JPEG is an attempt to explore the unique contradictions present in our state of photography – a state caught in a complicated flux between digital and analogue mediums. The distinctive corruption of a JPEG file serves as a visual parallel to the staining, scratches, and dust that plagues old negatives. It is a reminder for many that memories, even on virtual disks, will not last forever. Moreover, it is a distinctly identifiable indicator of “digitalness.”
These photographs are shot on film and then scanned as image files. Following this, they are converted to text (.txt) format, and then undergo a process of manual text manipulation - the source code of the image file is altered, rearranged, added onto (with literature and discourse excerpts), and manipulated in every way possible. The result is a distorted, ghosted, and rearticulated image that is not post-processed in Photoshop, but through actual code - utilizing most basic building blocks of digital imagery.
The final images are then re-printed as digital negatives and contact-printed through a method of Calotype printing (commonly referred to as Salt Prints) – Calotypes are one of the oldest photographic processes, and take on a distinct look - resonating with the viewer an undeniably “aged” appearance. They are one of a kind, and emanate their own distinct sense of truth and authenticity.
Through using classical content such as the nude, the images become located in a certain chronological frame, heightened by their textural and visual appearance and print quality. Manual digital corruption, coupled with the method of Calotyping, ensures that the images form unique and potent aesthetic contradictions.
Calotype Prints on Rising Stonehenge Paper, 22x30” - Editions of One
© 2010 ARSENI KHAMZIN / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.