Perception & The Hyper Real

How we perceive the world is very personal and subjective. It is influenced by so many factors such as our culture, upbringing, our senses, our environment, how we see ourselves in the world, our moods and relationships. Although we share experiences and there are a lot of interconnections between people our individual experiences remain unique to ourselves and therefore our perception is unique, although very closely shared.

One of the biggest and current influences on our perception is the Internet and digital imaging.  We increasingly use the Internet to create a persona. I use it as a space to promote my art and through this promote myself as an artist and open up conversations with similar practitioners through the net. It is a useful tool but I do question its reality.

This morning I have been photographing some of my drawings and paintings for my portfolio, some of which I have uploaded below. I use a reasonable standard digital SLR to do this. I enjoy the process of observing the transformation of the work from a tangible drawing on paper or painting on canvas into a digital image. The work changes. It becomes digitally enhanced. The way the camera captures the light and colour of the work and transforms it into pixels has a hyper real quality. I am seduced by it because it is without much effort that my work becomes digitally enhanced and becomes new work.

I think we are learning to respond to the hyper real, digitally enhanced image. It is attractive, slick and seems flawless. The hand made is removed and it becomes another jpg on the Internet.

Viewing multitudes of jpgs enhances the wow factor of going to a gallery or studio and seeing artwork for real. The contrast between the two experiences is considerable. Most artwork that is hand crafted is more impressive off the net.  It’s hard to gauge a true sense of scale, colour, depth and surface on a flat screen.  The hyper real is slick and part of life but for me can never replace the solid and personal.

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