Assignmnet 20

September 1, 2009

This picture is interesting because like the Kent State photo, it’s so iconic. I had already known about the post edited out of the latter; there was an obvious change (for the better, aesthetically) when you saw both versions. But the Beetles picture is more subtle. It demonstrates how the collective culture and consciousness can change, both in the shift of values leading to the removal of the cigarette, and in the actual change to the image.

Pixel Perfect
“When I see a print, I could probably tell you if it was a Pascal print,” Charlotte Cotton, the head of photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, said. “It’s immaculate, and there’s a kind of richness to the pixellation. It feels like you could almost sink your finger into it.”
It sound strange to me that a digital print could have any such sublime richness to it. What I have learned says that pixels are just pixels. There is a brightest and a darkest and 254 other shades in between. Sometimes novice pixel (isometric) artists try to work large and then scale down their art, to achieve “sub-pixel detail”; there is, of course, no such thing. (unless maybe you’re crazy enough to mess with sub-pixel rendering on LCDs) I looked up some of Dangin’s work and he seems to change quite a lot in his photos, if subtly. I’d call it more “photomanipulation” or even moving toward “matte painting”; “retouching” implies only minor changes.

On Daniel Canogar’s Horror Vacui: The size of the installed work is significant. Up to a point, the image of hands together could be created without manipulation or trickery, just by putting a bunch of people together and having them reach out to the same place. But as the work gets bigger, the crowd behind the image would have to get more and more dense, until it wouldn’t be possible to continue. There would be some size after which trickery would have to come into the work, and by lining walls with the image, Canogar had gone well beyond that size. What’s more, the image tiles, implying infinite expansion through mechanical repetition.


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