“On Paper”

I am confused by the choice between physical and digital media for photography and all the visual arts these days. Perhaps this is because I grew up in a time of print and physical media as the prime way to present and distribute publications and visual art; and this shaped my aesthetic with a bias for paper and other surfaces for image and text.

An appreciation of art and text on electronic devices other than a minority of avant-garde and experimental works is not native to me. I respect digital products; and I’ve worked to understand projected light the same as I have understood reflected light my whole life.

Assorted Inkjet Papers
Assorted Inkjet Papers

Making photos had meant to print on paper in my mind, photo paper for the darkroom, then inkjet paper for my computer. “On paper” in the sense that putting things on paper makes them real is out of date, but works as a metaphor for me still. Perhaps it could be a short way to say a thing is somehow published in a permanent form, physical or abstract.

The PDF and web are primary formats of art presentation. The old substrates are paper and canvass; the new are cell phones, tablets, and monitors.

On the other hand, I really like the play of light and paper and image. Paper can be so many different surfaces on which my image may lie: smooth or rough, cool and bright or warm and soft, matte or gloss–the list goes on. How do you like to look at photograph? It’s something to reflect on….

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