In the past year almost all of my short films have been shot on a camera phone. These totally low res images yield a contrast level and saturation detail that takes hours to get out of conventional dv cameras. Looking back at the various pieces I find myself more and more reluctant to soften the pixelization of the image once it is blowup to dvd quality.
As I stare out across the last day in London until I return in May I have been considering the role of the pixel in the future of making art. Our tendency is toward a higher and higher resolution image, constantly searching for better quality technologies. But this harsh edge of information, the artifacting of compression and data transfer as part of the moving and still image is becoming a functional part of the lives of every person in modern society.
Like the brush stroke the pixel is a point of reference and much like the impressionists those who deal in the digital capture of color and form have to face the certainty of artificiality in their creation.
When we begin to embrace the hard edge of the pixel, utilizing the mathematical structure of compression as a form of visual expression we will be moving toward the next jump in the evolution of art. Embracing the form of technology and its role in creative thinking is the first step toward developing something that is totally new and without precedent.
Once painters had to deal with the photographs ability to replace them as the counterfeiter of reality, now as the film grain and the brush stroke are replaced by the pixel we must confront and embrace this new form and take it to places it has yet to be.