Pixel Paintings 2004 - ongoing

Every image bears the adze marks of the technology through which it was created. In its record of objects and their inter-relationship, the traditional argentine (film-based) photographic process leaves the indelible imprint of both its ‘way of seeing’ and reconstructing The Things In Front of The Lens. Accordingly, the ‘success’ of the outcome is the result of an active collaboration between artist, medium and subject. In its unique ‘way of seeing’ and reconstructing The Things In Front of The Lens, the argentine process creates a scene or moment that did not – and could not – have existed until the act of photographing brought it into being, and in doing so, provides the opportunity for the serendipitous insight (what Barthes termed the ‘punctum’) for which this process is rightly prized. As a result, the photograph is as much ‘about’ the medium that produced it as it is ‘about’ the artist’s vision or his/her interpretation of the Things in Front of the Lens.

One of the most significant differences between the argentine and digital photographic processes lies in the nature of the dynamic relationship between medium and operator. It has been said that, whereas painting begins with a blank canvas to which elements are added, (argentine) photography begins with a crowded viewfinder from which the photographer takes things away.

Unlike the traditional argentine process, working with digital images makes it possible to manipulate both the form (shape, contour, colour and size) and position (relative and absolute) of elements within the frame, and to add others from extraneous sources. By providing the opportunity to construct images free from the phenomenological constraints imposed by physics and chemistry, the digital process reduces the rôle of the ‘unanticipable’ contribution of the medium in the creation of the final result. This difference represents such a fundamental shift in the process of creation – and therefore in the nature of the result – that the process is more akin to painting than to photography, and so I refer to the works thus produced as ‘Pixel Paintings’.