Color Transparency, 2018, video, CRT monitor, media player, edition 1 of 3 with 1 AP, 00:03:30 loop 131⁄4 x 131⁄2 x 171⁄2 inches
The source image from which Color Transparency derives is a 35mm slide that I found among my paternal grandfather’s photography collection. John Riddell Wood (1915-2000) was an avid naturalist and environmentalist. He loved to take pictures of nature and birds and of his travels around the world. The original image is actually of two juxtaposed landscapes, either incidentally created through double-exposure during the development process or when he advanced the film stock through the camera. The unintentional juxtaposition represents a constructed and unreal moment, created before digital manipulation was even possible. But, these are two moments that he lived, so many years ago at an unknown time in an unknown place, and have been passed down to me through a small photographic remnant.
I took this image, digitally scanned it, and made an analog recording of the file. I then dubbed it over and over on a VHS tape until the image disappeared over many generations of tape recording. The final video consists of still frames pieced together to show the disintegration of the image over many hours of dubbing.
The way that we capture, store, and access media is constantly changing as technology changes. Color Transparency is about the fragility of analog media and, similar to memory, its ability to disappear, deteriorate, and fade over time. Although not optimal for preservation purposes, this degradation also represents a certain character that is not possible with digital media. By design, the digital is infinitely reproducible. You can copy and paste a file ad infinitum, with no loss of quality. Color Transparency examines the analog media that past generations have left behind and questions how future generation’s use of digital media will alter their connection to the past.
WHAT MAKES A LIFE (2018)
May 4th - June 10th, 2018
Weston Art Gallery (Cincinnati, Ohio)
What Makes a Life is a series of interconnected installations about information. As the digital is becoming the norm and analog is disappearing, the way we capture, store, access, and consume media is also shifting. What Makes a Life questions how this shift affects identity, belief systems, communication, visual culture, and the creation of personal and collective histories.
WORK by C. Jacqueline Wood