Sunday, January 17, 2010

Notes for a Commonplace Book (5)

Carla Rippey:

Whatever our senses pick up is carried to the brain by two pathways, one conscious and rational, and another unconscious and innate. While these perceptions travel toward the cortex, where they will be integrated with other data captured from the environment and with previous associations, they are also traveling toward the amygdala, a much more primitive part of the brain. Sending something to the amygdala is like sending a digital image in low resolution: it arrives right away, but it’s blurry. In no way is it a precise and well-processed image like the one that is formulated in the cortex. It is, we might say, a dirty image. It’s these dirty images that make us confuse, just for an instant, a garden hose with a snake.

I have the idea that whenever an image attracts me, whenever I happen upon a photograph with which I feel some sort of connection, for example, it’s because the image resonates in me at a subconscious level: it generates the same “dirty image” as something I have already stored in my brain.

As a result, the archives of possible material for my work are made up by images that have already triggered a reaction in me. Examining them dispassionately, now ensconced in the "high road" of clear perceptions and conscious associations, my job is to pinpoint the disturbing element and highlight it by means of cropping, the juxtaposition of images, or the construction of a collage. The interpretation is then refined through its translation to drawing, printmaking or painting. In a sort of morphing, I must retransmit it with my own energy.

I like the term "dirty images". They are dirty because their reading is ambivalent, but dirtiness is also associated with the erotic, the perverse, the disturbing, and that which is repressed and feared -- all elements which pertain to the interpretation of my work. After all, one could postulate that I traffic in stolen images: it’s a dirty business.

From Carla Rippey: Dibujo, pintura y grabado (Taller Gráfica Bordes)

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