Painting after Technology

From Mark Godfrey, curator of international art at Tate Modern and 2015 exhibition called “Painting after technology”.

Godfrey asks how painters confront a world where screens are so present in our lives. The screens give us “new info distracting us, keeping us at work the whole time… Painters have to ask what kind of attention do we bring  to that experience of a painting.” Attention means how to make that moment special and different from our experience of images on screen or distraction”. A common reaction is to work with “tricks to make us concentrate…often those tricks are about layers.”

I am also interested in responding to screen-based technology and how doing so makes painting about the “now” — our now.

Technology and changes in technology have always been a marker in paintings, indicating the time and place where they were made. Changes in paint technology spurred the abstract expressionists. Changes in commerical image making technology supported the aims and processes of the Pop artists.

As painters are influenced by the world around us, the way in which we engage in the world and the tools available to us become a part of our everyday and a part of our “now”. I’m interested in the idea of the contemporary, what that means and how that influences my experience and my production as a painter. Every moment is the only moment in time in which things will be as they are “now”. It should therefore follow that consciously referring the contemporary experience is a way to make work that cannot have been made before. There is a metaphysical underpinning to my approach as well as a pragmatic.

At present we stand straddling the analog and the digital realm. We also stand on the cusp of the augmented and the virtual.

Digital image making techniques employ concepts and methods that cannot be removed from the contemporary vernacular.

In my own experience it has felt as necessary to work in a digital way as it has to work by hand and in an analog manner. Both feel as vital and as rewarding.

Through my practice I attempt to reconcile the differences between the materiality of analog and the processes and equipment of digital while exploring how the amalgamation of the two are the distinctive signifier of this current time.