Thursday, November 20, 2008

Karly Wildenhaus' Interference

Karly Wildenhaus' project Interference is comprised of images that capture the degradation and imperfections of digital information. Appropriated from what appear to be digital television or online sources, the exaggerated pixelation becomes a distinct and important part of the vocabulary of these images. Many of these photographs resemble Impressionist or Pointilist paintings. This similarity, at least in a contemporary context, is simultaneous historically consistent yet paradoxical. The relationship between Painting and Photography has largely been one reciprocation. Each medium has inspired, as well as tried to emulate the other at varying times throughout history. Many of the Postmodern photographers of the late 70's and 80's, including Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky and Vik Muniz, embraced the scale, aesthetic Formalism and sublimity of historical painting.

One would assume that the ties between Painting and Photography would dissipate with the sophistication of digital technology, however, Wildenhaus' Interference images prove that this is not so. Each distorted pixel begins to take on the quality of an individual brushstroke. The corrupted digital files highlight the inherent imperfections of technological development, often exposing the transience of the information we receive. Despite the sophistication of this technology, images still degrade. They revert back to a more primal, painterly state. Ultimately, Wildenhaus' pixel paintings look both to the future and the past, creating a tension that is often unsettling.

All photographs from the series Interference

All Images © Karly Wildenhaus