Photographs from my camera roll that have been graded, photobashed, or augmented with rendered objects.
Fearless on the Bund
The “Bund Bull,” on the Western bank of Shanghai’s Bund, is based on Arturo Di Monica’s Charging Bull on Wall Street. In this re-imagining in homage, Kristen Visbal’s Fearless Girl appears to either enter into dialogue with, or to confront, the Bund bull.
Calvin Klein Bottle
I was disappointed to discover that, although there is a “(Calvin) Klein bottle”, it is a simple tubular water bottle. This image rectifies the omission.
The Sun of Man
Detailed images of celestial bodies are the epitome of realism (the source utterly untouched by humans), but they are also inherently fantastical, encompassing features alien to ancestral understanding, and enabled only by technology. This piece updates the Magritte painting, using its fantastical elements to bring out this feature of the astrophotographic images, but also to highlight a metaphor that is at most implicit in the original.
Laughter and Sorrow in the Age of COVID
This work in progress is an exploration of the extent to which face masks hide facial expressions. I found that during the first months of the pandemic (1) it was very clear to me when other people were smiling, and (2) I became especially aware of the use of my own eyes and cheeks to convey expression. I wanted to illustrate the availability of smiling through (or, above) a mask, by decorating the traditional comedy and tragedy masks (aka “theater masks”, aka “Sock and Buskin”, aka “Thalia and Melpomene”) to show the emotion in the eyes and upper face, instead of the mouth. Interestingly, only a smile that involves the upper face (the orbicularis oculi muscle) is an honest smile. It is a “Duchenne smile”, that is produced by genuine emotion. (The zygomatic major muscle, which only raises the corners of the mouth, is shared by both the Duchenne smile and the non-Duchenne, or “Botox”, smile.) So the smile that is visible in the presence of a mask is the true smile — the mask doesn’t make it more difficult to express (this) emotion, but it does make it more difficult to show a polite smile for show.
AI About AI
Mid-2022 saw a spate of reactions to the use of image synthesis tools trained from art corpora. These are some visual responses.
Computer, Teach Me How to Draw an Owl (WIP)
Left Behind (after the humans)
Art is Made of Art
A series of pieces that use synthetic imagery and design fiction to examine alternative retro-futures. These use specific points in the past, and the images and image techniques from those times, as a point of departure.
My U.S. residence, Greenfield Massachusetts, is a former tool-and-die company town that is now, at 17,768 people, the largest and only city in its county and the smallest city in the state. This piece is in conversation with an early-twentieth-century illustration that speculates about what it might look in the year 2000. The title is a wordplay on the actual name of the town, and the term “greenfield development”, which in technology R&D is used to mean ab initio creation, as opposed to the improvement of existing technology structures. This sense is similar to, but not the same as, the technical meaning of the same phrase in the fields of real estate and planning; here, the difference is crucial.