Optics can be an action for show or display, a way of posturing for a potential audience or public. It is also a play on what the image does to the eyes, shifting between abstraction and representation based on one’s bodily relationship to the image.
In its short history, photography has struggled with its role as an artful practice. Unlike painting, photography isn’t concerned with its historicity because history is built into its materials. When photography freed painting of its responsibility to represent life, painting relinquished its power to be humble. By contrast, photography’s role as a medium of service helps to keep it humble, while its inherent repetitiveness prevents the individual print from being special. The editioned photographic-image, filleted in space at different scales, has the potential to generate changing relationships between the body and the spaces both image and architectural occupy.
Perhaps it is because of the death of print media that advertisers have turned to architecture. In a city like Los Angeles, every public-facing surface has the potential to be subsumed into an unplanned sequence of slapstick-like visual violence, which we cannot readily turn away from. Printed vinyl, billboards and digital displays cover over redundant and unwanted architectural spaces. The failures of architecture result in the success of the commercial image.
In this body of work, 40% of the original image, along with its color, remains in each print, with 60% pulled away with the surface of perforated vinyl. What is left conceptually are the decisions of the two image makers. An idea reduced down so much that what is left is a humorous yet malleable distillation, evoking some potential future where the viewer sees themselves as cool, attractive and happy, or failing that, returns to the avalanche of images flooding one’s periphery.