32 by 32

New work, finally.

It’s been 3 years since I produced anything new, though that’s not to say that I haven’t been making images in that time. I just haven’t done anything “new”. So, with the upload of a couple of teasers, I give you “32 by 32”.

This concept came from the most obscure of places. I was producing some wall-art for my kids based on the 16×16 pixel texture squares from Minecraft tiles.

32 by 32 distills an image to the most basic of compositional and colour elements. From a distance, the images retain some integrity. Close-up, they dissolve into optical illusions and hard-edged squares.

32 by 32 is a simple comment on our obsession with living online via photo uploads. In an online life, our pictures represent our lives as perfect pixels. Camera marketers push the technology at us, making promises of capturing perfect lives which we can share with everyone. In reality, they are just rows of squares, depicting an instant.

Comments from people online when I have posted these images often begin “When I saw the thumbnail, I thought there was an image there, but did you know that it’s actually all pixellated?” This is the perfect response. Apart from the one gallery owner who didn’t read the blurb, and rejected my high-res file for promotional material, saying that the “Pixels are too large”…

Some technical notes, with more than a hint of irony…
This is harder than it looks! I have developed a process for making these images work – the final files are (ironically) billboard-sized!
Again, with a hint of irony, the quality of the input file really matters. To work at 32 by 32, the file has to be perfect at full res. JPEG artefacts and optical flaws wreck the effects of the colour transitions if they’re not perfect.

The original prints I made of these are on 460×460mm canvas, matt coated.

(Props to Mel Brackstone for giving this a go too. Nice to see the queen of detailed gorgeous landscapes endulging a little deconstruction!)

Comments

  • peter
    peterabout 3 years ago

    Kudos to you Mike – and give me the imperfect life any day.

  • Cheers Pete! Nice to hear from you!

    – Mike Emmett