I’m interested in how digital images are really algorithms, working with code. This code could be interpreted in multiple ways – a song, a video, an image etc. It’s just one and zeros existing as electronic impulses on a memory cell that has no connection to a photographic scene until it is read and interpreted by the computer.
This is all very cold and inhuman, so I thought it would be good to “flesh” it out by combining this with portraits. The initial portraits are quite neutral ( flat, even light, face to camera etc) which I hope will simplify (or rather, not complicate) people’s responses to what they see. I’m not interested in any particular person, as much as how people/things/scenes are artificially constructed in a digital world.
With the techniques I’ve experimented with, for me it feels I should use either black and white portraits with the solid colour pixels or the colour portraitist with the blurred pixels. I don’t know if it’s clear but the pixels are actually from the portrait – if you blur your eyes you can see the features underneath.
After showing these to some colleagues, it’s interesting to see that my intention was to focus on the break in the digital photographic medium rather than the subject of the image, but of course when you see a portrait you become interested in the person, what’s hidden, what’s revealed etc and your thoughts go to identity, representation etc. So, I either need to think that side of things through more, or choose a more “neutral” image – a bland landscape for instance. Actually, I think I will try both of these.
It’s useful to see how I might have one thing in mind but then to find that others read different things into what I’m doing. It gives the image complexity but it also makes me realise that once it’s created and out there I have no control over it and how people respond to it.