Imagery 

 

Vision is an important sensory function of human beings. Human beings are extremely dependent on it and most behaviors are based on it. visual art and imagery are inextricably linked.

 

Imagery has a very wide range. When the audience is surrounded by Dolby sound effects, although they haven’t seen the whole scene, they could vividly outline the specific picture in their minds, which is triggered by Auditory imagery.

 

Imagery is generated based on human multiple senses. For example, John Berger mentioned in one of his articles Why look at animals? , that the imagery of animals created by toys, cartoons, pictures, decorations of every sort surrounds children in the industrialized world. The animal imagery is not only visually manipulated.

 

It should be noted that the ‘imagery’ that I discuss and apply to my current practice here contains the visualized output to the display terminal, which belongs to ‘visual imagery’, which is one type of sensory imagery.  The output carries information related to movement or motion, which belongs to ‘kinesthetic imagery’. The final result of personal manipulation, which enters the secondary visual presentation does not only depend on a single sensory sense operation but synaesthesia.

The imagery from the everyday 

The street walk provides me with a never-ending supply of opportunities, pulling out my phone to snap sculptural situations, motions of humans and animals, left-overs of other people’s conversation, and actions.

The previous sculpture training keeps improving my sensibility to touch and motion, forming the multi-dimensional conscious of time-space and the awareness of de- and constructing. Often inspired by unanticipated discoveries in my daily life, I’m sure that these seemingly mundane everyday activities trigger me a lot because of my trained eyes. Those ‘trigger points’ are sliced from that moment and that site, then they are replicated as the imagery, which gives me the opportunities to study up on the unnoticed actions.

 

"A world that never changed and could not be captured at all times becomes a fragment of time through the act of photography. The photo is a slide specimen of time and should be viewed, understood, and possessed under the microscope of curiosity. Just as humans need to slice biological specimens in order to study biological tissues, use slides to make biological specimens and put them under the microscope to observe. "

                                              — 現な像 - Utsutsu na zou (essays by Sugimoto in Japanese with photographs) Tokyo:  Shincho-sha, 2008

The other main database of my collections is the swarm data flow. As Hito Steyerl explains in In Defense of the Poor Image(2019), images can be downloaded, reproduced, remixed, compressed. Those “images-as-debris” are squeezed through slow digital connections, as well as copied and pasted into other channels of distribution.

 

For me, capturing these art clues in the form of images reflects my subconscious reliance on visual memory. At the same time, this method is rapid and convenient, and these found images have a high degree of freedom in manipulation.

 

As these fragments increase, I began to think about how to use the found daily fragments into my own art practice, and re-examine the seam between art and life by preserving my sensibility to the everyday. 

What makes the image(visual image) be visible?

 

The word »data« has been used since 1946 to refer to computed information transmittable and storable in devices. These are fragments of information concerning a subject.

                            -The Labors of the Data Curator by Manuel Minch, Jan 15, 2018

https://schloss-post.com/labors-data-curator/

Combining one of  Marshall McLuhan's theory, the “content” of any medium is always another medium[2], If the code is the medium for transmitting and storing information or data, then I think that the image is a visualized data. The image as a medium is a visualized information-carrying layer. 

 

When recording my projection installation, I often worry about the "rainbow" visual effect. I found that even after the static image is digitally transmitted, it would still become a rainbow-like color block that keeps moving(flickering).

I began to question how the image is composed and displayed during my research and experiments on different mediums:

(2)The Chinese ancient landscape painting:

 

Art historian James Francis Cahill, who was considered one of the world's top authorities on Chinese art, described in his book The Compelling Image: Nature and style in Seventeen Century Chinese Painting, that Chinese Yuan Dynasty landscape painter Huang Gong Wang(1269 ~ 1354) in his paintings, paved the foothills between the mountains with repeated pen and ink units.

 

My research, which relates to the invention of photography and the Chinese ancient landscape painting, reminds me of the relevant existence of ‘pixel’ in the visual programming environment.

 

(3)The visual programming:

 

In the visual programming language, the code parameters often correspond to the visualized result through the different algorithms. Here, the image is composed of pixel units, which arranged in two-dimensional and three-dimensional coordinate systems(also called grid). Pixel-the digital image’s smallest units of information - become the basis of the current visual world.

(1)The technology of photography:

 

I learned how to develop black and white negatives and print photos using photosensitive paper in the darkroom of the college with the help of Nick Manser from Photography Workshop.  As mentioned in the Self-generate image, the light that makes everything in the world visible, through the camera lens, projects the scene captured at this moment into the film like writing. 

When using a photo printing instrument to print photos, the light passes through the negative film after chemical reaction development, and the captured image is positively developed onto the photosensitive paper. Traditional photography itself is like light-writing.

Photographer Sugimoto, mentioned in his book, 現な像 - Utsutsu na zou, that silver salt photography is an image formed by the integration of silver particles and light particles. The world is like printing, just using dots It can be restored like a pointillist painting..

 

4)The digital image:

 

Bill Viola once pointed out that "The television image is a constant transit of waves of electric energy, a system of oscillation."  The image in the TV monitor is generated by the shock of different frequencies and the impact of the electrical energy that hits the back of the screen and ignites the phosphorous substance on the screen. With the participation of the time, the image is an energy that is always active until it goes beyond our ability to perceive such a small unit of time.

The same ideas can also apply to the images in LCD screens: Hito Steyerl once mentioned in her article Ripping reality: Blind spots and wrecked data in 3D that the image is transmitted by the liquid crystal in the display. Within LCD screens, liquid crystals are carriers of the image information.

 

I realized that the digital noises are dynamic, even if they are presenting the static image file. There is no still image in digital technologies. The image is, therefore, a contraction of flow in digital technology, they are alive when they are displayed through the different medium for me.

I continue my experiment in my degree show project. 👈

I think those research inspire me a lot to break the boundary about the still and moving image information. At the same time, I started to

think about the difference of showing still images with digital medium and analog medium (such as printable surface).

 

 

The involvement of the concept of pixels, units or particles makes me realize that these parts that make up an image seem to be different from the content of the image and another existence of the display medium, the image itself possesses material qualities.

 

 

I think that in my personal art practice, I borrowed the function of the image that can convey daily information, visualize it, and permanently save it. it is actively living in the presence of a special moment in the scene, which is independently different from the medium but creates a specific connection with the carrier medium. 

 

With my editing operations, the material images(found motion images) are temporarily integrated with the medium(as a container), and then shape the synaesthetic image in the brain. 

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Keywords in this section with contexts:

1. Image & Imagery

    Why look at animals, John Berger

     Releasing the image

2. What makes the image(visual image) be visible? 

     現な像 - Utsutsu na zou, Sugimoto

   The Compelling Image: Nature and style in Seventeen Century Chinese              Painting, James Cahill

   Ripping reality: Blind spots and wrecked data in 3D, Hito Steyerl

   Video Projection: the Space between Screens, Liz Kotz