Resolutions (2008/12)

Digital photograph, custom software, stereo audio, unknown duration (30 min. excerpt)
Photo by Abe Doherty, Oakland, CA, 2006; custom software created in 2008; audio re-recorded in 2012.

A self-portrait in which a recording of the artist’s voice speaks pixel data from a digital photograph. Color information is read from each pixel, left to right across the image, one row at a time. The end of each line is marked with a breath. This 30-minute audio excerpt represents a small area of the forehead.


Original photo (at left) and installed at Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland, August 2012, part of the solo exhibition Patterns of Movement: Data and Sound Works, 2005-12.

This piece explores how self-representations and lived realities are rendered by processes of digital encoding. Color information contains racial and ethnic genealogies; wrinkles and blemishes from age and stress; light, shadows, and dust from a transient time and situation. For all that it captures, digital encoding also leaves much out, or otherwise alters details of lived experience.

Stream or download Resolutions on Bandcamp.