RANGE, 2012 – ongoing, considers an analog history of photography within the digital torrent that is its current technological manifestation. I steady my focus on the mountain: oldest subject, stable object, singular, immovable landmark, site of orientation, place of spiritual contemplation. I employ smartphone camera apps to make new photographs of the images of mountains that appear in canonical master photographs. I find them everywhere: in books, magazines, advertisements, online. Pointing my iPhone down at these mountains, the hallucinogenic colors of the camera app filters blend with the disorienting effects of the iPhone’s gravity sensor. Photo grain, dot-screen, pixel, and screen resolution collide, often performing undulating moirés. My mountains are unstable, mobile, have no gravity, change with each iteration, re-mastered. Here is the biggest distance, the longest range. I present a dialogue between distance and proximity, limited and unlimited, the singular and the multiple, the fixed and the moving, the master and the copy. I propose an inverse correlation between the number of photographs that exist of mountains at any one time, and the stability of photography at that time.
Text in RANGE (book published by Aperture, 2014):
Masters, Mountains, Ranges (and Rangers)
Master (pl. Masters): from Latin magister; probably related to magis ‘more’ (i.e., ‘more important’); 1. a man who has people working for him, esp. servants or slaves; a man in charge of an organization or group; a male head of a household; a person who has dominance or control of something; the owner of a dog. 2. a title for a man of high rank or learning; having very great skill or proficiency; a great artist, esp. one belonging to the accepted canon. 3. an original movie, recording, or document from which copies can be made.
Mountain (pl. Mountains): 1. a large natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; characterized by remoteness and inaccessibility. 2. a large pile or quantity of something or a large surplus stock of a commodity. DER. Moun•tain•y PHRASES: move mountains 1. achieve impossible results. 2. make every possible effort.
Range (See also: Ranger): 1. a line or series of mountains or hills; a region where many such features are found. 2. a set of different things of the same general type. 3. the distance within which something can be reached or perceived; the maximum distance to which a gun will shoot or over which a missile will travel; open or enclosed area with targets for shooting practice; the distance between a camera and the subject to be photographed.
ALT. Ranger: 1. a person or thing that wanders or ranges over a particular area or domain: rangers of the mountains 2. a series of nine American moon probes launched between 1961 and 1965 — the last three of which took many photographs before crashing into the moon.￼
- New Oxford American Dictionary 3rd ed. © 2010 by Oxford University Press
Mountains, Moving: of Swiss Alp Postcards and Sound of Music, 2013, installation view, 4 billboards, each 1244mm x 2200mm, public installation for the Alt+1000 Photography Festival July – September, 2013:
Some screen grabs of my iPhone “Camera Roll” starting with the originating image sent to me, followed by the evolution of camera app filters applied to the image: