Christian Flynn

Christian Flynn

Work from his oeuvre.

“ I’m looking at the screen. I remind myself: it’s not the screen, only the image of the screen. An image made from the screen, for the screen, on the screen. But, then again, it is the screen too. I search for an image from the screen. The screen unnervingly asks: Did you mean form the screen? Uncertain, I click on the tab just below the image of the screen. A blank page, familiar ground signaling time to start writing. But now the page has become the image too. See? There? The thinnest sliver of silver bordering the white cloud that tells me it is floating ever so slightly, tentatively even, above the gray sky. Only a black arrow, my virtual Polaris, a pointed figure hovering steadily against a mute ground, guides me back to the still white page. Still…how to write about the image when the image has become the very surface on which I write.

So, I shift my eyes slightly, just to the right, in a move searching for an object to reset my vision. Yes, reset. Or, is it restart? Click to restart. Force quit all applications. There, a familiar square of neon pink. It reminds me: reschedule appointment. A distraction, so I peel it away and stick it on the wall behind the screen. Fresh start, blank slate—nice, empty cube of pink. But, wait, that too has suddenly become the image, flattening itself into the same blank page that stares at me from the screen just to the left. And now, above that, the other neon square of pink, its lower right edge, curling up coyly away from the wall, refusing to stay flat, teasing me with that same silver shadow that follows me from page to page. Maybe some tape will help. Tape it down, make it flat. Then carefully peel away the representation. What lies below is not the support, but yet another infrathin surface, another layer upon layers.

Layers. Yes, lock the layers to stabilize the image. The image is now locked, caught in a double game of mimicry. It mimics the screen, and the screen mimics back. Mimesis and flatness—must they be contradictory desires? After all, isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Yes. Flatter-y. Flatter, thinner—that’s what the images promise me. How to have both/and. Screens so thin, thinner than air, images that promise to be simultaneously micro-thin surfaces and infinitely deep spaces. The thinner the image, the deeper the space. Layers tissue thin, so transparent that they disappear to become the thing itself. The flattest images convince me the most. The desire for perfect illusion now aligned with the desire for perfect flatness.

I return to the screen. The page still blank in perfect white monochromatic flatness. I try to align the page with its image. At first, resistance. And then, resolution. Screen resolution. A click, and something clicks. I let myself fall, fall into the pleasure, the pleasure of being tricked, tricked into believing, believing in painting, painting no longer as a window…but windows.” – Joy Jeehye Kim

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