Download Delete Repeat

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Surah’s photographic practice studies the digital age of imagery, particularly that of New Media and how we are bombarded by this relentless flux in technological changes and imagery. We have become resistant to the image and its messages, dismissing it socially but, more importantly, almost forgetting its’ importance in terms of impact and the intended meanings (from an evidential standpoint) in photojournalist images.

 

Download Delete Repeat comments on the bombardment of image data we see daily by using algorithmic strings of programming code to download the first 64 images of any given internet search term. Subsequently the results are flooded into an 8 by 8 grid creating an image mosaic which relate to the former search terms. Once each term has been executed the images are then chronologically averaged out into their dominant colours and housed in their own 8 by 8 mosaic. Each cluster of search term images then get destroyed however, both original and average mosaics are kept and saved into a separate file. The program continues to function and read search terms from a text file until it reaches the end of the text file and then loops the sequence indefinitely.

 

Within the space of an exhibition format the program runs over three screens, the first screen the viewer initially sees is the abstracted colours enabling the viewer to question their relationship and meaning. The next two screens are then approached by the viewer, one showing the reams of continuous download code and the other displaying the original image mosaics offer a form of clarity to the abstractions. Thus, this emphasises the disruption between beauty, death and destruction, something we sometimes consciously and subconsciously are ignorant too within a world flooded with an abundance of imagery.

 

Surah places emphasis on the dislocation between the image of conflict, for us to question it and not resist its dominant visceral impact. By luring the viewer into a false sense of perception via the modalities of beauty and abstraction, the work functions as a form of deception, its quest to resensities the viewer to the images of conflict. Secondly the work aims to provoke thought to the viewer, begging the question of why we dismiss the images of conflict. If not for a moment just to be at meditation towards the image of conflict.

© Ravinder Surah 2018

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