Animal Configurations

Series, 2007 – ongoing

These are some of my earliest works to receive a (somewhat) wide audience. The works date from 2007. This was a time when artists were first getting excited about the ready availability of images they could access just by doing Google searches. The images were high quality, and often rather clinical. In their apparent simplicity, they were easy to manipulate, like sampling a song where the first bar is just drums. The stills are the first part in a series of images including black and white animated GIFs and other animations.

Using animals as the subjects for the images also lent itself to the overall generic quality. The images were more indexical in nature rather than being portraits in the way they would be if they were of humans, or, for example, of specific pets posed for the shot. They were just of “animals”.

The works resurfaced in my consciousness recently when they started appearing in posts on Instagram - uncredited, I might add. The goat, in particular, proved to be very popular. People thought the images were very funny and they liked them, but when they found out the effects were created in software, they were disappointed. They thought I’d done them photographically with exposure effects, but, in fact, it was all a function of settings and filters. In that the images could be thought of as “pure products” of the internet - the result of simple googling and downloading Photoshop illegally - this genericness of their creation appeals to me and fits with the overall tenor of the project as I understood it.