Thesis: Joseph Grennier

The academic engine that fuels so much artistic print production and inquiry hits a fever pitch at this time of year with students at all levels of higher education producing culminate work toward their various degrees. The future of print belongs to these young minds so why not survey what they’re making. Printeresting will be sharing a sampling of thesis work from all over the US and beyond in a series called All These Theses 2014.

The following images are from Joseph Grennier’s MFA exhibition at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Here is a brief statement…

Defaulted is an ongoing series and edition of laser-cut archival inkjet prints, which call into question widely-disseminated and utilized nature-themed desktop imagery – specifically that from recent versions of Mac OS X (10.6, 10.8 & 10.9). LED backlights (not entirely dissimilar to the monitors and devices we’re more accustomed to viewing these images on) emphasize and activate the laser-cut portions, complexifying the materiality of the works, while drawing out tensions between analog and digital, as well as printed and screen-based imagery. Each of the works conveys a semblance of its source imagery, but is abstracted via alteration (or glitching) of the hexidecimal code comprising the digital image file.

More and more we are encountering digital noise, or glitching – when our web browser crashes, when our satellite TV is on the fritz, or when digital advertising displays are damaged or their signals interrupted (notably all of these encounters embody a negative connation of disruption and brokenness). However experiencing digital glitching on a tactile two-dimensional surface such as that of paper activates something decidedly different.  The images appear to belong on a broken, outdated or obsolete screen, but instead rest upon or etched into the paper’s delicate, fibrous, and static surface. Encountering Defaulted thus presents continua of analog and digital, familiarity and strangeness, and function and obsolescence, as well as an emergent dialog between the various media, politics and philosophies, which they ultimately phase-shift. While these may be actual spaces, few of us have the ways or means to enter into them (either virtually or actually).  Are these accurate representations of the world around us? And what of the digital devices they are viewed upon? How might these ultimately affect the natural phenomena they so expertly represent?

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One Response to “Thesis: Joseph Grennier”

  1. Thanks so much for featuring my thesis, I’m honored!