Google_search_magenta_oneBy Philip Cole
Exclusive to The Artling
C-Print, Still image
Dimensions: 4724px (H) x 2769px (W)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
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I spent much more time using the internet during lockdown.
I had noticed a few years ago the delay in loading google images on my phone whenever the internet was slow. A search can yield a temporary upload of gridded rectangular blocks of pure colour tones before changing from the predominant colour of the image to the actual one generated by the search. I have taken many screenshots of these fleeting tiled patterns before they disappear. These block layouts are familiar to all of us who may have used computer applications to order and organise images. They are fundamental to the way that content is organised and delivered to our screens. In ‘the Grid Book’ Hannnah Higgins (1) suggests that:
‘the grid is the dominant mythological form of modern life – a visualisation of modernity’s faith in rational thought and industrial progress comprising everything from the urban landscape to the power grid, from modernist painting to the forms of modern physics’
Whilst they may be emblematic of modernity, Higgins continues to argue that the history of the grid actually predates modernity. As a square or rectangular block is an elemental form, the organisation of more than one of these forms may involve a gridded layout. Whilst this is evident in the natural world it is even more noticeable in human systems that have developed and in modernist painting.
So, here is the starting point for a series of images, the screen is my window but my search engine stutters and in doing so provides an alternate vision, albeit only for a moment. These digital snapshots become substantial recordings of a moment in time. Their format embraces the grid as a device that helps to create a visual experience in the image as well as highlighting features of the systems we have constructed for ourselves and our things.
This image and others form part of a new series of work - the NFT format seems highly appropriate.
1. Hannah Higgins, The Grid book (MIT Press books 2009), p.6.
Based in: Brighton
Armed with clear rules of engagement and a highly particular approach and a technique, I add and subtract material in order to make a painting object. The approach could be characterised by process, it raises questions about the act of making and painting, the choice of subject matter as well …
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