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Exploring the Pippi Longstocking's of the Art World Pippa Lotti Rist and her amazing video art!

Updated: May 13, 2021


Pipilotti Rist Sip My Ocean 1994-1996 video still at MCA



I first researched the work of Pippa Lotti Rist when I was doing my Ba in Fine Art. I remeber her work resonated with me straight away. The feeling and emotion she projected to us and her inquisitive nature as to what is real.


In this documentary Rist talks about how she "considered dreams or closed eye reality is the same importance as perceiving the world with open eyes". In my work I like to express and investigate what can't be seen by the naked eye when looking at an image produced by a camera. I often ask myself when reviewing photos, what has happened to this image from the moment the picture was taken to now? can I imagine this? can I express this through a visual journey of what I think could have happened?


I will look into aspects such as the possible pixels working behind the scene or the missed information and interference that has occurred when the camera was processing the image.


What if this image was shown as the pattern of pixels mixing and working together to produce this image. This can be seen in the image below which shows a designed pattern I created which replicates what I imagine a digital photographic image might look like if zoomed in beyond where the human eye can comprehend. The pixel shapes move overlap and work together as if forming something we don't yet understand. For these images I wanted there to be a hint of mood in their colour palette (some are more vibrant while others have quite a low saturation) yet I do not want this to be an obvious expression of mood for I wanted the digital pixel images to be so close up that they are not fully understood or comprehended , we do not get the full picture.




In other pieces in my collection such as the collaged textile pieces mood is a lot more obvious. This can be seen in the image below. Created using the a photocopy machine and filter papers and photographic images. I looked to show how I imagine the camera read and processed what was in front of it at the time the photo was taken. This has a melancholic mood in its haziness and dark colour as I imagined a lack of clarity in the cameras ability to process the image possibly due to a lack of light. I feel that this lack of light and dullness created a melancholy which I wanted to then express through the print.



I created a downward motion in the print to give a sinking feeling within the piece the colours are dulled and foggy with a harsh red forcing the image down. In connection to Rist's work she describes that the machines and humans are connected deeply in terms of their intelligence and senses as they are a product of humans, Rist compares the inability of a machine to process information and the interference or static this causes to a visual of when the human deals with psychosomatic illness. I found this very interesting and began to connect the mechanical operations of a camera to a mood.







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