Keegan Litchfield

A selection of artworks, reflection and development of practice

Pixelation (2015) by Keegan Litchfield – Critical Reflection

the lot

This self-directed artwork is based on the idea that pixels are the building blocks for digital images. An early established aim of learning to use the program Photoshop throughout the semester has led to increased understanding about the components of images and therefore pixels. This has resulted in the creation of a project that displays a series of ‘Photoshopped’ images consistent with the development sought in the practices project, as well as encompassing design elements based on the notion of pixels being building blocks for digital images.

It was established early that even though Photoshop and pixels existed in the digital realm that bringing a tangible element to the practice would be interesting. This would offer an element of interaction for viewers and truly explore the idea of pixels as building blocks giving the audience the ability to effect the artwork. Also the images created using Photoshop would be projected onto the structure, with the audience’s interaction with the piece effecting components of the images. This led to an idea comprising of a grid structure consisting of 9 square tiles. These tiles would each be individual in their design, representing different sizes and patterns of pixelation. The images made using Photoshop would be created in relation to an idea based on pixels, whilst also maintaining a sense of pop culture consistent with the practices project throughout.

The development of the projects tangible aspect proved difficult. A lack of woodwork skills saw a few mistakes arise as well the overall display of the project to change. The piece was originally meant to be hanged from the ceiling, although the weight of the tiles and weakness of magnets required aspects to be reassessed. Therefore it was decided that the structure would be placed on a table with the projection pointed straight down on top of the piece. This was an effective compromise considering the size of the piece and the area allocated in the gallery space. Although in its entirety the structure proved to effectively serve the purpose intended by the artist. This being to combine the digital images with the physicality of a structure, juxtaposing the two and highlighting the materiality of both.

The desired images for the project also required extended thinking in terms of production in relation to pixels. In order to create images that were effective, new Photoshop capabilities would have to be learnt. In this case it was determined that learning to create ‘gif’s’ (Graphic Interchange Formats) using Photoshop would be beneficial. The interaction between moving images and the sliding structure would encourage the audience to interact more. Still images were also incorporated which effectively expressed pixels as the fabric of images. In total 4 projections were chosen to represent the development of the artists experience with their practice.

In terms of progressive Photoshop capabilities there has been significant improvement in relation to masking, layering, and overall image adjustments. Although development still needs to occur in the creation of gif’s, with an intermediate understanding of their formation existing. Exporting formats also became an issue close to submission with some Photoshop files not projecting through the Qumi projector. This was defined by the biggest issue, which was the management of time. Accessing equipment needed, and troubleshooting problems earlier on would have resulted in a more well-rounded and impressive project.

In saying this, the final outcome was reflective of a developed practice continued throughout the semester. The images were created using skills gathered through regular practice and representative of a common theme. This being a satirical or playful depiction of pop culture and an understanding of the fabric of digital images. Also the wooden structure helped to draw attention to the way both artefacts consist of a craft that can be manipulated, demonstrating a clear materiality existing within both. This manipulation being a key purpose of the Photoshop practice and therefore each image created by the artist.

Ultimately the final project and the practice as a whole has led to the fulfilment of a pre-determined goal. This being to learn how to use the Photoshop program effectively, and consistently commit to creating products reflective of the artists development. Now although there is still many facets of the program that need to be improved, the final project does display a culmination of continued practice with the program. As a result it can be suggested that a variety of new skills have been gathered and that the initial aims of the practice have been fulfilled.

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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