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Image AA1-A Year In The Country Year 4 image-journeys in otherly pastoralism, the outer reaches of folk and the parallel worlds of hauntology

File under: A Year In The Country ocular explorations


For a fair old while I’ve been fascinated by traditional cathode ray images, broadcasts and related analogue video recordings – their visual characteristics, the way that they connect with or imply a particular now rapidly vanishing into the distance period of history and technology.

Just as traditional chemical film based photography has its own distinctive grain, cathode ray images have their own “grain” or loss of quality – the scan lines, the glitches and wobble of analogue video tape and their degradation over time and multiple generation copies, the snow, noise and ghosting that results from a poor quality broadcast signal etc.

At times there can be something accidentally beautiful about such characteristics – close up or enlarged they can become abstract patterns.

Within visual work, as with sections of music/audio, the above characteristics and related technology have come to have a form of romance or even nostalgia attached to them, accompanied by an at times hankering after an era before the loss of loss that digital replication may be thought to have brought about.

(Although it could be argued that through the compression techniques of digital storage and replication that the contemporary era has its own form of loss, we just have not necessarily overly recognised it at as such yet. Just as modern digital technologies, restoration, audio, photography, video etc all have their own distinctive character and transformation processes.)

Within visual art there has been the use and application of some of these “lossy” previous era characteristics, alongside the likes of exploring earlier data limited imagery: essentially using modern technology to say create the sense of an image being stored on a degraded multi-generational video tape recording, captured via the ghosts of faded analogue transmissions, having been replicated over and over again on an uncalibrated early photocopier or created via early digital computer technology, resulting in 8-bit art, glitch art and so forth.

Generally such aesthetics and styles are used in connection with imagery of an urban nature and I thought it could be intereresting to see what would happen if I took such styles and applied them to those of a more rural or pastoral origin.

The plan is to take the “classic” A Year In The Country style and effectively transmit and broadcast it through a contemporary portal that in some ways connects it back to the aesthetics and visual fingerprints of earlier eras: a re-interpretation and interweaving rather than a replication, allowing the signals to at times fade and be scrambled as they tumble backwards and forwards through time…

That “classic” and the “transmitted” styles may well become intertwined and/or sit next to one another as the weeks and months pass by. We shall see where the year takes us (!)…


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