A Long Still Life participates in the tension between loose, painterly, gestural abstraction and the hard edged, figuratively particular abstraction associated with Pop, initiated in mid-20th century American art. Roy Lichtenstein’s Brush Stroke paintings from the 1960’s, depicting apparently casual arrangements of conventional chromatic discharge, rendered with iconic specificity, and produced industrially, conflate this tension. The series is taken here to be a retroactive archetype for a marginal tendency toward aberrant “painterly” abstraction achieved through means of conceptual acuity, technical proficiency, and computational composition.
In our work, the ultra-fine physical mixing of paint pigment, effectively its resolution, is replaced through the use of a mechanically liberated scanner wand to collect the appearance of our physical surroundings, recorded as three distinct hues (Red, Green Blue), through binary notation, one linear unit of information at a time. The full platen is a loaded brush. Even without the confines of its manufactured aspect ratio to ensure the legibility of this information, the scanner still believes everything it sees. Our palate of simulated physics engines, image projection, animation, and data scripting languages performed with a computer always seem to agree. The tools allow for the high-fidelity distortion of quasi-photographic input, in a manner that is apparently authored.
Parallel to this body of work is an exploration of the image decay of low-fidelity output. This distortion is attained through the reduction of a photographic source, an image, to a sequence of single lines of binary information able to be transmitted through a single axis, mechanical painting tool. We have have built a primitive, straightforward printer and named the device Cindy Crawford.