abstraction, black + white, Encounter Studio, nature

abstraction exhibition

May 22, 2015

I have an exhibition of abstractions coming up at the Light Gallery  during the 2015 SALA Festival in August. It is a modest solo exhibition that consists of both abstractions from nature and from various walls and containers. The work has been constructed from the archives, and it can be seen as part of the shift inn photography to abstraction as a response to the digital realm.

An example of the abstractions from nature:

trunk abstract #1

trunk abstract #1

This picture was made with my old 8×10 Cambo monorail, and it is the trunk of a redgum that Suzanne’s mother bought back from Arkaroola as a seedling and planted in the reserve across from the studio. Then–the 1980s–the reserve was barren with just a bunch of pine trees. It was old farmland. The storm water from the large housing development up the side of the hill currently flows through the reserve, and it is now populated with large native trees and lots of birdlife. So we live near the sea surrounded by trees.

The difference between the 1980s and now is that, despite the demolition job that was the highlight of the Coalition’s NBN policy, NBN Co are currently working on building their fibre to the premises broadband infrastructure in the Solway Crescent next to the reserve as I write this post.

Given that there is no long term future in copper, could the developments that have occurred under the current Abbott Government act as a starting point and future governments could build on these to make further progress? If so, then the initial vision behind the national building NBN project would be restored, closely linked to the country’s development of the digital economy.

We know that those countries that have affordable high speed broadband in place will have a very significant advantage in our globalising economy. Fibre to the premises means a digital economy, and that means a digital world is emerging on the coastal suburban fringe of Adelaide–a digital world; a world that will be quite different to the one known by Suzanne’s mother when she lived here. We are right now in the very early stages of a new economy, one whose core is as fundamentally different from its predecessor as, say, the automobile age was from the agricultural era.

However, I am unclear how a digital economy will affect photography apart from ever more selfies, film-based photography becoming even more of a niche activity and the ever increasing mass-produced photographic images. If digital has been experienced as a disruptive technology by the photographic industry, then it is also an enabling one–witness how simple Instagram has made it to share photos, not only with your followers in the Instagram community, but with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr, all with a tap of the switch.

What I can see is that how digital technology has also enabled the photobook to become the primary art form for contemporary photographers.Small publishers and book-making rather than the simple creation of photography prints for an exhibition is now the dynamic area of modern photography. Book-making, and the conceptualisation of books, has become the medium on which artists are now judged.

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