My work attempts to piece together a collective portrait using the surplus, latent value of secondhand photographic material, mostly from Google Maps, but also from Youtube, Craigslist, and offline sources. For me, the value of this type of imagery is in its candor: we, and our world of things, are captured from an oblique or unusual angle. Thus, I am not so much a photographer as a collector, and have several times been compared to a natural scientist (specifically, a lepidopterist).
Recently my work has taken a turn toward the infrastructural, using the visual language of photographic collection and archiving in order to examine those elements of human existence that risk being overlooked. I am most interested in systems that are diffused and unnoticed when functioning, such as the power grid or waste disposal system. Nicolas Bourriaud said that in a time when our experience of life is so dematerialized and so many forces of production are hidden, the artist’s new task is to “rematerialize” these processes for the viewer. In attempting to highlight these systems, I increasingly find that my work exists at the intersection of aesthetics, writing and research.
Residency: June 2015 - September 2015
Art Exhibition: Friday, September 18 & Saturday, September 19
Jenny Odell's website