s t e v e   r o o d

Mechanical Landscapes. 2005

In this work, a portrait of New Zealand Identity and how it may be generated through the use of found imagery is explored. It asks, what could be a relevant form of the photographic portrait in the context of digital media? Themes such as Land, Water, Immigration and so on are bundled together to create an unstable experience told through combinations of seemingly unrelated imagery and their erratic screen behaviour. Juxtapositions are created to propose questions of meaning and relevance and invite the viewer question on how their concepts of identity are generated, stored and portrayed. This form of portrayal embraces an impossibility of any fixed meaning or profound comment on New Zealand identity and invites the viewer to encounter it as an experience in itself.

A recurring theme in these works has been the crosspoint of where traditional photography intersects with digital media and its processes. Peter Galassi wrote that “since the photographic medium has been digitised, a fixed definition of the term “photography” has become impossible.” In an age where photography is no longer necessarily about the photograph, it has become an unfixed description of a set of visual conventions. This work seeks to explore the application of photographs to digital media as the still image on screen by definition becomes a moving image. It suggests that a transition of photography to digital may not necessarily be related to video and cinematic conventions, but to other possibilities.

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