Magic Wand, video with sound, 2009, TRT 3:00 loop
This video (along with Clone and Marching Ants) was installed together as part of a solo show titled Invisible Tracks. In the work, a variety of recent images of Iraq, all gleaned from varying Internet sources, are pulled apart, blurred, erased, delineated and reassembled in an effort to negotiate the convoluted relationship of spectatorship to empathy. The underlying structure of the application Adobe Photoshop, popular software used for retouching and manipulating photographic images, is revealed by the representation of several procedural tools, such as the magic wand selector, the clone tool and the checkered backgrounds that connote transparency. Used to adjust the image prior to its final presentation, (the final gesture of which is richly called “flattening”) and typically hidden from view, these tools instead become incorporated into the images, a reminder that these images are capable of being altered continuously, from the photojournalist’s chosen composition, to the method used to deploy the images, to the hand of the artist, myself.