HEX / HEX Videos

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Surah’s work ‘HEX’ birthed from studying the work of Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin and their well-known piece ‘The Day Nobody Died, a piece of work illustrating the ideologies of abstraction but more importantly that points towards the idea of media control within the jurisdiction of Afghanistan. He started to focus on expressing the idea that abstraction not only can work as a form of evidence, but it can in fact work as a form of journalistic and documentary evidence.

Within his work HEX he has appropriated imagery from multiple image searches which were executed using image scanning software, however Googles API (application program interface) web coding only allows software to grab 64 images per image-based search. He used the following search terms to obtain the imagery: 911, Afghanistan conflict, ISIS and London bombings. Once each search was conducted images were abstracted using software which produces a breakdown in the images to obtain the average colours, once the images were colour converted they were panelled into squares of 64 images.

Deception is important within this work, the viewer may have a feeling of calmness due to the array of colour patterns protruding from the images surface, and a colour may strike a personal or none personal memory of tranquillity or stillness or perhaps one may see the work as being a pleasing assortment of similar colors. However, when one watches the fast paced video tied to this work and sees the very images these colours were taken from a bipolar flux may occur within the viewer, as philosopher Julia Kristeva states ‘‘Sorrow is the fundamental mood characterizing depression and even if manic euphoria alternates with it in the bipolar forms of this state grief is the principal manifestation betraying the sufferer.’  Surah expresses that this quote to embraces the philosophies within his work, seeing one thing to be beautiful or calming can quickly turn into a negative and unsettling experience. He uses deception within his work to express a philosophical point of view, not just that abstraction can be used as documentary evidence but also that abstraction can be used as a vessel in order to express a point of how new media has caused this flux of desensitization, to resensitize the viewer by the modalities of abstraction within this work is merely creating a statement on how the bombardment of imagery has only caused us to feel less.

Kristeva, Julia. (1992) Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia. Columbia University Press

© Ravinder Surah 2018

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