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Erin Harper Vernon-Temporal Presence
December 2, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pmFree
“When we ‘see’ a landscape, we situate ourselves in it.”
John Berger, “Ways of Seeing”
“Temporal Presence” is a liminal landscape of a documentary space, a transitional changing neighborhood over the course of a year. Part record and part performance, these interpolated digital-images create long manipulated panoramic photographs. They are a recording of the movement of my body and interpretation to a connected lens. These photographs jar, bend, break, and reconnect to the horizon. Walking down the street the open lens records an indecisive moment, creating a fragmented landscape of moving in a space. A portrait of a place and time. There is a tempo to the movement in the image, a sequence of steps on the pavement falling into a black void at the borders.
The making of this work is connected to a dynamic meditation practice of walking with intention. The walk becomes experiential in the making of the work as well the images reflect this experiential quality. A way to connect through a reaction to place while reflecting that the only thing constant is change. Similar to lomo-cameras, this work is made with the lens of a mobile phone. The difference is as the light reflects back to the camera it becomes data interpreted by computer software to seamlessly connect pixels. This tool is interrupted through movement creating a disconnection in the photographs, like a reality-glitch ghost in the machine. As we navigate our world through media and land of fake news, these works touch upon deep-fake and the experience of multiple perspectives of how we arrive at a sense of experiencing an authentic place. This work touches upon a real landscape and simultaneously a constructed space. Creating a sense of a psychological landscape that is split in duo between reality and simulation.
In contrast to these digital sequential images, the making of this work is an experiment to make a personal presence on the street. A walk as a creative medium, and a way to make an impact in my immediate neighborhood. Our streets have a presence of prostitution and a homeless transient population. While making this project I noted dumping and broken street lights. It made me aware of, but as well present to make a positive change while working to help other people feel safer around me. Linked to an action based art experiment, this project is to test a concept of being present to support neighbors and neighborhoods. As we live in the age of police body-cameras being turned off, maybe it’s time to make a physical presence felt on our local streets.
About the Artist
Erin Harper, a multifaceted artist and teacher, is part of Big Car’s affordable housing program, Artist and Public Life Residency.
Her artistry cannot be pinned down to just her work alone. Her life is led by her intrinsic need to create. Her projects have led her lifestyle, pulling her in many directions and providing her with a multitude of unique experiences that drive her work. She is predominantly a visual artist and has worked extensively in the fields of photography, animation, sculpture, painting, and design. She works in a wide range of mediums and is inspired by the injustices and trauma that she has witnessed and experienced. As a whole, her work is mostly conceptual and analogous. Themes surrounding connections to history and place, as well as personal spiritual connection, have been frequent in her work.