As a practitioner of photography, a medium firmly rooted in the appearance of reality, I aim to reflect upon the world in which we live, while underlining the role that perception and photographic representation plays in determining how that world is understood. At the same time, I wish to emphasize the contingent nature of both perception and representation. Using the public garden, with its rich history and highly codified design as a point of departure, my work aims to interest the viewer in a game of mental hopscotch through places that are pictured but must be imagined to be understood. These concerns fuel the Kaleidoscapes, which focus on fragments of landscape that have been “spun” into virtual gardens. Resembling sort of photographic origami, the Kaleidoscapes elaborate the human obsession with the manipulation and control of nature while also using the very “low tech” Diana camera, with its cheap plastic body and lens to simulate the “high tech” effect of digital manipulation—ever more present in the mid-nineties, when the work was produced.
From a distance these images read as organic patterns, much like familiar kaleidoscopic images; upon scrutiny, however, features of the landscape emerge. This landscape is mirrored and multiplied (a prime characteristic of photographic representation), and seemingly on the verge of collapsing or exploding. Here, the decorative pattern blown up to human scale oscillates between environment and organism, garden and microcosm, simultaneously inviting and denying access.
“From a distance these images read as organic patterns, much like familiar kaleidoscopic images; upon scrutiny, however, features of the landscape emerge.”