Above the Fold
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
College of Charleston
January 31 - March 8, 2014

Above the Fold is an exhibition of artworks that take their point of departure from World News images presented in the New York Times. Included are digital photographs, gouache on paper paintings and an interactive installation with multiple projected animations.

Above the fold traditionally refers to the upper half of the front page of a newspaper where an important story or photograph catches the attention of passersby. In the digital age it refers to what is visible on the screen without scrolling.

Though news imagery is constantly updated, it is often presented in a way that suggests entertainment. Today one expects instantaneous documentation of events as they occur. In my work I call attention to its proliferation by creating an over-saturated environment through a bombardment of visual information. I begin with an image that appears 'above the fold' culled from both digital and print media and alter them in a variety of ways. I reduce the images to pixels creating grids of color. These grids are then overlayed with hand-traced drawings of images found in the printed newspaper. While the original images are diffused, they never disappear. Images of war, man made and natural disasters, and the destruction they cause are ubiquitous. By appropriating this imagery I change the context, the way they communicate, and how what they represent is understood.

The various components in my work serve as building blocks that can be reconfigured for different mediums. A line drawing is scanned and used in a digital collage which becomes a template for a painting, a page in an artist's book, an image in an iPad app as well as an animation in which the drawing process is made visible.

In Above the Fold two walls support grids of gouache on paper paintings. These 22 x 30 inch works illustrate the cycle of regeneration -- birth and growth, death and decay -- collectively becoming a representation of the passage of time. While the specific events may not be discernible, the works poetically and metaphorically alter these cyclical images. The translucent pastel colors of the paintings contrast with the harsher opaque tones in another work; a grid of 40 small digital prints collectively entitled If.

Interaction and interactivity are also major components of my work. As part of the Above the Fold exhibition I was commissioned to create a new site specific interactive installation. Time Jitters is an immersive experience consisting of four floor to ceiling projections. One wall contains a grid of twenty-five animations all of which loop at different rates becoming a cacophony of pulsing color and flickering imagery. Opposite this wall is a single channel 18 minute animation that combines drawn and appropriated imagery which is a meditation on how the news media presents world events. The walls adjacent to these animations house interactive visual and sonic elements. As people engage with the installation, the interactive walls become a collage of overlapping images and sounds whose tones are constantly in flux. The sound created by composer Yiorgos Vassilanonakis infiltrates the entire space and underscores the frenetic pace of modern life. Computer scientist Bill Manaris and his team created invisible computer-based intelligent agents that interact with visitors to the space.

Click here and here to see 2 clips documenting the installation.
Click here to view the Time Jitters animations.
Click here to view the Episodic projection.
Click here to download a PDF of the brochure.
Click here to read an article in Charleston's City Paper or download the PDF.

Click here to download Episodic as an iPhone or iPad app.