Decoys, Duds, and Dummies
For the better part of two decades, I have worked on photographic projects that relate, at times directly but more recently, obliquely, to the United States intelligence community and attendant issues such as surveillance, secrecy, deception and violence. My current work is, in equal parts, an ongoing interrogation of photographic veracity and a critique of authoritarian power. The two are not unrelated. In my recent Decoys, Duds and Dummies project (deadpan, minimal still-life scenes and objects) my preoccupation with veracity finds a foothold in spaces, objects, and surfaces that masquerade as quotidian and familiar but are clearly unreliable narrators.
Recent philosophical positions in logic, including Object Oriented Ontology and its close cousin Speculative Realism, factor into this equation, as does the Modernist obsession with the grid, particularly as they inform photography’s digital evolution. The familiar grey checkerboard pattern, for example, of a transparent layer in Photoshop (which is now more a signifier of empty space than actual empty space) represents more than a passive, benign background—it is part of our new, weird grammar of visualizing the invisible. Hand- constructed environments and objects impersonate their virtual counterparts in my most recent work and reveal the circular logic that undergirds the current popular fascination with 3D printing and related imaging technologies.