"The Treachery of Imaging" is a conceptual exploration of digital media's translational nature, a recognition of its ubiquity in our visual culture, and its fallibility. This work is an experiment in process; the dissection of a workflow for the purposeful obfuscation and destruction of digital imaging technology in opposition to its commonly held status as a scientifically accurate measurement tool; or as Paul Gsell referred to it, "an unimpeachable mechanical witness."
Through reflection, reference, reiteration, repetition, and the construction of algorithms "Treachery" is a process-oriented body of visual work, a documentation of this process, presentation, and context created in the midst of a cultural shift toward absolute digital presence in every facet of communication.
The pixel and its sum compositions dominate our field of vision as consumers, inform and limit our capabilities as visual artists and graphic communicators. Sensors and output devices to capture and translate the physical world have become almost solely reliant upon particularly controlled circumstances, limited and profoundly represented by digital technology. Yet, in its midst, our culture is either unaware of these "translations" of media or willfully ignorant to its impact on our ways of seeing and interpreting imagery.
The visual components of "Treachery" (presented in its gallery exhibition) are a balance of abstraction and representation born of translation faults in digital imaging technology, its glitches, and limitations. This work (as a whole) intends to enlighten the viewer/reader to such common technology by elaborating upon its powerful ability but limited, granular (pixel-based) nature. It poses and explores the question, "How do we `see' in a visual landscape processed almost entirely by digital technology?" and "How can it affect our processes of creation?"
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Digital images--Psychological aspects; Photography--Digital techniques--Psychological aspects; Computer art--Technique; Video art--Technique
Fine Arts Studio (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Art (CIAS)
Campbell, Charlie C., "The Treachery of Imaging" (2014). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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