In my current work Anonymous@theBeach, I am taking photographs, literal representation of reality, and turning them into computer generated abstract art. The software I use reads my photographs and turns the optics into useable data. The program interperets patterns in the pixels. Using mathematical algorithms, it can recognize texture, line, luminesence, color, shape and more. I teach the computer to apply virtual paintbrush strokes based on the original photographic material and turn it into something entirely new. The tools I use allow for a lot of experimentation followed by detailed refinement.
Thematically, I am exploring a common yearning to maintain privacy in public settings. The beach is a particularly useful place to get away. Adherence to social norms are relaxed. The idea that people can wear virtually nothing is a great example. I always keep in mind that I am prying into that veil of privacy and and realize that my own anonymity hides my intent.
In this show, I have included an interactive installation made for the social media age. It speaks to the paradox of staying private while presenting publicly, extending the concept of exposure beyond the graphic work. With an abstract representation of a crowded day at the beach as a backdrop, I have provided a variety of playful props that allow the viewer to take and post photos that ensure anonymity.
The people I present in the framed prints are assembled from many photo sessions. The subjects and background may not even be from the same continent. I render the different elements individually and then work them into compositions using shading techniques to give the illusion of layering and depth. For the installation backdrop, I worked from one photograph processed in a single run without any post production. With the animations, each segment was digitally painted frame by frame (rotoscoped) from video sources that I have edited for timing.
– Karen Hochman Brown