the image and its materiality dictate its direction. Playing with paper and with light in unplanned and organic ways, I look for new ways to perceive the space, form, and context of my subjects. In some works, large pieces of the original image are torn out while in others, smaller parts are more subtly altered. I use a large format view camera throughout my process so I can control perspective and record as much detail as possible. Whether focused on a ripped paper edge or a nesting bird, I hope to reach a place where picture elements interact and merge in unpredictable and expressive ways.”

Even more pertinent to the current AP work is this caveat regarding the posting of work by Dirk Braekman:

“We would like to inform the visitor that this website is merely a documentary tool. Please keep in mind that the rendering of the original prints on a digital platform is only approximate and involves considerable loss of quality, contrast and depth when shown on most computer monitors. With their very specific tactile values, textures and the (mostly) large formats, the original photographs are thus extremely difficult to reproduce. It goes without saying that only seeing them in reality can do them justice.”


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1 Comment

  1. On the latter, Amen: So be it


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