Virginia Otth

Virginia Otth

Work from Petites Définitions.

Otth’s work addresses the technical aspects of photography in the digital age. After visiting her site I wished that I spoke French, or at least the Google Translate was a little more perfect. Either way, you must go to look at her work. Her work ranges from a scientific and precise examination of digital color and reproducibility to low end digital pixelations of classic Dutch still lives. Please, please, please go to her site.

“Photographic images are defined today by their pixels. Although the medium seeks its definition from a technical basis, I prefer to work from a semiological perspective. This series, comprised of “small (‘low’) definitions”, uses “low quality” images from first generation mobile phones in relation to the tradition of representation in painting. The models and the stills (lives) are “illuminated” by the light a computer screen and make reference to portraits of the Renaissance period through the posture of the subjects and the strong directional lighting. The enlarged pixel, retained as a square of solid color, also resembles a “touch” of paint, and is inherent in this reference. “Unseeable” at close distances, the subject resolves from afar. The disruption of the signal, the image noise, and JPEG compression artifacts decrease the readability of the subject and refers directly to the medium. This is of particular interest to me, and is the basis of the work. This rudimentary high-technology, destined for mass production and consumption, presents a distorted vision of the world through this degradation and, paradoxically, refers to an image of the world much more abstract than expected. The aesthetics of this “bad” quality offers me an excellent opportunity to question the medium and our relationship to the realism of images. Though the camera-phone’s purpose is to give us the opportunity to easily record both the small instants and the great moments of history (if by chance we are there), it actually gives us an altered, or ‘other’ vision. I appreciate this pictorialist aesthetic, and I use it to sublimate my subjects, and the lack of definition is filled in by the imagination and by the references to the history of representation. This work is immediately dated by a ‘new’ technology which the market has already rendered obsolete The current generation of mobile phones – even at the low-end – is of much higher quality, the representation of the world is much more ‘accurate’, and unaffected by the severe JPEG compression of the first generation. This work conserves a trace of this stage of technology as a relic, of the beautiful noise which was the default..:. ” – Virginia Otth

via Conscientious.

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