This Text Will Not Be On Your Photo (2022, ongoing)
Work in progress
10 x 8 silver gelatin prints, Ilford RC semi gloss
Browsing amateur images online is an obscure hobby (or is it). Finding photographs of old cars on residential streets can be a digital gold hunt.
Sellers on this selling site describe high-quality lab-produced photographic reproductions. Sometimes the promise of these results is far from what is found. The reproduction print that makes its way to you could never replicate the richness of the screen.
In the same way that the internet can create digital utopias, places or people; sometimes the real thing just cannot live up.
The digital watermarks on these images serve their protective function, virtually layered on top as a separate entity. When these images have been viewed so numerously, the two start to become one and the same - seamlessly attached. Even when informed ‘this text will not be on your photo’ it is still disappointing to receive them without.
Digital watermarks have existed since 1992, but the history of Watermarking dates back to original paper production in China over a thousand years ago, with the earliest accounts recorded in 1282 from Italy where wire markings were left in paper. Watermarks are of the strongest symbols of ownership and authorship in digital visual culture. A method we are very accustomed to, so much so, that we often see right through them. This work considers what things can look like when we isolate them in their interim state.
The images on display have been found online from a popular selling site. Focussing on Brighton the work hopes to raise the least questions or discussions of place, instead attempting to look at these landscapes as less about where they depict, and more for consideration of the original or the copy.