Pixel Perfect: Digital Art and Photography

Putting on a Show at the Gage Gallery

It is said that a good image creates a feeling in the viewer. It might even be an uncomfortable feeling.

And that was the feeling of my buttons being pushed at the Creative Group of the Victoria Camera Club. As a moderately skilled tool user myself I found myself disconcerted by the level of automation used in some of the works presented. Generative AI really got under my skin. My exact quote, said out of earshot because I didn’t want to be rude, was 

“I hate this.’

And that was interesting to hear myself say in my outside voice, ‘I Hate This’. Why?

For several months I thought about why I had such strong feelings about the use of tools and automation. My photos and art work depend almost completely on digital tools. I don’t object to tools… or do I?

It is said that when you hear footsteps behind you on a dark deserted street you can either run or turn and face what is behind you. Please note, these days, you’d be safer to call a friend on your cell phone. Or call an Uber.  Or the police.

I used my cell phone and called two of the more blatant tool users, Dennis Crabtree (see ‘I hate it’ above) and Kathryn Delany (how does she manage to integrate the detail of photos and a flow of paint like colour so effortlessly without photoshop?)

We got together and created a framework for a 3 person show. The plan was to present images that used digital modifications and creations as well as text based generative AI. We’d try and engage the viewers to consider what digital tools they used. I would force myself to create something with generative AI.

It is said that the word ”But” carries considerable power. We had a plan- But -I hadn’t researched or thought through the implications of showing or selling  AI. Generative AI is a challenging subject, especially with copyright considerations, so many of my fellow gallery members were very uncomfortable with the plan. Can’t say I blame them as I was -and still am -resisting even trying to use generative AI. The planned show wasn’t suitable for the Gage Gallery,

It is said that when a door closes you should look for a window. Hopefully on the ground floor close to a good restaurant.  So the three of us went for sushi, looked glum for a while and then decided that we were having too much fun together to give up. 

It is said that when a photo doesn’t work you should consider changing the variables. Our composition of three was great so we decided to decrease the depth of field and set the focus on digital and digital alone.   @astrobot, aka Dennis went looking for new titles, and Kathryn, @colourspashes easily revamped out posters and promotional material. 

It is said that the show must go on. From June 18 to July 7th, Pixel Perfect will be at the Gage Gallery. The main room will be dedicated to Pixel Perfect but don’t miss the second room where images from all other Gage members are on display. You can also see wonderful oil, wax, watercolour, acrylic, fabric, photography, collage to delight your non digital senses. 

Its a good excuse to come downtown for a stroll. Within blocks are Murchies and Farmhouse (good coffee), The Wind Cried Mary (cocktails and small bites) Rebar (which has been there for over 30 years), The Local, The Irish Times,(beer and food).  And downtown (good for photographs)

Pixel Perfect: Digital Art and Photography

June 18 to July 7 2024

Kathryn Delany, Dennis Crabtree and Anne McCarthy

Gage Gallery 19 Bastion Square Victoria

Open 11 to 5 everyday except Monday

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