Self Portrait in the Digital Domain

TR Flaxton

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


‘Self-Portrait in the Digital Domain’ was formulated to explore the core research question that was part of the original AHRC bid for my 2007 Creative Research Fellowship: ‘In what ways will High Resolution Imaging change the work produced in the convergence of art and visual technologies and consequently, our experience of that work?’ To answer this question I formulated the idea of ‘Quantum Resolution’ which proposed that audience immersion deepens with quantum as opposed to quantitative increases of resolution – that is the effects of deeper immersion would be felt with larger increases of resolution rather than incremental increases of resolution. Initially I formulated 3 practice as research portfolios as differing strategies to uncover the effects (if any) of increased resolution. These three were a) to examine everyday moving images of the world immediately around oneself, b) examine iconic moving images of the world and c) examine human portraiture and by way of this examine ideas around the human gaze. I argued that each work would be a building block in a developing argument to examine my hypothesis and that all of the works would be presented together in a major exhibition as the overall thesis – this occurred in December 2010 in collaboration with University of Westminster in their London P3 Gallery. ‘Self-Portrait in the Digital Domain’ arose as a response to the research I’ve been doing in my 3rd Portfolio of works on human portraiture and the human gaze which had as its base idea to investigate the re-presentation of the human portrait in front of an iconic object or landscape. In this development I isolated the face alone and turned the camera on myself and created images with very low resolution (about 32 pixels in the 1st instance), working though step-changes in resolution until High resolution images were obtained. Portraiture and self-portraiture share an author and a gaze, but in gazing at oneself certain transformational imperatives affect the way the human self represents itself. As one views the work, an abstract image becomes a barely recognizable human face, then slowly resolves into my own recognizable face before reducing back again into an unrecognisable abstract image. This work was first presented at the Salisbury Arts Centre in a one-person show during October 2010. The series of works this work is within have been shot in China, New York, the Uk and Italy and subsequently I have spoken of the research outcomes in articles and papers at various international conferences. In exhibition, this work is displayed 7 foot by 3 foot. At an exhibition in 2010, 6 projects were displayed as a 60 foot triptych with people represented from around the world.
Translated title of the contributionSelf Portrait in the Digital Domain
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVarious (1st Exhibition, Salisbury)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010

Bibliographical note

Medium: Low to High Resolution Digital Installation
Event title: Various (1st Exhibition, Salisbury)
Other: Part of the 3rd Practice as Research Portfolio from the 2007 - 2010 AHRC Creative Research Fellowship

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